Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Is the militarization of the police leading to escalation of violence including Vegas shooting?

This is the second part of a review of Radley Balko's book and an attempt to Debunk or confirm “The Rise of the Warrior Cop” which did more to confirm the sources that he cited. Additional information from other sources indicates that the militarization of the police isn't addressing many of the root causes of crime in many city's. On several occasions in his book Radley Balko briefly implied this by saying that root causes no longer matter, at least not to the politicians that make decisions. On top of that in some cases the militarization of the police, combined with ignoring the root causes, might actually be leading to smaller reductions in crimes or in some cases an end to the reduction in crime that could see rises in crime.

Many people have been given the impression by the hype from the media that crime has already been rising, but in most cases that hasn't been true, so far. This may include the recent shooting in Las Vegas which might have been partially incited by an excessive raid, if Jerad Miller's post below is presented accurately. It appears that while many people that haven't been confronted directly with excessive police force those that have, including Jerad Miller have been paying much more attention to the large numbers of these cases, and they may also be responding to exaggerations in some cases.

Apparently while these SWAT raids have been rising rapidly over the past couple of decades violent crime has, for the most part, been dropping; and if anything the evidence that I have seen including some that has been cited by Radley Balko in the following excerpts indicates that it is almost certainly not because of the SWAT raids or an increase in police presence, although in some cases politicians attempted to make it seem as if it was for that reason.

That sentiment won the day. The Justice Department withheld the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) data showing improved crime statistics for DC (in 1970) until after Nixon signed the DC crime bill into law. The administration then released the numbers and took credit for them. But the Nixonites also continued to keep the results from the methadone program close to the vest. ..... Complete article

A 2005 report by the Government Accountability Office found that while the violent crime rate dropped 32 percent between 1993 and 2000, at most, the COPS program accounted for 2.5 percent of that decrease, and at a cost of $8 billion. A 2007 analysis in the peer-reviewed academic journal Criminology concluded that “COPS spending had little to no effect on crime.” .... Complete article

Proponents of police militarization will argue that these figures show that militarization is working—it’s making cops safer. It’s a convenient way to frame the debate. If police fatalities go up, it’s an indication that criminals are getting more dangerous and cops need more firepower. If police fatalities go down, it means militarization is working. But it’s far from clear that bigger guns and more aggressive tactics are responsible for the drop. For example, assaults on police officers have also been dropping, a statistic that isn’t explained by cops in SWAT gear performing more drug raids. The most likely explanation is that killings of police officers have declined for the same reasons the overall crime rate has dropped over roughly the same period. (Criminologists are still fighting over what those reasons are.) Complete article

An article from Mother Jones, America's Real Criminal Element: Lead, which may not come to all the right conclusions either, does point out numerous statistics about crime including the claim that "violent crime actually peaked in New York City in 1990, four years before the Giuliani-Bratton era," and long before they escalated this foolish policy of stop and frisk, which they claimed reduced crime. This article also points out the statistics indicating that violent crime have gone down elsewhere as well; and reminds people of previous claims that there was a coming epidemic of "juvenile super-predators" coming as a result of a growing number of young males. this epidemic never materialized. When they repeatedly support their political agenda with misrepresented rese4arch, whether it is the withholding of statistics in the 1970's or attributing stop and frisk policies for a reduction in crime that began before the stop and frisk policies, it is bound to have a negative impact on crime although in this case it might involve reductions in crime that could have been bigger than they were instead of increases in crimes, at least not yet. The 2012 FBI crime reports indicates that it didn't drop that year, instead there was a slight increase.

His conclusions is supported by an article from Techdirt, Number Of Officers Killed In The Line Of Duty Drops To 50-Year Low While Number Of Citizens Killed By Cops Remains Unchanged. As for the claim that "Criminologists are still fighting over what those reasons are" for the drop in crime; I have no doubt that this is true; however some of this fighting is almost certainly due to incompetence or political influence and other biases which can easily be recognized by people that know a little about some of the contributing causes. In addition to misrepresenting studies for political purposes, one major indicator of this might be some of the criminologists, psychologists, attorney's and other so-called professionals that are presented to the public in high profile manners on entertainment programs like Nancy Grace, Jane Velez-Mitchell and Drew Pinsky.

These are among the worst so-called experts that I can imagine including those that actually do get some coverage from the commercial media, and the best experts don't.

Do any rational and sincere people actually believe that the experts on these shows have any credibility at all? Can there be much if any doubt that they're far more concerned about using this for entertainment purposes, and presumably selling advertising, than they are reporting the news accurately, and educating the public about methods that could significantly reduce crime?

The problem isn't that some of the sincere academic researchers don't know what the root causes of crime are and how to reduce it despite disagreement within the academic community. The problem is almost certainly that the so-called experts that serve the political interests of the elites, or that increased profits for those that control the media have far more opportunity to get their views across.

Has anyone heard criticism from the American Psychological Association or any other academic group? A relatively quick search of the internet, including a search of the APA web site didn't turn up any. Why wouldn't they be speaking out about this if it is so obvious to many people without the so-called expertise that many of the academics featured on these shows?

This almost certainly raises some doubts about part of the reason why criminologists can't agree on the causes of the drops in violent crime; however as I attempted to explain in Corruption or Bias in the American Psychological Association this doesn't mean that there aren't good psychologists that understand why it is dropping, or at least part of the reason. Many of these academic sources have done their best to present their work to the public even if they don't get help from the traditional media and perhaps in at least some cases the reason they aren't so outspoken against Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell is because it might only turn it into a shouting match and without access the the traditional media they would almost certainly lose even if their work is much better.

As I indicated in Ignored evidence linking corporal punishment, poverty and crime grows one of the leading causes for the drop in violent crime is almost certainly because of drops in abuse of children over the past several decades as the result of improved education of parents about methods of raising their children that escalated when Benjamin Spock was educating the public decades ago. Other research indicates that media violence and gambling almost certainly lead to increased crime; but these haven't been decreasing so they probably aren't a leading contributing cause. When considering the escalating riots during the holiday season, theft of shallow items like Christmas decoration and murders over $200 Air Jordans it is a real possibility that deceptive advertising and hype might also be contributing cause to crime. But all these along with the rise in SWAT raids have been increasing while crime has been dropping.

More importantly one of the reasons to believe that, if anything, the increase4 in reliance on SWAT raids hasn't helped reduce the number of cops killed is that over two dozen of them have been killed or injured on these raids according to The Cato Institutes map of Botched Paramilitary Police Raids. This almost certainly indicates that the reduction of police deaths would have been even greater if not for the use of these SWAT raids.

A Wonkette Blog, Vegas Cop Killer Jerad Miller Was An Alex Jones Fan. You Know What That Means (FALSE FLAG), links to the following excerpt, posted over two years ago, which might indicate the possibility that the recent shootings at Cici's and Walmart in Las Vegas might have been partially incited by an overly aggressive raid years ago that may have given Jerad what he considered reason to hate the police, although there is good reason to be skeptical of at least some of it. Typos were preserved as he allegedly wrote them.

The Police (to kill or not to kill?)

May 28, 2012 in Guns, Offbeat, Politics, Preparedness, Resistance

by jerad (Miller??)

I stand at a point in my life where I am on probation for selling marijuana. I take urine screens frequently and I am forced to take drug classes I do not need. Before I got arrested I had 2 jobs and was selling weed to my friends and family on the side. Now I cannot find a job. My probation officer states that if I protest that my probation will be violated. They have tried to tell my fiance, who has no criminal record, that she may not own a firearm if I live in the house. Now, i face a dire problem. At any time the police could show up to my house and enter it for any reason at all, because, since I’m on probation aparently I dont have my 4th amendment right and neither does my fiance. I live in Indiana and recently a law was passed named the right to resist law. As i can make out from it, if a police officer kicks in my door and is not there legally, then I may shoot him. But what is legal? A warrant signed by a judge? What if that judge however enforces unconstitutional laws? Locks people in cages for putting a substance into their bodies. I was arrested for a crime, that is a felony, yet i hurt no one. Never laid a hand on a person or their property. Was selling something on the black market that is in high demand. Yet there is no victim in the crime i committed, so how can that be a felony charge? A charge that takes my 1st, 2nd, and 4th right away? How can this be? Do I really live in a free country? So here I sit today pondering………….

Before I go any further however, i would like to tell you a story about a friend of mine. He got charged with a misdomenor for having a marijuana pipe on him. He was released from jail and he was given the wrong court date. He then had an arrest warrant out for him. I was at his house late one night playing a video game with him. A knock on the door came. He opened the door and cops shoved him to the ground and came rushing in guns drawn. several of the police officers were wearing ski masks. 2 police officers then shoved guns in my face fingers on the triggers as the rest swept the house. They pulled his father who was asleep from his bed and dragged him into the living room. I was ordered to lay face down on the floor as they searched me. Finally after running my name they uncuffed me and his father and took my friend to jail. Before we knew what was going on it was over and I felt as if I had taken a trip back in time to nazi germany.

