Monday, June 1, 2020
The pandemic has made everyplace crazy; but Walmart was crazy long before it, and the shootings happening every month are hardly slowing down, with at least eleven shootings last month, three of them fatal, and one other shooting with a BB gun. Two of those fatal shootings were suicides; and there were also numerous other people and cars shot without additional fatalities. A follow up article about an April shootings indicates that he intended to commit suicide by cop. And there was finally a settlement in the lawsuit against Beavercreak Ohio for the 2014 shooting or John Crawford III for carrying an unloaded BB gun he found on the shelf of Walmart, presumably to buy it; however the family specifically said this settlement didn't bring justice for his killing, and there have still not been any criminal charges.
There were also massive protests at Walmart's across the country over the weekend against police shootings, spurred by George Floyd, but there are fatal police shootings almost every month at at least one Walmart across the country, and many of them, including John Crawford III have been questionable. At hundreds of Walmart stores closed early, including ones in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Virginia and North Carolina. Walmart is having plenty of abusive police claims last month that didn't get as much attention as George Floyd, including one incident where four Missouri police were caught on film taking down a 68 year old African American woman and her son after they falsely concluded they were stealing a TV, and they were even informed of their mistake before they did it.
And another incident where a Birmingham Alabama cop tackled a woman who wasn't wearing a mask; they claim that she was also acting disorderly. I don't know if this is true, but have heard of many authoritarian police acting in a threatening manner for incredibly minor violations, justified or not, and it's virtually guaranteed that many people would be outraged by this and a few of them might be more likely to resist, which would be virtual entrapment. There was also an incident where an African American couple claim they were racially profiled, with an investigation underway.
In addition to the three people killed by guns this month there were another two bodies found on the premises, one that was a result of an alleged murder; and at least two more deaths as a result of the Corona-virus, for a total of seven dead on the premises. This doesn't count a couple murders happening in Connecticut, where the suspect was later spotted in a Pennsylvania Walmart, although no incident happened there, and he was eventually caught in Maryland.
There were also close to a dozen other gun related crimes, including an argument where a gun was drawn, and numerous armed robberies, including one by a man dressed as a security guard, and of course, they can now wear masks without appearing suspicious, during the pandemic. They also had someone fire a flare gun at an employee. There were two threats against Walmart in Texas about a week apart by people that knew each other; when the police raided the home of the first one they found a small arsenal, including a machine gun.
There have always been lots of good Walmart workers that have had to rely on food assistance, even when they work full time, since they don't get fair wages; this hasn't stopped during the pandemic, and plenty of people are donating them free food, but the oligarchs are still taking the vast majority of profits while suppressing wages. While the vast majority of workers handle this without resorting to extremes, even though they're being treated unfairly there are a few that strike out, by making bomb threats or other types of threats. Most would agree this is unjustified but what's as bad, if not much worse is that the executives push policies that's guaranteed to incite activities like this.
Of course, this month everything seems to surround the pandemic, including those that died as a result of it. There were only two of the deaths attributed to Walmart, that I know of; but with over a 100,000 deaths in less than three months it's virtually guaranteed that many more were regular Walmart shoppers or workers, since it is the biggest employer in the country and has the biggest market share by far for both groceries and department store merchandise. In addition to those tow there's another regular customer in a coma as a result of the virus.
There weren't quite as many so called "COVIDiots" as in April, but there were still at least four incidents where customers coughed spit or sprayed Lysol on merchandise, and a couple more incidents where fight began as a result of the pandemic. Dozens of Walmart's across the country have been shut down for cleaning; in at least four or five cases, if not much more this happened after major outbreaks. More often than not Walmart is reluctant to report the details and they often come from workers or other insiders speaking without authorization. If people have accurate information to make their decisions, it's no thanks to Walmart management or executives.
