Black Friday: The bad and the ugly
With some 153 million Americans on the hunt for Black Friday deals, was it any surprise that some behaved inappropriately?
Pushing, shoving and pepper spray. Can future Black Fridays top the mix of bizarre incidents this year as shoppers competed for doorbusters and other deep discounts?
Here's a wrap-up of bad behavior this Black Friday (not including the several attempted robberies of shoppers who had already left stores): Post continues below.
- Everyone has by now heard about the Wal-Mart shopper -- still unidentified -- who used pepper spray to shoo others away as a crate of Xbox 360 consoles was being unwrapped late Thursday. Twenty people were treated at the scene for eye irritation or bruising. The woman apparently paid for her stuff and left the store, in the wealthy Los Angeles suburb of Porter Ranch.
- A police officer reportedly used pepper spray to disperse an unruly crowd at a Wal-Mart in Kinston, N.C., although one witness said a man had simply fallen into a display and that people were on good behavior.
- Police twice used a stun gun on an allegedly drunk guy in a Wal-Mart in Florence, Ala.
- Police tasered a man who allegedly punched another shopper in a Wal-Mart in Milford, Conn., after a third man's child was pushed to the floor near the video games, CBS News reports. (Hint: Leave the kids at home when venturing into such mayhem.)
- The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio reported: "In the Toledo suburb of Oregon, police responded to three separate reports of fighting at a Wal-Mart on Thursday night, in one case, over towels selling for $1.88."
- In Buckeye, Ariz., police reportedly slammed a man face down on Wal-Mart's concrete floor when they suspected he was shoplifting. Family members said he merely stuck a video game in his waistband so he could snatch his grandson out of the midst of a frenzied crowd, My Fox Phoenix reports.
- Apparently disappointed that it wasn't open, looters broke into Hollister's flagship store in New York City about 1:15 a.m.
- A fistfight was reported in the electronics section of an Escondido, Calif., Wal-Mart store.
- Another fight involved several of the 1,000 shoppers outside a Best Buy store in Culver City, Calif.
- Two men fought at a Wal-Mart jewelry counter in Kissimmee, Fla. One man was arrested.
- Friday was only minutes old when two people suffered minor injuries in a brawl at the Wal-Mart electronics section in Rome, N.Y.
(A Wal-Mart spokesman acknowledged there were a "few unfortunate incidents" at its nearly 4,000 U.S. stores.)
Why do people act like this? CBS News offered this explanation:
The incidents were attributed to two converging Black Friday trends: Crowds are getting bigger as stores open earlier and stay open later. At the same time, cash-strapped shoppers are competing for deals on a small number of gifts that everybody wants -- tablet computers, TVs and game consoles like Xbox, Nintendo 3S and Wii.
Shrinks say that when we gather, individual responsibility can fly out the door. "Our personal values and our behaviors change in a group," psychotherapist Gila Shapiro told the Daily News of Los Angeles. "We lose a sense of individual responsibility. People say, it wasn't me, it was the group that did it."
Susan Denley wrote at the Los Angeles Times that alcohol consumption on Thanksgiving doesn't help.
Yeah, good idea, retail industry. Wait till people are most likely to be tanked up, herd them into crowds, work them into a frenzy thinking they'll save some bucks on limited-quantity TVs and toasters -- and what did you think was going to happen? Yes, the shoppers are to blame for their own behavior, but you need to be better prepared to stop this stuff from happening.
Were you one of the 153 million Americans expected to shop on Black Friday? Were shoppers well-behaved?
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I refuse to stand in line and act like a animal just to throw money at a retailer.
Black Friday is just stupid.People are crazy. In a couple of weeks you will be able to get the merchandise cheaper than on black friday.
There was reports of Target being dead too. I hate to everyone spent their money at the very beginning of black Froday when the sales were massive, after that the store will not see many people due to economic conditions.
Wal-Mart cause our jobs to go to China now they weill pay the price.
All the more reason why Black Friday should be outlawed, it is disgusting and shameful to see mankind reduced to acting like a bunch of greedy animials. I am sure the giant retail corporations wouldn't hear of doing away with it because they don't care who gets, trampled, shot or crushed in the name of profits.
It was 59 degrees out on Friday,so we took in the outdoor sculpture gardens before heading inside. This might have been our last opportunity to see the entire museum in 3 months.
Today, the temp was in the low 40s and the wind-chill in the teens. We'd have missed so much jostling about in overheated store(s) for prices that we'll see again the 15th of next month as the merchants look at still-high inventories and get desperate.
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Even those who don't like to shop are probably hitting the stores this month. Here's what to be on the lookout for and here's what to avoid.