Now, that was my last encounter with police officers. I’m afraid they may try to do some stuff like that to my fiance and I. For the most part, I’m a law abiding citizen. I believe in Gods law. You know the ones. Dont steal, dont murder, etc. I fear that if they came, even with a warrant, that I feel they are being unlawfull and infringing upon my rights. I feel that I have been violated and tread upon. That the so called justice system has done me harm. I do not wish to kill police. I understand that most of them believe they are doing the right thing. Yet, I will not go to jail, because I have not committed a crime! I would rather die than be labeled as a criminal. Let them call me a terrorist. Let them label me as a fanatic, some nut job. I know the truth, and so does God. I’m sure our founding fathers were labeled as such. Call me a radical, i will wear that badge with pride. Because America is a radical idea! Brought up upon radical thinking. That each man has constitutional rights that are God given and cannot be taken away no matter what. I refuse to stand by and let them dictate my life. My family loves me, my neighbors love me. I do good for the community, more than any cop can claim. How can a police officer have a consience arresting people who have done nothing to harm a fellow american? How can they sleep at night? I wouldnt be able to. So as i reflect, I’m being pushed further and further into a corner. I am like a wild coyote. You corner me, I will fight to the death. I love America, i love the idea of it. I am broken hearted tho to see people so pacified by materealism and obsession with hollywood stars. It is our duty as American citizens to stand against tyranny. To stand against corruption at all levels. How did this happen? That patriots like me could be resting under the boot of tyrants, and as i plead for help from my fellow americans they just walk on by. All the while thinking, at least its not happening to me. Yet, the sad thing is, it is happening to them. So, do I kill cops and make a stand when they come to get me? I would prefer to die than sit in their jail, when I have done nothing to hurt anyone. Complete article

First of all, even if this is a true story no reasonable person would come to the conclusion that his response, shooting two cops that had nothing to do with the raid, is a reasonable response or effort to reverse the excessive police raids. This would be especially true for people that have looked into the subject from more reliable sources than Alex Jones, including Radley Balko, who has reported on some indications that some long overdue reform might be coming and police officers or ex-police officers like David Couper might be providing alternative methods to policing that could be escalated if more people knew about them.

There are several indications that this post is probably from the Same Jerad including the fact that both he and Amanda used their own names and he said he was in Indiana and apparently Las Vegas shooting suspects had Indiana connection. Also other news stories have reported on his links to Alex Jones. Also Wonkette hardly seems any more credible than Alex Jones, who at least acknowledges the serious problem of excessive SWAT raids, even if he does get carried away and come up with conspiracy theories that most rational people won't waste their time on.

Even if you don't believe Jerad's story about a raid at his friends house it does fit a pattern of behavior that has been repeated over and over again and reported by several sources including less reliable ones like Jones and more reliable sources like the Washington Post and Radley Balko who is now apparently a Washington Post reporter. The Cato Institute map reports about over a hundred raids on innocent people including dozens where they were killed and many more where the offense was nonviolent and the means would seem extreme to any rational person.

You don't have to agree with someone like Jerad Miller to acknowledge that a lot of people would be very angry about this and if they couldn't get reparations or reform that would make them even angrier.

As I indicated before there are many people in this country that have little or no idea that these excessive raids are happening at all, or if they here about some of them, they think it has nothing to do with them and the people that are being raided deserve it. I suspect that many of these people have good reason to believe this, since the media does such a lousy job reporting on many things.

People that are aware of this and feel that they have little or no legal options are much more likely to be sympathetic to arguments like Jerad Miller's or Cop Block: When should you shoot a cop? by Larken Rose. This is especially true if they have had some first hand experience with some of the more aggressive police departments in the country. It doesn't take much watching of the news to realize that some of the more extreme police activities and high crime areas happen in the same cities. Many of the most violent reports about police brutality come from areas where they have to deal with high crime and they respond with even more violence, so it only escalates. There have been plenty of these stories in cities like Chicago, Los Angelas, New York and other high crime areas.

Jonathan Kozol almost certainly provided a very good description of the background that precedes some of these violent crimes in "Savage Inequalities" and "The Shame of the Nation," although he focuses primarily on the inequalities in the education system, not how it escalates to more violent crime in adults. He reports on the inequalities of the education system in many of the areas where the highest percentage of blacks live and in most if not all cases they also have among the highest crime rates.

Kozol doesn't report much about the crimes of adults but he does report about how little opportunities children have and how they're taught in authoritarian manners that would be unacceptable in white communities. These children are often trained in public schools how to prepare for low level jobs like fast food or sewing, without much if any consideration of the possibility that they might be able to get better jobs, either in better paying trades, like construction, or mechanics or college educated jobs.

Jonathan Kozol also reviews how much less funding these schools have and in some cases how they also have to put up with much greater threats to their environment and how they're often raised in areas that might be violent.

Thanks to the authoritarian manner that many of these children are educated with they're accustomed to being treated as if they might be guilty of something before they get to be teens or young adults and are now subject to arbitrary stop and frisk policies that would be as unacceptable as the education methods in wealthier communities, however people like Michael Bloomberg and Ray Kelly simply ignore this civil rights violation or the possibility that part of the reason some minorities might wind up involved in criminal activity might be because they were treated like criminals before they were criminals and they had few if any other decent opportunities.

It is hard to doubt that children brought up in these surroundings could possibly have much opportunities that many of us brought up in other areas with better educational and job opportunities have. It should also be easier to understand how many of these children wind up involved in crime when the only opportunities in these areas might be illegal or involve gangs. When many children advocates ask for more money for programs they're often faced with the claim that "you can't just throw money at the problem and expect it to be fixed."

This argument has some truth to it but it is also true that you can't just withhold money and expect all these problems to be fixed. The people that make this argument rarely, if ever, consider the possibility that they should at least try to spend money on programs that actually work and allow scrutiny to prevent it from being wasted. This argument, as Jonathan Kozol points out repeatedly, is much less credible when you consider why they don't apply it to those in wealthier communities that get much more money for their education. Furthermore the flaws in this argument are even more obvious when you consider the amount of money they're willing to spend on prisons, court costs, and authoritarian police tactics that only lead to escalating violence. On top of that when many raids go wrong they have to spend additional money defending their tactics and in some cases the government gets stuck with the tab for losing multimillion dollar law suits for disasters that never would have happened if not for excessive reliance on militarized police raids for all the wrong reasons.

The most common justification for these SWAT raids isn't violent people, as the police often imply or say, but drugs. I suspect that they're much more common in lower income areas although there are some high profile exceptions, which almost certainly are more likely to get much more media attention. One of the most recent and outrageous of these raids is one where a toddler was seriously injured by a flash bang grenade that was thrown into his crib by the police, just before three o'clock in the morning and the sheriff defended this action by claiming it was the drug dealer that was a terrorist, as indicated in the following excerpt:

Drug task force that killed an innocent pastor in 2009 also involved in burned toddler story

..... “The person I blame in this whole thing is the person selling the drugs,” Terrell said. “Wanis Thonetheva, that’s the person I blame in all this. They are no better than a domestic terrorist, because they don’t care about families – they didn’t care about the family, the children living in that household – to be selling dope out of it, to be selling methamphetamine out of it. All they care about is making money. ..... Complete article

Cornelia police Chief Rick Darby was a little more tactful when he said:

Toddler critically burned during SWAT raid

..... “You're trying to minimize anything that could go wrong and in this case the greatest thing went wrong, Is it going to make us be more careful in the next one? Yes ma'am, it is. It's gonna make us double question.” ..... Complete article

This claim might sound more credible if it was the first time this had happened but as the first article about this raid points out some of the same people involved in this one were also involved in at least one other disastrous raid; and if you review the long history of botched raids escalating over the last few decades then you might find that many of them have made similar claims when something goes wrong and they ahve also made similar lame excuses like calling the drug dealers terrorists.

If additional consideration was given to the history the US government has in drug running or complicity with drug runners through the allies of the CIA it becomes even more clear that the so-called drug war is a farce, and it always has been. One of the highest profile reports about how the CIA has either been involved in drug running and even allowed it to get into East Los Angelas and other places was Gary Webb's articles "Dark Alliance" which originally appeared in the San Jose Mercury News and a more detailed follow up book by the same name, "Dark Alliance." This report was initially embraced by Gary Webb's superiors but after he was under pressure from powerful sources including the CIA his editor abandoned him and the traditional press debunked work, or at least they claimed that it ahd no credibility. However they didn't review it in the same manner that I did with "The Rise of the Warrior Cop” by confirming or refuting the sources. Instead they ridiculed it and implied that it was embraced only by the African American community without checking many of the sources cited by Gary Webb. At one point they simply asked the CIA if it was true and they said no.

So they reported their denial without any fact checking at all.

If they had checked some of the facts they would have found that one of his sources was a government report about an investigation by John Kerry, which hardly got any media coverage at the time. This was during the Iran-contra hearings which got all the headlines at the time but the report is still available, The Kerry Report formally called "Selections from the Senate Committee Report on Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy" chaired by Senator John F. Kerry this is also available in PDF format.

This isn't the first reports about complicity with drug running or the last; Alfred McCoy reported on this dating back to the Vietnam war and he followed up on it with some updates that took place as recently as the war in Afghanistan and numerous other investigators have also fact checked it and reported their sources in a much more effective manner than those who allegedly debunked them in the traditional media, although they didn't do this in a credible manner that involved checking facts.

