The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.
I'm going to be responding to many posters here, but chose this one, as it's based on my analogy.
First off, you say that theft in Wal-Mart could be handled simply by sending the necessary footage and other evidence to the authorities.. How does
this help catch the criminal? They have long ago ran off, and there's not much of a way to catch them. I've heard from a VERY reliable source inside
of Wal-Mart that their cameras are not able to cover the entire floor-space of the store and parking lot. This means that there are "dead zones",
and anything can happen there.
So, how does one catch a criminal once they've run off, and all that's left is the empty merchandise? Call the cops? The cops have a hard time
reacting to a simple domestic violence case, and I'm not sure that I'd trust the cop's judgment more than the Wal-Mart employee's, as there are a
number of well-documented cases, posted here on ATS, where police officers have abused their power.
Now, to the other members, I owe a bit of clarification. What I see happening here is a very bad situation made even worse by the man's death.
There's two sides to every story, and I'm going to try to make a case for both... first the criminal, and then for Wal-Mart.
This man goes into the store, looking for some merchandise, and realizes that he doesn't have enough money... he puts some diapers on the bottom of
his cart, and finds a few other items that he needs, and makes his way to the register to check out... He gets there, checks out, but forgets the
diapers and a few of the other items in the cart. As he's making his way out of the building, the security personnel stop him, and ask him to step
back inside. He tells them to go away, that he needs to get home, and continues on his way. They try to detain him, and he fights back. During the
fight, he dies...
Now, a case for Wal-Mart..
The security personnel are called over to an area because someone sees a suspicious-looking character around the baby section. They move in, and watch
as the man takes items off the shelves, actively conceals them, and makes his way to the register with the other items that he wants to purchase. He
purchases the other items that he wants, and makes his way to the door, while the security personnel are watching him every step of the way, having
noticed that he didn't pay for any of the concealed stuff... he gets to the door, and walks out, only to be stopped. At the moment he's stopped, he
should realize that he's been busted, and should willingly go back inside. But instead, he fights back. Why fight back here?
Now, in the above scenarios, both the customer / thief and the security personnel could have done a few things differently. First, the thief.
He could have solved this whole problem by NOT stealing in the first place. To do so from anyone is just stupid, not to mention against the law. His
second major mistake was fighting back when he was confronted by the security personnel. I'm sure they wouldn't have had to be as forceful with him
as they were if he wasn't fighting back so hard.
To those saying that he was fighting back so hard because he was not able to breath; that doesn't explain why they were sitting on him in the first
place!! Security personnel don't just pile on suspected thieves... that's counter-productive. Why waste more energy than is necessary?
Next, the Wal-Mart security personnel...
While following the suspect, they could have been on the phone with the police, to have them at the door when they got there, so that they could make
the stop in the presence of the local PD, but they didn't. Another thing they could have done differently was to just hold the guy's limbs down
without pressing on his back. I know a few things about keeping people detained, and what they did to him was not one of them. With three people, this
shouldn't have been difficult. To me, this sounds like a rookie bunch. They should have been better trained.
Ok, in summation, I'd like to make a few passing comments about the views expressed in this thread.
This notion that security personnel are not allowed to detain people is ridiculous!! That's there JOB
It's the apparent lack of training here that needs to be addressed, not the job description. One member mentions a Wal-Mart policy about how they
aren't allowed to touch people trying to leave? I thought I heard somewhere that that only applies to the regular employees?
I don't believe that security personnel fall into that category, as I'd imagine that they'd be in plain clothes, now wouldn't you?
Another thing that I'd like to clear up is that this man most likely WAS stealing from the store, as these security personnel wouldn't have gone to
all of that trouble if they didn't see him try to take all of that merchandise out of the store.
There was one poster that asked me if I was equating stealing with taking someone's life, and I'd like to answer a firm NO to that one..
What I meant was that during the course of a robbery, sometimes things happen that are unforeseen. The thing that I think took this to a whole new
level was the violence exhibited by both parties. The guy fighting to get away, and the security personnel holding him down.
Do I think that they should be punished for their actions? I'm not a judge, so I won't say. It's not my place.
Do I think that that man should have died? NO, but I'm not going to try to justify what he tried to do either, provided that he WAS trying to steal.
Oh, and one last thing: Equating this to a robbery in a home is just as relevant, as the person is there to steal something from the residence 9 times
out of 10.
And I'd challenge anyone to NOT react violently if someone tried to pick your pocket, and you caught them in it "red-handed".
As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.
Edited for clarity and spelling.