There were at least dozen significant incidents, not counting fender benders which rarely get reported widely, involving automobiles, including vandalism of vehicles, stolen vehicles, plenty of crashes, including several hit and runs, one incident where a man got in an argument with his friend and tried to run him over, and at least one car that went up in flames. They also had at least four arsons, and one other fire which is now slightly lower than usual, although slow months on any given crime problem are almost always worse than usual five years ago, since the long term trend is always getting worse.
They had at least five knife attacks with at least two of them resulting in stabbings. There were numerous brawls, related to the pandemic or not, incidents where people were pepper sprayed, robberies from vehicles, assaults on police officers, and various other attacks.
Walmart's self-checkout artificial intelligence security system is causing a lot of problems, related to the pandemic or not; there are lots of false positives leading to false accusation and some Walmart workers claim it's doing more harm than good, despite the fact that they're not authorized to speak to the media, and management refuses to acknowledge the problem or fix it. They have an enormous amount of problems with their self-checkout and people trying to steal. A lot of the money they save is used for higher security, but even more money is paid by tax dollars, so it would be what they consider a negative externality; which essentially means we're subsidizing their crime problems. If they had to pay for the extra court costs and liability, there's a good chance they might find it more profitable to hire more cashiers.
They had another recall of a chest that puts children at risk, which is routine; they could set reasonable standards, with or without government regulations, but they choose not to and keep making the same mistake. They also have more discrimination lawsuits, and a lawsuit for a lawyer who was allegedly wrongfully terminated has reopened their Mexico bribery scandal. One of their minor lawsuits was supposedly settled after they made an agreement, but when they had a ruling in their favor after the settlement they tried to retract the settlement, and a judge has ruled they can't. This isn't even a big pay out for a company that size, but it shows how petty they can be, otherwise they would have let it go in the first place without trying to renege on a deal. Walmart has also been shamed for firing another person with a disability, after working there reliably for ten years because of a minor scratch on a vehicle, and another community rallied to his defense.
Small businesses around the country are demanding to be allowed to reopen, since they're far less crowded than Walmart. Corporations, including Walmart are using this pandemic as a method to help push more people out of business increasing control for a small number of oligarchs. Instead of enforcing antitrust laws, or using reasonable discretion with businesses that aren't a threat to the public the government is helping these oligarchs wipe out small business, which isn't something new, although the method is slightly different.
The economic system is now controlled by fewer people than ever before; and they often move from one business to another making an enormous amount of money while the rest of us have no chance at these high paying jobs. Instead of competing against each other they've divided up the market and use their control to destroy innovative businesses or people that treat customers better.
Walmart also had another topless woman riding in their carts in the parking lot; and in a separate incident, a man, who was asked to leave for not wearing a mask and thrown a rock into that McDonald's before going to Walmart was caught stealing panties and other bizarre behavior. Compared to the panics about the coronavirus, these seem milder than usual.
But strange things still happen at Walmart!
In 2006 Wake Up Walmart did a study, "Is Walmart Safe?" based on incidents in 2004, (PDF) about crime at Walmart which showed that it increased when Walmarts opened up and that crime was higher at Walmart than at other retailers. Since then Walmart Shootings began compiling a list of gun related incidents at Walmart and demonstrated that they have a large number of them, including on average more than one shooting per week somewhere in the country; now after counting them for several years that average is over two per week. In January of 2014 another study, "Rolling Back Prices and Raising Crime Rates?" provided additional statistical research indicating that Walmart might be contributing to higher crime rates or at least a slowing of the decline in crime. The study found that. “on average, communities with Walmarts had 17 more property crimes and two more violent crimes per 10,000 people than those communities without Walmarts.” I reviewed this more in Walmart’s crime problem, Rolling Back Safety more than prices? where I explained that although this study is helpful they could have done better with additional data that is available and I reviewed some of that. I also added my own review about why I think that Walmart policies have been contributing to higher crime in a previous blog, Walmart high crime rate continues un-investigaterd and have provided additional information under the author tag Walmart Crime Watch.