The implication, if you consider the inadequate opportunities for poor people, the complicity with drug smuggling and the overly aggressive enforcement of selective drug crimes, is that this is a complex form of entrapment for those with the least amount of political power.

Some of these reports are in the following books or pages:

Alfred McCoy The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade This appears to be the first addition published in the seventies; it was followed up by a second and third edition with additional material that occurs in the eighties nineties and shortly after the turn of the century.

Celerino Castillo III "Powderburns" book

Celerino Castillo III "Powderburns" Home page

Similar methods should be made to debunk Jerad Miller's, Info War's or other claims including those of Media Matters in Alex Jones Alleges That Las Vegas Cop Ambush Was "Absolutely Staged" By Harry Reid And Other Conspirators. More often than not I have found that Media Matters ahs been fairly reliable; but in this case I suspect they could have done a better job reviewing this assuming they took the time to check some of their sources and Jerad's sources, often Info Wars. There has been a significant amount of speculation about the possibility that Alex Jones might have been responsible for inciting Jerad and Amanda Miller; and there might be some truth to that, since he does exaggerate things and come to some strange conspiracy theories, as his critics routinely point out.

However a close look at his reporting and fact checking it with other sources might confirm a significant portion of it making the exaggerations seem far more credible, especially to people that are already emotionally unstable. One of the claims that Jerad Miller allegedly makes or reposts from someone else is that "you're 8x more likely to be killed by a police officer than a terrorist." This claim has apparently been wide spread on the internet and I'm not positive of the original source for this claim, perhaps it's Fear of Terror Makes People Stupid, which seems to be based on 2003 but if you go back fifteen years and include the 9/11 attacks then this would mean that there have to be well over 24,000 killings from police; and this is virtually out of the question. If on the other hand you only go back ten years and limit it to the United States it is almost certainly a far more reasonable claim, or at least it might seem to be.

According to the Atlantic Magazine, The Irrationality of Giving Up This Much Liberty to Fight Terror from a statistical point of view the fear of terrorism is greatly exaggerated since only a miniscule fraction of people are killed by terrorists, even including 9/11 compared to many other causes, including diabetes, drunk driving deaths and guns. This doesn't specify police but a List of killings by law enforcement officers in the United States indicates that there are hundreds of people killed by police every year. A close look at the details of most of these quickly implies that they're under circumstances that most citizens wouldn't expect to be involved in and many people might think they're justifiable homicide, at least at a quick glance,, although it would be hard to tell whether a closer look would confirm that. Cato's list of Botched Paramilitary Police Raids cited by Jim Harper, who also claims You’re Eight Times More Likely to be Killed by a Police Officer than a Terrorist, does a better job citing the ones that have killed innocent people and this number is far smaller but it is more than enough for concern and it is more than enough to make a lot of people including Jerad Miller angry about it.

It doesn't take much searching to find some of the articles that have been cited indirectly by Jerad Miller or Infowars, through the Media Matters article and they include plenty that should be considered real concerns about excessive behavior of the police, even for people that don't support Alex Jones or Jerad Miller's position on gun control or their conspiracy theories. These reports backed up by alternative sources either cited by Infowars or that can easily be found on the internet include a woman that was terrorized in her own home by marshals, several incidents where police randomly treated everyone as potential suspects, and an incident where police shot two innocent women while pursuing another cop who was also a cop killer.

That's right, not to long ago Christopher Dorner, a former cop killed another cop and they had a manhunt for him. The following are a few of the stories cited by Jerad that I quickly found:

Info Wars: AP Photo: Checkpoint Cops Point Guns at Americans’ Heads

LA police shoot women in hunt for cop-killer Christopher Dorner "Officers assigned to protect another police official whom Dorner had threatened shot two women on Thursday morning. One of the women – who had been delivering newspapers in Torrance, south of Los Angeles – was shot in the hand, the other in the back. ...."

Florida Nurse Terrorized by US Marshals in Warrantless Raid

Lyons: Police raid felt like home invasion 'Goldsberry wasn't arrested or shot despite pointing a gun at a cop, so Wiggins said, “She sure shouldn't be going to the press.”'

Info Wars: Senate Doorkeeper Gives Out “Thank You Capitol Police” Buttons After Cops Execute Mother

CNN: Woman killed during D.C. chase was shot five times from behind, autopsy shows

Simply blaming all of this on right wing extremists without acknowledging the problems with the police won't do much to solve this problem, although it might temporarily appease many members of the public that often don't look to closely at these stories. Blaming all these events on white wing extremists associated with InfoWars is also flawed when you consider that many of the people they report as victims of police violence are minorities. you would think that left wingers would welcome this, but perhaps not when things get to partisan. Even if they do catch some of the potentially violent people before they strike out like Jerad Miller did they won't be able to catch them all. Ironically it is hard to imagine why they wouldn't have known about Jerad Miller before he went on his shooting spree since he broadcasted it so widely on the internet and this is supposedly what their NSA spying program is intended to prevent.

One of the legitimate concerns that InfoWars expresses is about an Indiana Sheriff who says: We Need Military Equipment Because "The United States of America has become a war zone;" if this is true it is partially because the police are escalating violence instead of preventing it in many cases. However it is mostly because politicians and the media continue to ignore the most important root causes of what causes violence to escalate including child abuse that escalates to more violence later in life and inadequate resources to educate children and solve social problems before thy escalate.

Violence among police isn't nearly as uncommon as people think even at home, Police domestic violence is nearly twice average rate. Part of the reason for this is presumably that they're often raised in the same authoritarian manner that causes escalating violence in other people as well; this is often part of the reason some of them want to be police officers, so they can be in a position of power. As David Couper pointed out Hazing and Bullying in the Police Academy only contributes to the escalation of violence and lack of accountability in police departments.

In many cases the worst police officers probably wind up in the most violent cities since the wealthier cities are less likely to hire them and the violent ones have a harder times finding less violent police officers. These cities are often less able to hold their police accountable since they're often the poorest where the citizens have the least amount of political power.

The more effective way to solve these problems should clearly be to provide the resources to prevent them from escalating not to increase the escalation and it doesn't help much when 21 sub-machine guns stolen from LAPD SWAT and even a Juvenile is accused of stealing guns from SWAT vehicle charged or even worse a Man goes on a Rampage in Stolen Tank before eventually being killed himself.

This should be as much of a concern of those concerned with gun control as it is with those on the right wing that are more concerned with protecting the second amendment even when it means allowing mentally ill or irrational people to have guns; since the excessive use of force by police is giving them a legitimate complaint even if some of their other complaints might not be so credible. This could, and in some parts of the country may already be, leading to an arms race between rogue elements and SWAT teams, some of which aren't behaving much better than the rogue elements.

Gun manufacturers won't complain about this.

The immediate problem may be to restore accountability for police departments that are most heavily involved in excessive force but in some cases, due to pressure from the public this may have already begun; although it may be mostly tokenism for now. Some police at lower levels are being charged although in most cases, even when there are convictions they aren't faced with nearly as high penalties as other people. The bigger problem is that politicians who make decisions and police commissioners who run police departments still don't seem to face much if any accountability at all. In rare cases under extreme pressure they might leave office, at least temporarily; but, as far as I know they never face criminal charges, and they generally wind up with other powerful positions at a lower profile.

Anyone paying close enough attention to news, at least from alternative news outlets might not be surprised but a study by Professors Martin Gilens of Princeton University and Benjamin Page of Northwestern University has raised major doubts about whether this is a democracy or an Oligarchy. This has been reviewed by numerous sources in the alternative media including The Black Agenda Report but the traditional media has almost completely ignored it; which is part of the reason why the government doesn't respond to the public.

If a growing percentage of the public starts relying more on alternative media outlets demanding more from their politicians and even electing alternative candidates that the traditional media refuses to cover then perhaps this will begin to change.

The following are some of the web pages that compile lists of excessive police force or misbehavior; feel free to fact check those that you might think ar biased:

List of killings by law enforcement officers in the United States

Innocents Down

Police State USA

Cop Block

Police Scandals: Deadly Force

The Free Thought Project: Americans Killed by Cops Now Outnumber Americans Killed in Iraq War

On top of that there are a plenty more that may or may not be listed on one of the previous pages including the following the following, some of which are covered by both those that consider themselves right wing or left:

Debunking the Myths of the 2013 Law Enforcement Assassination 'Trend' 04/04/2013

Think Progress: Police Officer Screams At Asian American Suspect: ‘I’ll Put You In A UPS Box And Send You Back’

Info wars: Chicago Cops Being Sued After Being Caught On Tape Physically And Verbally Abusing A Massage Parlor Employee

Las Vegas gunman’s Infowars posts included speculation about killing cops

Is Alex Jones Responsible for the Vegas Shooting?

