Attention Wal-Mart shoppers (and officers): Drop the pepper spray


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Perhaps the pepper-spray attack on Wal-Mart shoppers doing little more than serving as potential competition for an Xbox video game console shouldn’t be that surprising. After all, self-made societal observers were arguing on Friday, police used it against Occupy demonstrators doing little more than sitting.

Such were the parallels being drawn in the wake of the Black Friday attack at a Los Angeles-area Wal-Mart.


Reports that Wal-Mart security guards (off-duty police officers, as it turned out) in North Carolina had also used pepper spray against Black Friday shoppers have done little to quell the talk of pepper spray as modern society’s altercation-ender of choice.

Said these commenters on an L.A. Times article reporting that police were reviewing the videotape:

Mark Hooper: ‘Pepper spraying people who won’t get out of your way? Hmm....sounds’s just not right no matter who’s doing it! Pepper spray is for stopping people from attacking you, whether a civilian or not, not for gaining an edge over someone so that you can achieve your goal.’

George Neblina: ‘Hey, there’s this guy named Pike up in Davis who indiscriminately pepper sprays people -- maybe the police can review that tape as well...’

Hannah Crum: ‘it’s a direct line from our government’s behavior to the behavior of it’s citizens. just like children act like their parents.’

Mike Kinghorn: ‘why are police reviewing the tape?for pointers.’

The comments on Twitter were similar, if largely pithier:

davidsirota: ‘Following example of anti-OWS police departments, woman goes on pepper spray spree at WalMart on Black Friday.’


markmorford: ‘Shootings! Pepper spray! Robberies! OWS? Nope. Just another Black Friday at Walmart.’

BillArrundale: ‘To be fair, I’ve never walked into a Walmart and NOT wanted to pepper spray someone.’

None of the comments, of course, answers Nation Now’s original ‘What is it about Wal-Mart and Black Friday’ question.


Occupy protests put spotlight on police tactics

Wal-Mart’s unhappy holiday tradition: Black Friday


Fragile friendships as shoppers wait (and wait) for doors to open

-- Tami Dennis