Imagine going shopping in these tough economic times, giving in to temptation by attempting to shoplift an item you cannot afford to buy and ending up dead. Death the price of two coveted DVD players!
That is exactly what happened to an alleged shoplifter at a Walmart in metro Atlanta on Sunday, November 25, 2012, who wanted to take advantage on Black Friday deals following Thanksgiving.
Local police were told that the man was “caught shoplifting two DVD players” at around 1:30 in the morning at the Lithonia store on Fairington Road.
Now authorities in Atlanta’s DeKalb County deciding whether to criminally charge a Lithonia city Walmart security guard chased down the shopper, put a chokehold on him in a violent tussle that created a nosebleed, pinned him down to the ground, and sat on him until the police arrived! By the time the Lithonia police arrived the man was dead.
Apparently, the suspect had left with the merchandise in his hands and two “Walmart employees” had followed him to the parking lot.
Turns out that in addition to the two Walmart employees, an Assistant Manager and a contracted third-party security guard pursued him in the parking lot. The security guard then put him in a chokehold, shoved him on the ground and then sat on him to detain him forcefully in the interim.
The shoplifter wasn't breathing and bleeding by the time the police arrived but he was later pronounced dead at DeKalb Medical-Hillandale Hospital. Excessive force for the sake of two DVD players?
Dianna Gee, a Walmart spokeswoman has stated that the Walmart employees involved in this tragic incident have been suspended with pay during the investigation.
Walmart is also protecting its liability in the case by severing ties with the “third-party security guard” whose actions resulted in the shopper’s death.
Gee admits that no merchandise at their store is worth such a high price as death and that the incident was indeed unfortunate…
However, the Walmart Assistant Manager in particular and two other employees gave their approval in the treatment of the attacked and detained shoplifter by their presence on the scene even if they were not physically involved in the tussle.
A couple of days before Walmart employees were picketing and protesting that Walmart stores were going to be open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day to gain a slight edge on the competition for Black Friday sales.
But for one Walmart shopper who allegedly tried his luck at shoplifting, giving his life was the price of two DVD players!