Activist Post: Cops Kill 8 Times More Americans Than Terrorists Do

'The dawn of a new day... may all our sacrifices be worth it' Chilling online messages of white supremacist couple who gunned down three in Las Vegas and liked to dress up as the Joker and Slender Man

Man Dies in Tenn. Police Raid on Wrong House 11/04/2000 “We did the best surveillance we could do, and a mistake was made,” Lebanon Police Chief Billy Weeks said. “It’s a very severe mistake, a costly mistake. It makes us look at our own policies and procedures to make sure this never occurs again.” He said, however, the two policemen were not at fault. 2006-01-07

Police: Shooting Of Elderly Woman, 92-year old Kathryn Johnston, "Tragic, Unfortunate" 06/0/2014

Two Cops Who Killed Kathryn Johnston Plead Guilty — to Manslaughter 04/26/2007

California Cops Kill Man Claiming Self-Defense; Citizen Video Indicates Otherwise (Updated with Longer Video)

Virginia Cop Killed in Drug Raid; Suspect Says He Was Defending His Home

Attorney: Man was acting in self-defense when he killed sheriff's deputy 12/24/2013

Raid the Wrong House, Kill the Wrong Person

Ind. Police Raid Wrong House, Steal 18-Year-Old Girl's Computer Thanks to Unsecured WiFi Connection

DeKalb County Police Enter Georgia Home, Threaten To 'Cane' Family (GRAPHIC VIDEO) 08/08/2013

NRA backed law allows civilians to kill police officers 12/28/2012

Cop Shoots Partner While Aiming at Dog That Bared Its Teeth

Hawthorne police kill dog during arrest of owner, video of shooting goes viral

Militarized police overreach: “Oh, God, I thought they were going to shoot me next” 07/10/2013

FBI agents speak out on injuries from faulty grenades 11/17/2008

In Virginia, the Death Penalty for Gambling 05/01/2006

“Why did you shoot me? I was reading a book”: The new warrior cop is out of control 07/07/2013

Shaq Attack at 02/na/2007

Swat Team Rescues Shaq In Mock Orlando Hijacking 11/09/1993

Deputy Shaquille O'Neal: The Missed Slam Dunk 06/15/2013

SWAT Madness and the Militarization of the American Police: A National Dilemma By Jim Fisher

Ex-officer convicted in elderly Pa. woman's murder 04/09/2013

Two Suits Filed Over Police No-Knock Raids at Wrong Homes 09/11/2003

Police Mag: No-Knock Searches: Reasonable or Deadly? 03/07/2011

Peyton Strickland

Ryan David Frederick 06/0/2014

Wrong-door SWAT raid leaves Georgia couple thinking they were being robbed 09/20/2013

Dana Hills High Students Allowed To Go Home After 4-Hour Class-By-Class Weapons Search 05/29/2014

Citizens caught in chaos of unusual bank robbery ‘dragnet’ take police to court 01/24/2013

Owners want to know who will pay for condo torn apart by SWAT team 04/27/2012

MILLER: D.C. businessman faces two years in jail for unregistered ammunition, brass casing 10/13/2013

Chrisman case: Phoenix Ariz. police officer sentenced to 7 years in prison 12/07/2013

Manchester NH - SWAT team shows up due to a man threatening to jump off of a building [HD] - YouTube 08/06/2012

SWAT team finds weapons, drugs and cash in Manchester home 05/30/2014

Walnut Street Shut Down, SWAT Team On Scene 09/13/2013

SWAT team sent to Nashua NH home after shots fired 07/22/2013

Police say Nashua NH emergency call may have been 'swatting' hoax 06/02/2014

Concord police, SWAT team raid West Street home, arrest two in drug bust 10/26/2013

Former Colorado Sheriff Pleads Guilty In Meth-For-Sex Case 04/04/2012

Mich. cops give kids toys after SWAT team terrifies family in drug raid on wrong house 05/06/2014 He said officers were looking for a man who rented the home nearly a year before his family moved in, and Handley said he’s upset that police failed to thoroughly investigate before bursting through the back door.

SWAT team smashes down front door of suburban house in early-morning raid and forces couple to the floor at gunpoint... before realizing it's the wrong home 10/08/2012

SWAT Team Launch Dawn Raid on Family Home to Collect Unpaid Student Loans 06/08/2011

SWAT team mistakenly raids woman’s Sheraden home 06/26/2013

New Orleans Police Officer Indicted in Drug Raid Killing

Detroit cop goes on trial for killing 7-year-old girl

Numbers paint portrait of Maryland SWAT team use

Woman Sues Police Over ‘Flash Grenade’ SWAT Raid

Evansville woman sues police department after SWAT officers raid her home

SWAT Team Brings TV Crew To Film Raid Against Threatening Internet Critic -- Raids Innocent Grandma Instead

BREAKING: Las Vegas Cop Killer Jared Miller’s Manifesto

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Debunking “The Rise of the Warrior Cop”

When I went to school I was taught about how the bill of rights was created to protect us and prevent this country from ever turning into a police state. This includes the fourth amendment which says, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

This was one of the reasons that our founding father fought the revolutionary war to obtain independence and establish a democracy, and what we were taught made America great.

Recently I have read “The Rise of the Warrior Cop” by Radley Balko which talks about an enormous amount of "no-knock" police raids conducted by SWAT teams for non-violent crimes and many of which are on the wrong house and people in these houses have no way of knowing that the people breaking in with flash grenades are police or not and might come to the obvious conclusion that they're terrorists, since they're protected by the fourth amendment in the USA, which is the leader of the free world.

If what I was taught when I was a kid is true then clearly this book needs to be debunked!

Several good reporters have claimed that a reporter is only as good as his sources and for the most part this is true assuming he does a good job citing them although some do go beyond that and do some original research beyond their own sources. One of the things that Radley Balko claims is that a SWAT team invaded a mayor's home and killed his dogs in one of these SWAT raids, without realizing it or consulting with local police departments, which hardly seems credible, and that can easily be confirmed or refuted by checking with his sources or finding corroborating sources like the following article from the Washington Post:

Police Raid Berwyn Heights Mayor's Home, Kill His 2 Dogs

A police SWAT team raided the home of the mayor in the Prince George's County town of Berwyn Heights on Tuesday, shooting and killing his two dogs, after he brought in a 32-pound package of marijuana that had been delivered to his doorstep, police said.

Mayor Cheye Calvo was not arrested in the raid, which was carried out about 7 p.m. by the Sheriff's Office SWAT team and county police narcotics officers. Prince George's police spokesman Henry Tippett said yesterday that all the residents of the house -- Calvo, his wife and his mother-in-law -- are "persons of interest" in the case.

The package was addressed to Calvo's wife, Trinity Tomsic, said law enforcement officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.

Tippett said police are working to determine for whom the drugs were meant.

Calvo said yesterday that he did not know how the drugs wound up on his doorstep. He works part time as the mayor and serves as director of expansion for the SEED Foundation, a well-known national nonprofit group that runs urban public boarding schools.

"My government blew through my doors and killed my dogs," Calvo said. "They thought we were drug dealers, and we were treated as such. I don't think they really ever considered that we weren't." ....

Police said yesterday that, when they seized the package during the raid, it was unopened.

Berwyn Heights Police Chief Patrick Murphy said county police and the Sheriff's Office had not notified his department of the raid. He said town police could have conducted the search without a SWAT team.

"You can't tell me the chief of police of a municipality wouldn't have been able to knock on the door of the mayor of that municipality, gain his confidence and enter the residence," Murphy said. "It would not have been a necessity to shoot and kill this man's dogs." Complete article

Well apparently, unless someone faked that article and planted it on the internet, which seems unlikely, he didn't make up that story; but this hardly indicates a pattern of behavior and some people trying to mislead the public often latch onto single incidents and imply that it is an epidemic. Without confirming further stories this could be an isolated incident by one rogue SWAT team.

Another incident he reports on involves Sal Culosi who allegedly was involved in illegal gambling activities. Checking for corroborating sources also turns up another Washington Post article:

Officer Won't Face Charges in Shooting Death

The Fairfax County police officer who shot an unarmed man to death in January will not be charged with a crime, the county's chief prosecutor announced this afternoon.

From the start, Fairfax police declared that the killing of Salvatore J. Culosi Jr., 37, was an accident and that the SWAT officer who fired had done so unintentionally. Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said that when a person fires a gun without malice and unintentionally kills someone, "they do not commit a crime."

"I feel for the family of the victim in this case," Horan said. "You have to. But I also feel for the police officer. This is a good police officer. Fine record, almost 17 years. He's as shattered by this as any good police officer should be."

Police had been investigating whether Culosi, an optometrist with offices in Manassas and Warrenton, was a sports bookmaker. An undercover officer had been placing bets with Culosi for nearly four months and arrived outside Culosi's townhouse in the Fair Lakes area on Jan. 24 to collect $1,500 in winnings, Horan said. Complete article

Well apparently that one was also true according to corroborating sources. Five years later a law suit was settled by the Culosi family, Culosi family to receive $2 million from Fairfax, the officer that fired the shot was suspended for three weeks without pay and transferred out of the SWAT team and changes were made in that particular department that supposedly ensure that this type of event doesn't happen again. This means that the tax payers are still paying for the officers salary after his suspension was up and they're also paying for the settlement and according to Radley Balko Virginia’s government spent $20 million promoting the state lottery that year; other sources have indicated that studies show that gambling leads to increased crime but if the government is controlling it perhaps they're less likely to shoot you over it.

This isn't quite the way I might have expected my efforts to debunk this might have turned out assuming what I was taught in school was accurate but it is still worth checking some of his other sources like the following:

Federal judge throws out Jonathan Whitworth's lawsuit against SWAT team that killed his pit bull

If you've seen the YouTube video above of the February 2010 raid of a home in Columbia, Missouri, the images are likely burned in your brain. Columbia police raided Jonathan Whitworth's home looking for drugs. In the process, members of a SWAT team shot and killed his pit bull and wounded his corgi-pit bull mix. Officers rounded up his wife and 7-year-old son, and they were held for a time just a few feet from the dead dog as Whitworth was handcuffed.

