Does Wal-Mart Promote Violence?

If you’re reading this, then you survived Thanksgiving, even with all the eating, traveling and awkward family moments. However, with Turkey Day comes Black Friday (you know, the day after Thanksgiving where everyone goes out shopping because there are once-in-a-lifetime-deals).

Every year it seems that there are several stories of chaos occurring during Black Friday. But, there’s one retailer that appears to have more examples of social breakdowns than any other: Wal-Mart.

We’re not exactly sure why so much violence happens at Wal-Mart. Maybe the deals are that spectacular. Perhaps it’s because of the kind of people who shop at Wal-Mart. Then again, maybe Wal-Mart is just a dangerous place, no matter what time of the year.

Here’s the nine major incidents that took place at Wal-Mart this year, but to give you just a taste, here’s a video of people going nuts over cheap waffle makers.

In Fruitport Township, Michigan, authorities say a teenage girl was trampled at a store and suffered minor injuries after getting caught in a rush to a sale in the electronics department. The Muskegon Chronicle reports the girl was taken to a local hospital.

In Florence, Ala., 22-year-old Christopher Blake Pyron was subdued with a stun gun as shoppers gathered for Black Friday sales at around 11 p.m. Police said they used a stun gun twice to gain control of Pyron before arresting him and was charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

In Kinston, North Carolina, a man was arrested after a holiday shopping scuffle, which police quelled with pepper spray. A fellow shoppersaid that the incident began when a man waiting in line for discounted cell phones fell into a display.

In Kissimmee, Florida, a man was arrested after a fight broke out at a jewelry counter. Police stated that the two men were fighting and one resisted when a police officer tried to escort him out of the store. Officers had to force him to the ground to put him in handcuffs.

In upstate New York, police said two women were injured and a man charged after a fight broke out.

In Woodland Park Colorado, a bomb threat prompted the evacuation of employees and customers for about four hours as police and federal agents checked for explosive devices but found none. Officials declared the store safe around 11:30 a.m. and allowed employees back inside around noon.

In the Phoenix suburb of Buckeye, police are coming under fire for a video posted online Friday that shows a grandfather unconscious on the floor of a Walmart with a bloody face after police said he was caught trying to shoplift.A police officer took him to the ground Thursday night. The man’s wife and other witnesses say that Newman was trying to help his young grandson after the boy was trampled by shoppers, and only put a video game in his waistband to free his hands to help the boy.

In the Toledo suburb of Oregon, police responded to three separate reports of fighting on Thursday night. One officer told The Blade newspaper that one of the fights was over towels selling for $1.88.

In San Leandro California, authorities said a shopper is in critical but stable condition after being shot by armed robbers outside a Wal-Mart store. Police Sgt. Mike Sobek said the victim and his family were walking to their car around 1:45 a.m. when they were confronted by a group of men who demanded their purchases. When the family refused, a fight broke out and one of the robbers shot the man. Sobek says other family members wrestled down one of the suspects, who was taken into police custody. Investigators are reviewing store surveillance video to identify at least three other suspects.Witnesses say the Walmart parking lot was crowded with Black Friday shoppers at the time, and the store was briefly closed as police investigated.

And, finally, in Los Angeles, a woman shot pepper spray to keep shoppers from merchandise she wanted during a Black Friday sale, and 20 people suffered minor injuries. The incident occurred shortly after 10:20 p.m. Thursday night in a crowded Walmart as shoppers were let inside. Police said the suspect shot the pepper spray when the coverings over electronics items she wanted were removed. “Somehow she was trying to use it to gain an upper hand,” police Lt. Abel Parga told The Associated Press. The store remained open and those not affected by the pepper spray continued shopping and the woman has since turned herself into police.

However, this hasn’t been the first year that Wal-Mart has had trouble during Black Friday.

In 2009, people fought for GPS devices at a Florida Wal-Mart.

In 2008, a 34-year-old temp employee at a Long Island Wal-Mart was trampled to death when a rush of shoppers burst into the store. In the same year, and store, an eight-month old pregnant woman was knocked down by the same overzealous crowd, which resulted in her having a miscarriage.

Also in 2008 there were fights over vacuum cleaners in Salt Lake City.

In 2007, a pregnant woman fell to the ground after getting caught in a stampede of shoppers near a Grand Rapids, MI Wal-Mart. While the baby was unharmed, the woman did lose her wig in the process.

In 2003, a woman in Jacksonville, FL was paralyzed after being trampled by a crowd of people trying to snag DVD players for $29.

So, does Wal-Mart promote this kind of violence, or, are people just that ridiculous.

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