Stacy Mitchell has also compiled a list of other studies about Walmart and how they impact society, Key Studies on Big-Box Retail & Independent Business. To the best of my knowledge Walmart has done as little as they seem to get away with, often relying on rhetoric that isn't backed up with action, when it comes to addressing any of their critics concerns, including crime. One of the responses they’ve come up with is what they call "Restorative Justice" which gives first time shoplifters a chance to avoid being arrested or any criminal record if they take an on line course which costs $400 up front or $500 in payments, plus perhaps, reparations. This has been part of the privatization process and often denies suspects of the due process or access to a lawyer, perhaps even intimidating and extorting from some people that might not even be guilty. Walmart seems to be trying to find a way to turn crime into a profit making situation instead of looking for the most effective ways to reduce it. Making Change at Walmart is asking If you or someone you know has gone through @Walmart's "Restorative Justice" program for first-time suspected shoplifters, send us a DM. 03/30/2017 to ensure that it isn’t doing more harm than good. I did my own review of this program as well at Walmart’s “Restorative Justice” Endangers Public Without Reducing Crime. The following are a list of incidents that occurred in May 2020. According to the "Is Walmart Safe?" the average store in their sampling had 250 incidents per year indicating that these are only a fraction of the crime reports at Walmart, and presumably, the ones most likely to make the news on the internet nationwide. This isn't statistically representative, as the 2006 or the "Rolling Back Prices and Raising Crime Rates?" study or some of the studies cited by Stacy Mitchell; but it does provide some additional information that may help recognize how many problems there are at Walmart.
Employees evacuated from Walmart in Miami Garden 05/01/2020
Yukon man shoplifts from Okla. Walmart 05/01/2020
Lakewood man charged with mooning customers at Brick NJ Walmart 05/01/2020
Bloomington Woman Arrested After Stealing Items From Ind. Walmart 05/01/2020
38 additional Walmart employees at Massachusetts store test positive for coronavirus 05/02/2020
81 coronavirus cases at Worcester Walmart, city says 05/02/2020
Sumter sheriff seeks help nabbing tire bandit who ripped off Fla. Villages Wal-Mart 05/02/2020
Dodge City, Kansas Walmart to close for weekend 05/02/2020
New Drive-Thru Testing Coming to Miami-Dade Fla. Walmart 05/03/2020
Second potential coronavirus exposure at East Syracuse NY Walmart; bus passenger also tested positive 05/03/2020
Previously banned shoplifter accused of stealing from NY Walmart again 05/03/2020
Drive-thru coronavirus testing site opening at Orlando Fla. Walmart 05/01/2020
Orange County Fla. Walmart offering free coronavirus testing 05/04/2020
Woman loading groceries into vehicle arrested at Buffalo Ridge Fla. Wal-Mart 05/04/2020
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer to stop by Walmart COVID-19 testing site 05/05/2020
Midlothian Va. Walmart evacuated due to ‘haze of smoke in the grocery area’ 05/04/2020
False claim: Walmart, Amazon, Target, Kroger, Costco have not had reported cases of coronavirus among employees 05/04/2020 They've had many.