Whitworth and his family sued the city of Columbia along with 12 police officers, claiming his family's constitutional rights were violated. However, a federal judge has dismissed the case.

The Whitworths’ attorney, Jeff Hilbrenner, told the Columbia Daily Tribune: “We always knew this was a tough case, but that doesn’t mean we will shy away from tough cases. The conduct of Columbia police was so extreme, we thought it needed to be reviewed by a court. The Whitworths will evaluate whether they want to appeal the judge’s ruling.”

U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey didn't see any problem with the way officers conducted the raid. That's interesting since Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton admitted at a news conference that "we did some things wrong," and his department changed policies on how SWAT raids are conducted. Complete article

People that are worried about using tax payer money to settle lawsuits might be satisfied with this but and innocent was still killed and another injured for a raid that didn't turn up much drugs, certainly not enough to indicate that they were after a violent drug lord. This wasn't the same department as the one that killed Sal Culosi but it was four years later and they don't seem to have learned much from past mistakes.

Additional searches to confirm his reports confirms more of them and turns up more stories that he hasn't reported. So far I haven't found any that I have been able to refute. Many of these stories have been reported by other people but Raldley Balko clearly seems to be the one reporting far more on this subject than anyone else. Most if not all of his reports do seem to include details that can easily be confirmed from other sources although there are so many I haven't been able to check them all.

Business Insider: 9 Horrifying Botched Police Raids

The Shocking Tales of 11 of the Most Over the Top US Police Paramilitary Raids and the Innocent People They Victimized

Accidental Police Shootings And Wrong Address Raids

Cato Institute: Botched Paramilitary Police Raids

This isn't the kind of confirmation I would expect if the things I was taught as a child about the constitution protecting us from unlawful searches and seizures were accurate. Regrettably, when reviewing his work most of it turns out to be true; either that or there is a major effort to create an enormous number of stories through the traditional media which he cites as his sources, which would be even more far fetched.

If I want to nitpick I could argue that he didn't do as much reporting on why some police officers are so aggressive and and how they recruit people that probably shouldn't be police. At one point he asks readers to think about the type of people that were excited in high school:

But these shows may have a more sinister effect. In emphasizing the more aggressive, confrontational aspect of police work over community service—hurting people instead of helping people—they may be shifting the profile of the typical young person attracted to police work. Browse the dozens of police recruitment videos on YouTube, for example, and you’ll find that many of them feature images of cops tackling suspects, rappelling out of helicopters, shooting guns, kicking down doors, and siccing dogs on people. The images are often set to blaring guitars or heavy metal music. These are the videos that police departments send to high schools and colleges to attract new recruits. At the very first step in the process of staffing their departments, then, these agencies are deliberately appealing to people who are likely to be lured by the thrill-seeking, adrenaline-producing, butt-kicking aspects of law enforcement. Build an entire police force of people who fit that description and you have a force of cops who seek confrontation instead of avoiding it and who look to escalate volatile situations instead of resolving them peacefully. These are the sort of cops who volunteer for the SWAT team for the very reasons they should be excluded from it—cops like the two Maricopa County SWAT officers who talked to CBS News reporter Jim Stewart in 1997. The best part of being on the SWAT team, one of the officers said, was that “you get to play with a lot of guns. That’s what’s fun. You know, everybody on this team is—you know, loves guns.” The second cop then chimed in. “Hey, the bottom line is it’s friggin’ fun, man. That’s the deal. Nobody wants to take burglary reports.” Complete article

This is good as far as it goes but it doesn't explain how they're trained in authoritarian ways to obey orders and in some cases to consider themselves above the law. Former police chief of Madison Wisconsin, David Couper, fills in some of the blanks that Radley Balko might not cover about how some bad police are trained in Hazing and Bullying in the Police Academy. Hazing is part of an escalating form of indoctrination that encourages violence and obedience without scrutiny. I have reviewed this in several posts including Authoritarianism and Psychology of the Ruling Class, White Collar Tyranny. Strict disciplinarian methods of educating children start with harsh early education tactics that often include corporal punishment which might lead to bullying later in life or hazing. This method is often used to teach children to blindly obey orders and believe what they're told from authorities.

This escalation of violence and obedience to authority would include the hazing in police academies that David Couper describes. The government also funded research into this in the past with the support of the Office of Naval Research as I reviewed in several posts in the past including "Eli Roth’s and Stanley Milgram's Obedience to Authority experiments much more extensive." The majority of these reports about these obedience experiments didn't focus on whether or not they would also lead to escalating violence; although the research done by Philip Greven did and I attempted to increase that focus. Philip Zimbardo, an associate of Milgram's, also dis several research projects which were funded directly by the Office of Naval Research and I reviewed them in the same blogs. The claims by Zimbardo and Milgram were that they did these to understand why the Nazi's were so obedient to authority, and how to avoid the same thing in the future; however, judging by the way the military and SWAT teams have been using hazing in their training, it seems as if instead of avoiding blind obedience without scrutiny, they may be trying to encourage it.

Couper also wrote his own review of SWAT! — Is There a Problem Here? Seeing this come from a former police officer and knowing that there are others like him, including some the Radley Balko mentioned should indicate a good alternative to the excessive use of force by the bad police officers, assuming we could convince political leaders to rely more on the good police officers and less on the authoritarians that they currently use. Murder rates in Madison (population 240,000) is significantly lower than most large cities above a population of 250,000 and it is below average compared to the rest of the country.

One problem might be that many politicians are more concerned about appointing police that will obey orders from them and advance their political agendas or the agendas of their campaign contributors than doing good police work. Anyone who has been to either the democratic or Republican conventions or many of the protests against corporate corruption in the past twenty years might have seen the results of this. When they have these conventions, instead of trying to give all people a reasonable chance to get their views across, they routinely restrict protesters to "free speech zones" where the media can ignore them so they have no opportunity to influence the public. the information given by the media is almost entirely controlled by a small percentage of the public. On top of that police are routinely used to enforce strict rules about trespassing or disorderly conduct when people with legitimate concerns try to get their voices heard but do little or nothing when it comes to labor violations or enormous amounts of environmental destruction by large corporations.

There have been far more of these incidents than the vast majority of the public is probably aware of. a relatively small percentage of the public is almost certainly keeping closer watch and some of these people have been actively opposing the militarization of the police; however in some cases they may have implied that it is happening more often than it is, although it won't seem that way to those that are in the areas where this is more common. there are still many areas where this is less common which is why many people are unaware of it. It may also be why they might b reluctant to believe this is going on. After taking a closer look at it I have found several of these raids that are much closer to my area even though I probably don't live in near the vast majority of these botched raids. It appears that they're happening more often than I realized here as well and if I hadn't looked for them I never would have known they happened, how often they're happening or how they go out of control much more often in other parts of the country.

Most people in this area probably wouldn't believe how serious this is unless they took a closer look; clearly the media isn't doing an adequate job covering it and we aren't protected nearly as well, if at all, by the first amendment.

In a follow up post I will review more about how some police forces, mostly in less privileged areas, are relying more on authoritarian methods that don't work than addressing the root causes. In most cases, addressing the root causes shouldn't be done by police though; instead some of the most effective solutions would be done by educators before violence escalates and police are necessary. I will also review past activities of the CIA that have involved, at best looking the other way while drugs are being imported, at worst actively covering up for their allies who are profiting from it and have been funding their agenda with funds; and possible posts by Jerad and Amanda Miller claiming they were the victims of an overly aggressive raid at gun point because his friend missed a court date for a marijuana pipe.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Wal-Mart Crime report May 2014

There were over ten shooting incidents at Wal-Marts across the country this month and close to if not more than another ten gun related incidents including armed robberies and car-jackings. One of them was below the Texas border and it included at least five deaths in a drug battle with Mexican soldiers; the rest were in the United States and there were at least a couple more deaths as well as accidental shootings that injured two people.

One of these shootings and one other incident involved attempts to run over police officers. There were also several bizarre assaults or attempted assaults, some involving mentally unstable people. One where a teen attacked a four year old stranger because she thought she was Chinese, another where a customer attacked a cashier with a pair of scissors while accusing them of being with the mafia and another where an angry man left an argument in the parking lot, sped off and smashed into three cars injuring five people not involved in the argument.

One police officer indicated that he found it hard to understand why a woman would leave her child alone in Florida while going to work at Wal-Mart. No doubt many other people might find things like this, and many of the other incidents that happen at Wal-Mart, hard to understand, as well but if they had to work on the wages that Wal-Mart provides or lived in a state like Florida which supposedly has one of the worst records for caring for the poor they might understand why some of them might resort to desperate measures. The Loesel family in Michigan wouldn’t have to worry about these problems but they’re still suing for even more money after winning $3.8 million verdict for a lost Walmart deal. This could work out quite well for Wal-Mart if towns that want to stand up to them hesitate because they could be forced to pay damages for not allowing them into their towns or allow them in and which while they destroy local economies and use their market power to monopolize areas.

