Wal-Mart Employee Trampled to Death on Black Friday

From the NY Times:

The throng of Wal-Mart shoppers had been building all night, filling sidewalks and stretching across a vast parking lot at the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, N.Y. At 3:30 a.m., the Nassau County police had to be called in for crowd control, and an officer with a bullhorn pleaded for order.

Tension grew as the 5 a.m. opening neared. Someone taped up a crude poster: “Blitz Line Starts Here.”

By 4:55, with no police officers in sight, the crowd of more than 2,000 had become a rabble, and could be held back no longer. Fists banged and shoulders pressed on the sliding-glass double doors, which bowed in with the weight of the assault. Six to 10 workers inside tried to push back, but it was hopeless.

Suddenly, witnesses and the police said, the doors shattered, and the shrieking mob surged through in a blind rush for holiday bargains. One worker, Jdimytai Damour, 34, was thrown back onto the black linoleum tiles and trampled in the stampede that streamed over and around him. Others who had stood alongside Mr. Damour trying to hold the doors were also hurled back and run over, witnesses said.

Some workers who saw what was happening fought their way through the surge to get to Mr. Damour, but he had been fatally injured, the police said. Emergency workers tried to revive Mr. Damour, a temporary worker hired for the holiday season, at the scene, but he was pronounced dead an hour later at Franklin Hospital Medical Center in Valley Stream.

23 Comments

  1. Apparently when they announced that the store had to be cleared because someone had died, the shoppers refused to leave and just kept on frantically shopping. And the poor guy was just a temp, too.

    At moments like this, I can’t help but think of McCain’s speeches about how Americans are the best people in the world and can do no wrong… America has problems too. If we saw this footage coming from some other country, they might think “oh, those *insert country here*-ians are just animals”. The most depressing part is that they weren’t fighting for food or medicine (like people have to do in some places), but TVs and Christmas toys. Sometimes I’m so deeply ashamed of my culture and the capitalism that’s become the new social god.

  2. When I first read this story yesterday, it was just a few hours after it happened. This is nothing less than a murder of this person. And what anger me about Walmart is when they released a statement about this … they tried to distance them selves from the employee, stating that he was a temporary employee from another company working on behalf of walmart. I am loosing respect even more for walmart. keywords: murder, hate, stupidity

  3. I don’t think capitalism is to blame here. I think it is the lack of manners and civilization in these idiotic rednecks in Arkansas. It’s sickening and depressing and those people deserve to be beaten to a pulp as punishment. Next time they’ll know to act like people, not vile scum.

  4. No…. Its capitalism. You NEED this. You WANT this. BUY our product because your life isnt complete without it. Walmart could give a crap about this guy, or the fact that it happened in their stores. All they care about is the final number on the sales receipts at the end of the night.

  5. Cattle. They’re all fucking cattle.

    Is saving $70 really worth getting up at 2am and standing in line for 3-4 hours so you MIGHT get what you want at a lower price?

    Black Friday is such bullshit. If people would stop herding themselves into the stores on this day, stores would have no choice but to offer deals and remain competitive all season. Anyone that bought something in a brick-and-mortar store that day can eat my shit.

  6. Yes, this is America. Let’s blame everyone (Walmart, captialism and so forth) EXCEPT those who did the trampling! I’m tired of everyone else being blamed except those who are directly responsible.

  7. No one is absolving those who did the trampling from blame. But it would be silly to just look at the symptoms and not the root of it for the cure. Those who did the trampling – that is an outcome of capitalism’s influence on human behaviour (endless consumption, getting the “best” bargains et al).

  8. I would like to be excused in attacking “Arkansas rednecks”. I read that the company in Arkansas issued a statement or something, and thought that the store itself was in Arkansas. My apologies.

  9. You’d rather blame a group of (anonymous?) trampers?

    I blame the cause of this symptom: Extreme consumerism. I mean those people were running INTO a shop the way people usually run AWAY from a fire. I don’t remember ever hearing of people being trampled to death when ENTERING a building. It’s bizarre.

  10. @ Dido:
    This wasn’t even in Arkansas… This was in the NY/NJ border. Besides that, I do know from a personal basis that not everyone in the southern states like Arkansas fit your description.

  11. Don’t put the blame on consumerism or capitalism. The blame is on unreasonable jerks with no self-control or sense of responsibility for others.

    Stores are great; sales are great — but mobs are not great. People are responsible for their actions, and this is unacceptable behavior.

  12. Any folks there were pushing their way in that morning are MURDERERS. For those of you that are part of that crowd, I hope you have a happy holiday, I hope it was worth murdering someone so you could buy some cheap crap.

    The police should have shut down the store, arrested every customer that was inside and charged them for it.

  13. I have to agree with Sheldon. If someone places a loaded gun on a table and other person picks the gun up and shoots somebody dead, it’s not the first person’s fault nor the fault of the gun manufacturer–it’s the fault of the murderer. That doesn’t mean I’m a gun advocate, but you get my point.

  14. @ Dido- I’d like to amend my comment (the first comment) to replace “another country” with “anyone who lives more than 1 foot from the speaker” and can send them into a xenophobic rage.

  15. It’s a classic case of mob mentality, no one person is to blame so no one is to blame. It’s the same thing as a lynching, it’s ok if we all agree to it. Everyone in that mob will have a excuse as to why they are not to blame for that poor man’s death. Things like I didn’t step on him, I didn’t even see him. And for the people who did step on him will say that they were pushed from behind. All those excuses are like paper cuts to their souls, stings a little but the pain goes away quickly. He basically died the death of a thousand cut’s, no one person will feel the blame or the guilt. And society takes a small step backwards.

  16. I’d say Wal-Mart is the most to blame. They created the environment that enabled the situation. There were over 2,000 people waiting to get in and they opened the store anyway. What did they think would happen? The crowd actually ripped the doors off the hinges!

    Remember when a bunch of people died at the Great White concert a few years ago? A fire broke out and a stampede occurred, killing some concert-goers. The owners of the club took most of the blame. Granted, the building had a lot of fire code violations, but it still came down to the people that created – and could have prevented – the situation: the property owners.

  17. This is just another situation proving how far our society has moved away from caring for one another. The people shopping put more stock in something that will be eventually thrown away than another human being. Sadly, it takes an event like this to wake people up on what’s important. Worse, people will go back to their non caring ways in just days. I am actually glad we are in “troubled” times now. Hopefully it will show people what they can live with out and what truely is important-People. God be with the family of Wal-Mart employee and moreso, the people who have their values and priorities confused.

  18. This is exactly why I WON’T go shopping on “Black Friday”. People are fricking idiots, but even more so on that day when they think they’re getting “bargains”. It’s WALMART fercrissake!!!

    Sheesh…

  19. i almost want to laugh… but its just so sad. ah, i feel the rise of my cynicism against capitalism and the like… i’m gonna go watch fight club.

  20. Teresa said “This was in the NY/NJ border.” Hey, New Jersey has enough problems! This was on Long Island, near the town where “Everybody Loves Raymond” takes place. It’s separated from Jersey by Queens, bridges, tunnels, and the Hudson River.

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