COUPLE SOUGHT IN WHITE TOWNSHIP PA. WALMART THEFT 05/05/2020
Bedford Ind. Man Arrested After Report Of Intoxicated Person At Walmart 05/04/2020
Police: Several Bose headphones stolen from Virginia Beach Walmart 05/04/2020
2 suspects arrested with stolen trailer after bystander flags down police in Utah Walmart parking lot 05/05/2020
As Seen at Twin Falls Idaho Walmart 05/04/2020
Coronavirus ‘very scary’ in senior living; masks go over your nose; do better, Walmart! (briefing 5/5) 05/05/2020
Big investors, Walmart heiress help fund anti-Trump super PAC airing ‘Mourning in America’ ad 05/05/2020
Warehouse Giant Seeing Insatiable Demand From Amazon, Walmart 05/05/2020
Wetumpka Alabama police searching for Walmart theft suspect 05/06/2020
Gallup NM Walmart to close for one day due to coronavirus 05/06/2020
Walmart donates toys to Ansonia, Conn. mayor decides to gift them to children with birthdays in the town 05/06/2020
Signs posted at Walmart reminding customers to wear masks 05/04/2020 TestNebraska starts work in Grand Island
Pa. State police seek help in finding Walmart theft suspects 05/05/2020
Walmart to open second COVID-19 test site in North Las Vegas Nevada 05/06/2020
Letter: Please wear a mask in Elko Nevada Walmart 05/06/2020
Convicted shoplifter arrested again at Ariz. Walmart 05/06/2020
Sumter sheriff’s detectives searching for bandits who targeted Villages Wal-Mart 05/07/2020
Knoxville Tenn. police asking for help identifying Walmart theft suspect 05/08/2020
Artesia man charged with criminal trespass for third time at Walmart 05/08/2020
Are dressing rooms open at NC stores? Target, Walmart, Belk & Macy's policies 05/0/2020 As of right now, Target and Walmart in our area have their dressing rooms closed. Belk stores are also temporarily closing fitting rooms.
Kentucky Men Arrested for Stealing Over $1,000 From Indiana Walmart 05/08/2020
Janesville Wisc. police investigate $600 worth of dog food, diapers stolen from Walmart 05/07/2020
Affidavit: Oklahoma Walmart shooting happened after one victim was ‘walking too slowly’ in parking lot 05/07/2020
Twitter, Walmart, Equifax and others dropped by S&P from its ESG index, while Costco is newly included 05/07/2020
Live updates: Walmart to open additional COVID-19 drive-thru testing site in Dallas Tx. 05/08/2020
Police: Report of disorderly female in Marion SC Walmart leads to man’s arrest on drug charges 05/08/2020
Pennsylvania man charged with burglary at Seneca Falls NY Walmart 05/08/2020
Mississippi YMCAs receive $20,000 donation from Walmart 05/07/2020
FBI warns of threat made targeting El Paso Tx. Walmart stores 05/08/2020
Elizabeth Warren, other Massachusetts Democrats probe Walmart on store with more than 80 coronavirus cases 05/08/2020
7 Major Ways Walmart Won't Be the Same After Coronavirus 05/07/2020
VIDEO: Suspect Caught On Camera Stealing Customer’s Wallet At South Philly Pa. Walmart 05/08/2020
Man gets 50 years for killing woman, driving body to Colorado Springs Walmart in April 2019 05/08/2020
Joliet Ill. Walmart Shoplifting Suspect Arrested 05/10/2020
EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Abilene youth pastor spotted at Walmart in Mexico weeks before arrest 05/10/2020
Quincy Mass. Walmart Where Employee Died From Coronavirus Reopens 05/11/2020
Homeless man arrested after loading up backpack at Fla. Wal-Mart in The Villages 05/11/2020
Auburn NY police release surveillance image of masked man who shoved employee in Walmart robbery on April 26 05/11/2020
Health Board says at least one positive coronavirus test came from Rapid City SD Walmart 05/11/2020