This wasn’t a problem when anti-trust laws prevented a small number of oligarchies from cornering the market and avoiding real competition.

Barack Obama decided to show up at one of their stores and praise Wal-Mart for helping with clean energy!

Not surprisingly hardly anyone fell for it. Stacy Mitchell claims it is the last place he should be making such a speech; I disagree, he could have praised BP for their “beyond Petroleum” campaign in the gulf shortly after the off-shore rig exploded or praised ExxonMobil when their pipeline sprung major leaks or several other occasion; however in order to come up with something even worse than praising Wal-Mart for clean energy initiatives he would have to come up with something incredibly pathetic, so her point is valid.

Robert Reich asked what 'Numbskull' came up with this but it had to be a lot more than one numbskull before the decision was made and implemented; the resulting protest was so obvious people must be wondering how they could have possibly expected anyone to believe them.

Could they have actually been trying to incite protests?

If so, I suppose they succeeded.

They also settled a lawsuit about food poisoning that killed at least 33 people; even though they claim they take safety very seriously this is just one of many recalls that they have had to settle to recall large amounts of their products and they continue cutting as many corners as they seem to get away with until something like this happens.

Many people have been wondering if any executives been penalized for recent scandals; and the answer clearly seems to be, for the most part, no.

Nor are they the ones that are in the line of fire when there are shootings in their stores. Nor is there much if any effort to find out if their policies contribute to a hostile work environment or higher crime.

Or at least they haven’t been held accountable yet.

Their sales are finally headed steadily and consistently down; and hardly anyone believes their claims about this being a result of the weather or cuts in food stamps anymore than anyone believes they’re good for the environment.

Perhaps, without political reform, this is the only way that they can eventually be held accountable for their actions.

In the mean time they have been funding a pilot program in Texas where they’re teaching high school children to prepare for jobs in retail.

If this doesn’t raise alarm bells about corporations having too much control over the education system to promote their propaganda I don’t know what does.

Strange things happen at Wal-Mart!

In 2006 Wake Up Wal-Mart did a study, "Is Wal-Mart Safe?" based on incidents in 2004, (PDF) about crime at Wal-Mart which showed that it increased when Wal-Marts opened up and that crime was higher at Wal-Mart than at other retailers. Since then Wal-Mart Shootings began compiling a list of gun related incidents at Wal-Mart and demonstrated that they have a large number of them, including on average more than one shooting per week somewhere in the country. In January of 2014 another study, "Rolling Back Prices and Raising Crime Rates?" provided additional statistical research indicating that Wal-Mart 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 Wal-Mart’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 Wal-Mart policies have been contributing to higher crime in a previous blog, Wal-Mart high crime rate continues uninvestigaterd and have provided additional information under the author tag Walmart Crime Watch.

Stacy Mitchell has also compiled a list of other studies about Wal-Mart and how they impact society, Key Studies on Big-Box Retail & Independent Business. To the best of my knowledge Wal-Mart 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. The following are a list of incidents that occurred in May 2014. According to the "Is Wal-Mart Safe?" the average store in their sampling had 250 incidents per year, indicating that these are only a fraction of the crime reports at Wal-Mart, 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 Wal-Mart.

Pa. Shoplifting suspect charged with faking Walmart receipt 05/01/2014

Palm Bay Fla. Walmart reopens after evacuation due to 'suspicious' package which turns out to be Copier parts, not bomb 05/01/2014

Wisc. Walmart employee had no cash, robbery suspect arrested 05/01/2014

Labor leader Maria Elena Durazo criticizes Los Angeles’ Ca. pension investments in Wal-Mart 05/01/2014

Man accused of stealing from Scott Twp. Pa. Walmart several times 05/01/2014

Police have cleared the scene of a bomb threat at a south Tulsa Ok. Walmart 05/01/2014 Police say the call originated from a private number so they couldn't retrieve the caller's identity from the caller ID.

Bogus bomb threat called into Circleville Ohio-area Walmart 05/02/2014

Teens charged in 'knock-out game' assault of teacher at Burton Mich. Wal-Mart 05/02/2014

Fla. Police: Mom left 18-month-old alone at home during Walmart work shift 05/02/2014

LARGO — A 19-year-old mother was arrested on child neglect charges Friday after police said she left her 18-month-old daughter alone in her apartment while she went to work at Walmart.

The child was left alone around 5:30 a.m., and the mother, Angela Lutz, hadn't planned on returning until 3:30 p.m., Largo police said.

A relative of the 18-month-old girl's father called police Friday morning and asked officers to check on the baby because her mother was known to leave the baby unattended, police said. The child's father is currently in jail.

About 9 a.m. Friday, an officer went to Brittany Bay Apartments, 1201 Seminole Blvd., and found the child alone in the mother's apartment, which was in disarray, with very limited food, police said.

"Some cases are just hard to understand, and this one certainly falls in that category," Largo Police Chief Jeff Undestad wrote in an email to city officials. "Thankfully the child will be okay." Complete article

Tree Hugger: "Cheap and organic" sounds like an oxymoron, but Walmart doesn't think so 05/01/2014

Cape Coral Fla. woman accused of TV theft at Walmart 05/02/2014

Arnold grandmother uses granddaughter to allegedly shoplift from Missouri Walmart 05/03/2014

Man arrested after being accused of robbing Fla. Wal-Mart 05/04/2014 Wright told police that he owned Wal-Mart and had sent them a letter making the company aware of the ownership, police said.

Carlisle Pa. police look for man who tried to steal woman's purse at Walmart 05/05/2014

Man, 34, shot outside far east El Paso Tx. Walmart 05/04/2014

Walmart spent over $109 million in FY14 on anti-corruption drive 05/05/2014

Madison Ala. police charge 2 with stealing from Wal-Mart 05/05/2014

Tales from Walmart: Sex in Aisle 12 05/05/2014

Fulton couple charged for attacking another couple at Granby NY Wal-Mart 05/05/2014

SD Police: Man arrested for punching Walmart security guard over foot-long sandwich 05/05/2014

Man stole $1,000 in goods from 2 Fla. Walmarts 05/05/2014

Huntsville Ala. lawsuit says developer wanted Star Market property for Bailey Cove Wal-Mart 05/05/2014

Going against residents’ wishes, Deltona OKs Wal-Mart 05/0/2014

Man shot by police at Walmart in Lakewood Colorado may have pointed a toy gun at officers 05/06/2014

Loesel family seeks to add $900K to $3.8 million verdict for lost Walmart deal in Frankenmuth Mich. 05/06/2014

BAY CITY, MI — The family whose effort to sell land to Walmart was blocked by the Frankenmuth City Council is asking a judge to add $900,000 in interest to the nearly $4 million verdict in their favor.

In addition, the attorneys for the Loesel family, whom a jury in March awarded $3.8 million for the lost deal, are asking U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Ludington to award them more than $400,000 in attorney fees.

The family's lead attorney, Andrew Kochanowski, filed the requests Thursday, May 1, in U.S. District Court in Bay City, where a jury sided with the Loesels. The family claimed city officials violated its 14th Amendment equal protection rights when the council used an ordinance to zone the 37 acres the Loesels owned along M-83 in Frankenmuth Township to limit building size. In response, Walmart bailed on a $4 million purchase agreement. Complete article

Judge rejects young woman's plea in purse-snatching, but accepts her sisters plea, outside Pa. Walmart 05/06/2014

President Obama To Stop At Mountain View Ca. Walmart In Latest Bay Area Fundraising Trip 05/06/2014

Shots fired by robber inside Oak Park Ca. Walmart 05/06/2014

SAN DIEGO — A robber fired several shots Tuesday night during a robbery inside a crowded Walmart store in Oak Park on College Avenue.

No one was hurt in what San Diego police Lt. Paul Phillips described as a "very brazen" heist.

The robber demanded money from a store cashier about 10 p.m, Phillips told reporters. Some witnesses said he fired two shots, and some said three shots, Phillips said. No one appeared to have been targeted and no one was hit, the lieutenant said. Complete article

Police think Oak Park Ca. Walmart shooter struck twice 05/07/2014 SAN DIEGO — A man who fired shots during a Walmart robbery Tuesday night is believed to be the same person who fired rounds during a robbery at the store in late November, San Diego police said Wednesday.

China Workers Power Sets Off Strikes for Nike, Wal-Mart 05/07/2014

Cleveland Ohio | Federal lawsuit filed here against Wal-Mart 05/06/2014

Green Bay Wisc. group vows to keep fighting big-box Wal-Mart 05/06/2014

Walmart at bottom of supermarket ratings 05/06/2014

Albany NY Residents Express Disapproval of Walmart Express Moving In 05/05/2014

Why Wal-Mart Isn't Too Big to Keep Growing 05/05/2014

Victim in Hastings Mich. Wal-Mart crash dies in hospital 05/07/2014 In the three years from January 1, 2009 to January 1, 2012, Fuller says there were 24 collisions right at Wal-Mart's entrance.

Robber racks up at Del. Walmart with stolen credit cards 05/06/2014

Walmart petty Thieves Arrested in Washington Township Pa. 05/06/2014 Both are being held at the Franklin County Jail.

3 teenagers sought in robbery at Lake Park Fla. Wal-Mart parking lot 05/06/2014

Woman pleads guilty to Ohio Walmart TV theft 05/06/2014

Critical Alerts For Walmart, Monsanto, Proto Labs, Qihoo 360 Technology, and Delphi Automotive Released By InvestorsObserver 05/06/2014

Crime Stoppers: Stolen Credit Cards Used at Lynchburg Va. Walmart 05/06/2014

Deadly gun battle reported outside Walmart in Reynosa south of Texas border 05/05/2014

Traffic came to a halt on one of Reynosa's busiest roads following reports of a deadly shootout outside a popular store.

It all happened outside a Walmart store off Bulevar Hidalgo around 2 p.m. Monday.

Reynosa residents turned to the social media network Twitter to report the fatal firefight.

Tamaulipas state officials confirmed arrests in operations nearby but did not offer any immediate details about the shootout.

Residents reported at least five gunmen were killed in the shootout with Mexican soldiers. Complete article

Sheriff: Alleged Louisiana Walmart robber tries to run over deputy 05/06/2014

CHALMETTE, LA (WVUE) - Detectives say a man tried to run over a deputy, after stealing from a Chalmette Walmart.

Titus White, 33, faces several charges, including attempted murder, hit and run, theft and drug possession.

The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office says he stole a 55-inch television from the store Saturday night and tried to run over an off-duty deputy who was working the detail.

The deputy got out of the way, but was able to get the SUV's license plate before the suspect drove out of the parking lot. Complete article

Lihue Hawaii Walmart evacuated after bomb threat 05/05/2014

Video shows woman attack Wash. Walmart clerk with scissors 05/07/2014

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. -- Newly released surveillance video shows a bizarre and violent outburst at a Walmart check-out stand in Mount Vernon last Friday.

Police say Nancy K. Reed allegedly said something about the mafia kidnapping her grandchild, and she didn't like the vibe coming from the register.

Then, violence erupted. The video shows the woman pulling scissors from her cart and jabbing a clerk in the arm. Seconds later, she lunges at a second employee with the scissors -- a tussle that ends up on the ground.

At some point, Reed goes for the hair, police said.

"The staff person got her hair pulled and a fist-full of hair came out," said Shannon Haigh with Mount Vernon police. Complete article

Woman allegedly stabs Wash. Walmart employee with scissors for disliking her ‘vibe’ 05/08/2014

Clarksville Tenn. man charged with attempted homicide in parking lot shooting 05/07/2014

CLARKSVILLE, TENN. — A Clarksville man fired a shot at a woman’s car in the parking lot of the Sango Walmart Wednesday evening, according to Clarksville Police reports. Kevin Wayne Rozelle, 44, was charged with criminal attempted homicide. Bond was set at $500,000

At about 6:45 p.m., during a domestic dispute, the man followed the woman into the lot and fired a round into her back window, according to a news release from police spokeswoman Officer Natalie Hall. Complete article

Victim of Ala. Walmart shooting involving Morgan County deputy retains attorney 05/08/2014

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama-- The man who was shot at a Huntsville Walmart by an off-duty Morgan County Sheriff's Deputy has retained an attorney.

David Horton, the victim of the shooting, has chosen Birmingham civil attorney Tommy James to represent him. James has prosecuted numerous cases involving state and local agencies and their employees throughout the state of Alabama.

"This incident should have never happened," James said. "While my client did have an outstanding probation violation pickup order, that in no way justified an off-duty deputy not in uniform, from another county, to shoot my client at a crowded Walmart."

"The law in Alabama clearly states that a law enforcement officer may only use deadly force if he or others are in imminent threat of harm. That was obviously not the case here as my client was grabbed by the deputy, who did not identify himself or show his badge, and was then shot in the back while trying to get away. The use of deadly force was clearly unjustified in this case and as a result my client was injured and many bystanders, including children, were put at severe risk." Complete article

Bank inside Ok. Walmart robbed Thursday 05/08/2014

Obama angers labor groups with Wal-Mart visit to promote energy efficiency 05/09/2014

Man arrested at Tenn. Walmart in theft investigation 05/09/2014 According to an affidavit, a woman with Begley told officers he threatened her and her children into shoplifting. She had taken items amounting to $446.40

Union City Ca. police: Suspected shoplifter bites Wal-Mart security officer 05/09/2014

Wal-Mart Bribery Lawsuit Should Go Forward, Judge Says 05/09/2014

Robert Reich Trashes White House 'Numbskull' For Walmart Event 05/09/2014

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich trashed the White House on Thursday for using Walmart, an enemy of unions and fair-pay advocates, as a poster company for a new climate-change campaign.

Reich, who served under President Bill Clinton, called Walmart one of the country’s “worst employers,” with “low wages, unreliable hours, few benefits, discrimination against women and anti-union” offenses.

“What numbskull in the White House arranged this?” wrote Reich, now a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. "This" referred specifically to President Barack Obama's plan to visit a Walmart store in Mountain View, California, to tout the company's efforts at increasing energy efficiency. Complete article

Obama's Wal-Mart stop prompts labor backlash 05/09/2014

Walmart is the last place Obama should be making a clean energy speech By Stacy Mitchell 05/09/2014

Today President Obama is speaking about clean energy and energy efficiency at a Walmart in Mountain View, Calif. Of all the places he might give a big speech on energy, a Walmart supercenter is a baffling and disconcerting choice.

Walmart — despite its skill in attracting publicity like this — is a laggard on renewable energy and one of the biggest and fastest-growing climate polluters on the planet. While many competing retailers are already running on 100 percent renewable power, Walmart’s wind and solar projects supply just 3 percent of its U.S. electricity — and that’s down from 4 percent two years ago.

Walmart’s fossil fuel consumption and climate emissions, meanwhile, are growing rapidly. In the last year alone, Walmart’s climate emissions rose 2 percent, or more than 500,000 metric tonnes. It now ranks just behind Chevron on the list of biggest climate polluters.

As if these facts were not troubling enough, a recent academic study has documented, for the first time, how the big-box retailing revolution led by Walmart and other big chains has dramatically increased the amount of energy we’re using to schlep consumer goods across the country and into our homes. The data is downright shocking. .... Complete article

Wal-Mart worker denied entry to Obama event in San Jose Ca. amid protest 05/09/2014

Police: Armored truck employee ambushed outside busy Walmart in Pearland Tx. 05/09/2014

Jeff. Co. deputies on scene of officer-involved fatal shooting outside Birmingham Ala. Walmart 05/09/2014

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) –A man shot and killed Friday night after attempting to run over a deputy has been identified.

Chief Deputy Randy Christian with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says 21-year-old Devante Kyshon Hinds of Birmingham was fleeing the scene of a drug deal deputies had just broken up when he tried to run over a deputy with a car. The deputy opened fire, hitting Hinds. The incident took place shortly after 9 p.m. in the parking lot of Walmart on Parkway East.

Investigators have been able to confirm through evidence and questioning that the others involved in the drug deal were meeting Hughes to buy heroin, and that the deputies were justified in the shooting, according to Christian. Complete article

Man sentenced to prison in NC Walmart kidnapping 05/09/2014

Police: Men Stole Bottle Of Alcohol From Ca. Walmart, Attacked Security Guard 05/10/2014

ROCKLIN (CBS13) – Two men are under arrest on charges they shoplifted some alcohol from a Rocklin Walmart, then attacked two people who tried to stop them.

Rocklin Police say that, just before 12:30 p.m. Friday, officers were called to the Walmart off on 5454 Crossings Drive for a reported strong-arm robbery. Once at the scene, officers were told that a loss prevention officer had tried to stop two men who left the store without paying for a bottle of alcohol.

The loss prevention officer confronted the two men – identified as 23-year-old Kory Dean Johnson and 20-year-old Bradley Scott Rondeau, both from Loomis – but was attacked by one of the men.

Both men then ran away, but when the officer pulled out his phone to call 911, one of the men came back, took the phone and ran. Complete article

Ballston Spa NY residents speak out against proposed Walmart 05/11/2014

Want big bank fees? Head for Wal-Mart 05/12/2014

Police: Man Robbed Id. Walmart With Knife 05/12/2014

Guns stolen from Ky. and Ind. Wal-Marts 05/12/2014

Wal-Mart banks, overdraft protection, and consumer rationality 05/12/2014

The Wall Street Journal has a fascinating story on the front page about the operations of banks located inside Wal-Mart–
although not really for the reason that the reporters believe it is interesting. The authors think it is interesting because they see it as exposing nefarious practices by these banks, which generate large overdraft protection fees and (it is implied) exploit consumers. In fact, the real story is exactly the opposite–it is compelling evidence of how consumers use alternative credit products, and I suspect, compelling evidence of the unintended consequences of government regulation of consumer credit products.[See update below.]

In an article that former Comptroller of the Currency Robert Clarke and I published in the fall, we discussed in detail how consumers use bank overdraft protection and payday lending and the competition between the two products. In particular, we note that available evidence strongly suggests that in choosing between the two products, consumers generally choose rationally. First, those who use these products (like all alternative lending products) are people who don’t have credit cards or would exceed their credit limits on their credit cards and trigger high fees. So they use these products because they are the least-bad alternative they have at the moment to meet pressing financial obligations.