Funeral services held for Guillermo ‘Memo’ Garcia, 23rd victim of the Aug. 3 El Paso Tx. Walmart shooting 05/11/2020
STATE POLICE LOOKING FOR THEFT SUSPECT FROM WHITE TOWNSHIP PA. WALMART 05/12/2020
Trial set for November in Jan. 13, 2018 Mississippi Walmart murder case 05/18/2020
Man Wanted For Stealing From Long Island NY Walmart 05/11/2020
Walmart to give employees another round of cash bonuses for working during pandemic 05/12/2020
‘They’re trying to say I put something in my pocket’: NJ Walmart security helps man with proposal 05/13/2020
Afternoon Briefs: License yanked for barber who wouldn't close; fired Walmart lawyer sues 05/13/2020
St. Mary's County Ca. Sheriff's Office Seeking Identity for Theft Suspect at Walmart 05/13/2020
Field Agent finds Walmart's store brands deliver on price, perception 05/13/2020
Michael Lipetzky of ND Walmart Receives Customer Service Award 05/1/2020
Valenzuela takes over Douglas Ariz. Walmart 05/13/2020
Walmart launching six COVID-19 testing sites across the state, including 3 in Indy 05/14/2020
State Representative Price announces free COVID-19 testing at 3 Amarillo Tx. Walmarts 05/14/2020
Utica NY Police Investigate Threat At North Utica Walmart 05/14/2020
COVID-19 drive-thru test site opens at Jonesboro Arkansas Walmart 05/15/2020
Walmart’s Latest Statement About Its New Express Delivery Program Is Tone Deaf 05/15/2020
Do you recognize these Beavercreek Ohio Walmart theft suspects? 05/15/2020
Police: Employee stole $13K+ worth of electronics from North Smithfield RI Walmart 05/15/2020
Help police ID man accused of taking items from Forest City NC Walmart without paying for them 05/15/2020
Police: Saddle Brook NJ Detective Outwits Walmart Electronics Thieves 05/15/2020
Three wanted after retail theft at Walmart in Dixon, Illinois 05/14/2020
Summerfield man popped for petit theft in Volkswagen outside Fla. Wal-Mart 05/16/2020
El Paso Tx. Walmart mass shooter cases inch closer to trial despite COVID-19 pandemic 05/18/2020
$330 Worth of Liquor Stolen From Fla. Walmart 05/14/2020
Wilmington NC worker gets shout out from Walmart, LeBron James for keeping store safe 05/17/2020
Police: 2 women stole credit cards in Byron, used them at Ga. Walmart 05/18/2020
Summerfield man arrested after alleged pricetag switching at Fla. Wal-Mart 05/18/2020
SUSPECT IDENTIFIED IN THEFT FROM PURSE AT PA. WALMART 05/19/2020
JUDGE: TX. WALMART EMPLOYEE PREVIOUSLY TESTED POSITIVE 05/19/2020
Warrington Pa. Walmart Evacuated Tuesday 05/19/2020
Twenty new COVID-19 deaths confirmed in Kentucky; Beshear announces Walmart testing site in Paducah 05/19/2020
Police Blotter: "Previous Shoplifter" Back At Lookout Valley Tenn. Walmart; Woman Leaves Husband To Spend Night With Another Man, But Nothing Insidious Going On 05/20/2020
Wood River Ill. Police Looks for Person After Accidental Cart Incident at Walmart 05/19/2020
Palatine Ill. Blotter: 2 Charged With Retail Theft At Walmart 05/21/2020
JUDGE: 27TH CASE WAS ANOTHER TX. WALMART EMPLOYEE 05/21/2020
Oro Valley Ariz. police look for thieves who stole 'Magic' cards from Walmart 05/21/2020
Walmart in Pearl Mississippi given all clear after air conditioning unit pumps smoke into store 05/21/2020
Purchased PlayStation 4 stolen from shopping cart at Dearborn Mich. Walmart 05/22/2020
Blotter: Woman left Tx. Walmart wearing clothes she allegedly stole 05/21/2020
Individual Steals Over $1300 Worth of Items at Winter Haven Fla. Walmart 05/21/2020
Hogan and Walmart Announce Additional COVID-19 Test Sites in Maryland 05/22/2020
Walmart Responds to Food Bank Need 05/22/2020
Faribault Minn. Walmart temporarily closes for cleaning following COVID-19 cases 05/22/2020
A Walmart Employee’s Poem About Solidarity Has Made Him an Advertising Star 05/21/2020
Sprinkler goes off in Auburn Ind. Walmart 05/22/2020
Walmart begins COVID-19 testing at 7 New Jersey stores 05/23/2020
Leitchfield Walmart one of 7 in KY to test for COVID-19 05/23/2020
Jackson Mississippi Walmart enforces face mask requirement to all shoppers 05/23/2020
‘Strong’ after Walmart mass shooting, El Paso Tx. now very vulnerable to coronavirus 05/23/2020
Hundreds participate in birthday parade for 1-year-old El Paso Tx. Walmart shooting survivor 05/23/2020
Fake $100 bills used at Bellevue Wisc. Walmart could be tied to crime organization outside Wisconsin 05/2/2020
Athens Pa. Police seek help for Walmart theft suspect 05/23/2020
Police arrest Alabama Walmart thief 05/24/2020
Owner of a dog locked in vehicle at NY Walmart argues with officer 05/25/2020
Three workers lose essential status after stealing from Walmart: Bainbridge Township Ohio police blotter 05/26/2020
3 women suspected of stealing from Lewis Center Ohio Walmart 05/27/2020
Man arrested after stealing beer from Sebastian Fla. Walmart 05/26/2020
Coronavirus cluster emerges at distribution center near Walmart in Worcester Mass. 05/27/2020
Health Dept. warns of potential COVID-19 exposure at Springfield Missouri Walmart 05/27/2020
Police reports: Arrested at Butte Montana Walmart; excavator damaged; message of 'love'; handgun missing 05/27/2020
Two Snyder Tx. Walmart employees positive for COVID-19 05/27/2020
Potential exposure to COVID-19 at Cortland Walmart 05/27/2020
Man Attempts to Return Stolen Merchandise at Wisc. Walmart 05/27/2020
Latest Attempt to 'Unmask' Theft Suspect, Richland Wash. Walmart 05/27/2020
ATF makes arrest near Somers Wisc. Walmart 05/28/2020
Two dogs locked in vehicle in NY Walmart parking lot 05/28/2020
Potential COVID-19 Exposure at Cortland, NY Walmart 05/27/2020
Man exposing himself at Hot Springs Arkansas Walmart, police searching for information 05/29/2020
Walmart reportedly to allow tech employees to work remotely even post-pandemic 05/28/2020
Man sought for allegedly stealing $1K in calculators at Spring Tx. Walmart 05/28/2020
UPS Slaps 'Peak' Surcharge On Amazon, Walmart, Others, As Delivery Requests Balloon Post Lockdown Ease 05/29/2020
Police respond to Walmart retail theft in Lower Nazareth Twp. Pa. 05/30/2020
Malcolm Wilson and one other arrested for allegedly breaking into Mass. Walmart early on Saturday morning 05/30/2020
Tx. Walmart Theft Complaint Results In Felony Arrest 05/30/2020
Summerville SC protesters march from Walmart to Hutchinson Square 05/31/2020
Fruitland Park man arrested after paying unwelcome visit to Wal-Mart 05/31/2020
Mid-South West Memphis Arkansas Walmart locations temporarily closed for safety purposes 05/31/2020
Walmart closes stores around St. Louis Missouri as a precaution during George Floyd protests 05/31/2020
Laurinburg NC Walmart closes early, boards up windows 05/31/2020
Most Walmart stores in Salt Lake County Utah closed early tonight 05/31/2020
Aberdeen NC Walmart closes due to protesters 05/31/2020
Walmart closed in several locations throughout North Utica NY area 05/31/2020
Walmart in High Point NC closed due to protestors 05/31/2020
Saraland Alabama Walmart closes early, possible threat of riots on social media 05/31/2020
Looters run in and out of Walmart in Fayetteville, NC steal big screen TVs 05/31/2020
Walmart in Peru Ill. closing as a precautionary measure 05/31/2020
Protesters, police avoid confrontation at NC Walmart 05/31/2020