But even more striking, when choosing between payday lending and overdraft protection, consumers generally choose rationally. As we note in the article, the similar uses but dissimilar pricing of payday loans and overdraft protection provide an excellent natural experiment to examine how consumers use the two products. Payday loans have a fee scale tied to the size of the loan–typically $15 per $100 borrowed. Overdraft protection, by contrast, is a fixed-rate product (mostly)–an overdraft charges a flat fee, typically $27-$35 or so, regardless of the size of the overdraft. As a result, for a single loan, payday lending will generally be less expensive for loans of up to $180 (depending on a particular bank’s fees) and an overdraft will be less expensive beyond that level. Complete article

Shoplifting incident at Ga. Wal-Mart leads to serious charges 05/012/2014

A man being questioned at Wal-Mart on Saturday about possible shoplifting ended up in jail on much more serious charges.

According to a Bibb County Sheriff’s Office release, a store loss-prevention officer was questioning a man and woman when the man pulled a knife and held it to the officer’s neck.

The officer suffered a minor cut as he struggled to get away from the suspect, who was chased down and arrested by deputies. Complete article

Sullivan Co. Tenn. deputies searching for man who allegedly stole purse, tried to use debit card in Walmart 05/12/2014

Suspects accused of stealing 22 cell phones from NC Walmart 05/12/2014

Wal-Mart, Continental have different takes on Noranda proposal in Missouri 05/12/2014

Even though both could see their electric bills increase as a result, two of Ameren Missouri’s large power customers have a different take on Noranda Aluminum’s push for a lower power rate.

In testimony filed with the Missouri Public Service Commission on Friday, Continental Cement made clear it opposed Noranda’s rate request, while Wal-Mart Stores Inc. signaled it was not opposed to the shift.

Noranda operates a huge aluminum smelter in the Missouri Bootheel that employs roughly 900 people and requires massive amounts of electricity. As Ameren Missouri’s largest customer, its request for lower bills would mean a $47 million annual loss of revenue for Ameren. Other customers’ bills would rise approximately 2 percent to make up the difference. Complete article

Man charged with stealing car from Athens Ala. Wal-Mart 05/12/2014

AZ deputies: Walmart serial thief arrested again 05/12/2014

Woman sought for Va. Walmart theft attempt in Chesapeake 05/12/2014

Fla. Deputies: Drunken man harassed Walmart customers 05/13/2014

Walmart settles with cantaloupe victims from Colorado outbreak 05/13/2014

Walmart this week agreed to pay families of victims who died in a 2011 cantaloupe listeria outbreak that killed 33 people and was traced to a Colorado farm.

The company settled with 23 families, including nine in Colorado, Bill Marler, the families' attorney, said Tuesday. The terms of the settlement were kept confidential.

Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said company officials "are pleased with the resolution, which was in everyone's best interest."

"We are committed to our customers' safety, and we take food-safety concerns like this very seriously," he said.

As soon as the company was "made aware of a listeria outbreak," Hargrove said, Walmart stores in Colorado and other states immediately removed the contaminated cantaloupes from their produce departments.

But some families alleged in lawsuits that Walmart should have reacted more aggressively, including making speedier warnings to customers who bought the melons. In the fallout of the outbreak, Walmart sued the companies that had inspected and delivered the cantaloupes. Walmart declined to give the status of those claims. Complete article

Soldier surrenders to Fayetteville police after standoff in NC Walmart parking lot 05/12/2014

Fayetteville, N.C. — An unidentified male soldier surrendered to Fayetteville police late Tuesday following a 90-minute standoff in the parking lot of a Walmart on Skibo Road.

Officers responding to the west Fayetteville store at about 10:30 p.m. found the man inside a car. According to authorities, he was threatening to harm himself.

Police cleared the parking lot, and customers were kept inside the store as a precaution.

"Cops told us to get in our cars, get back inside the building, because we were in the firing range," Robert Casey, a witness, told WRAL News.

The active duty soldier, who was believed to have a weapon, surrendered at about midnight, and he was taken to a local hospital for an evaluation. His name has not been released and it was unclear if he would face charges. Complete article

Police search for man who exposed self to young girl at Fla. Walmart 05/14/2014

Accused thief banned from Oneonta NY Walmart 05/15/2014

Huntsville Ala. police blotter: Underwear, makeup, salad stolen from 3 Walmarts 05/15/2014

San Jose Ca. teen arrested after crowbar assault on child, 4, at Walmart 05/15/2014

SAN JOSE -- An 18-year-old woman was arrested after she allegedly hit a 4-year-old girl and her father with a crowbar inside a Walmart late Tuesday morning, police said.

Maria Garate, a San Jose resident, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after she walked into the Walmart, located at 777 Story Road, around 10:59 a.m. and struck the girl and her father, police said.

Garate approached the pair and without warning hit the 4-year-old girl over the head with a crowbar, according to a police statement. Garate attempted to hit the girl again, police said, but the father, who has not been identified, stepped in to protect his daughter and was struck instead. Complete article

San Jose Ca.: Police report details how mental illness, racial animus fueled attack on little girl at Walmart 05/21/2014

Wal-Mart Forecast Misses Estimates as Sales Slump Lingers 05/15/2014

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), the world’s largest retailer, forecast second-quarter profit that missed analysts’ estimates as the company copes with slow sales in the U.S., especially at its Sam’s Club warehouse stores.

Earnings will be $1.15 to $1.25 a share this quarter, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company said today in a statement. Analysts had projected $1.28, the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales and profit in the fiscal first quarter, which ended April 30, also missed estimates. ....

First-quarter net income fell 5 percent to $3.59 billion, or $1.11 a share, from $3.78 billion, or $1.14, a year earlier. Complete article

U.S. consumers aren't buying as much from Wal-Mart lately, and neither are investors. 05/15/2014

The retail king's used the "blame it on the weather" excuse to explain its lackluster first quarter, but Wall Street viewed it with the same skepticism as the dog (or Internet virus) eating a kids' homework. Complete article

Smoke fills Sarasota Fla. Walmart 05/15/2014

Wal-Mart: Have any executives been penalized for recent scandals? 05/15/2014

FORTUNE -- Wal-Mart's earnings, revenue, and comparable store sales all missed expectations, as the company made clear in an announcement early this morning. One factor was the "the unseasonably cold and disruptive weather." The retailer's annual meeting also risks being disruptive. An investor coalition has filed a resolution calling on Wal-Mart (WMT) to disclose whether it recouped any pay from employees implicated in the numerous scandals that have beset the company in recent months.

The resolution comes not only as a result of bribery allegations at its operations in Mexico, China, and Brazil, which have already cost the company over $439 million, but also because of current investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC as well as several investor lawsuits. In addition, the company was recently fined over $110 million after pleading guilty to charges of illegally dumping hazardous waste in California and Missouri. Finally, the National Labor Relations Board also issued a complaint against Wal-Mart that alleged it illegally threatened, monitored, punished, and fired employees who engaged in protests calling for better pay and working conditions.

Someone must have been responsible, investors reasonably infer, so someone should be held accountable. The investor coalition includes: UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, Illinois State Board of Investment, Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, Amalgamated Bank LongView Funds, and F&C Management Ltd. The resolution will come up for vote on June 6 at the annual meeting. Complete article

City of Portland Oregon no longer investing in Walmart 05/15/2014

Easton Pa. man crashes van after selling heroin at Walmart, and fleeing police 05/16/2014

Teenaged bank robbery suspect caught while driving home from Colorado Walmart with new video game system 05/16/2014

Road project near Walmart site sparks complaint about use of Tigard Oregon gas tax funds 05/16/2014

Residents fight against Walmart at Quaker Village in Greensboro NC 05/16/2014

Columbia man arrested in Penn. Walmart armed robbery in Springettsbury Township 05/17/2014

Security Guard Attacked During Colorado Walmart Theft 05/19/2014

Man accidentally shoots self at Phoenix Ariz. Wal-Mart 05/18/2014

Police: Va. Walmart rejects man’s eight credit cards, accepts ninth – it was stolen 05/19/2014

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Chesterfield Police are looking for two men accused of using other people’s credit card information to go on a shopping spree.

One suspect used eight different credit cards at the Walmart in Hancock Village Shopping Center on April 15, according to police. Each card was rejected.

A ninth card he tried was accepted, police said.

At the same time, a second suspect tried to use four credit cards before a fifth card was accepted. Complete article

Walmart & Contractor Settle $21M Wage Theft Suit, Days After Obama Praises Penny-Pinching Retailer 05/15/2014

Meet the Ad 'Injection' Scheme Hitting Target, YouTube and 05/15/2014

Local woman with special needs handcuffed and interrogated inside a Mich. Walmart 05/14/2014

Walmart Suing a Photog’s Widow, Waltons Say They Own the Copyright to His Photos of Their Family 05/17/2014

Walmart Needs to Buy J.C. Penney to Thrive 05/16/2014

Nashville Tenn. Walmart employee charged with public indecency 05/19/2014

Shoplifter accused of enlisting 10-year-old's help at Ky. Walmart 05/19/2014

Man Arrested In Ca. Walmart Parking Lot BB Gun Attack 05/19/2014

Gallatin Tenn. police search for Walmart theft suspect 05/19/2014

Police: Armed Man steals $20K from RI Walmart store 05/19/2014

Person Killed in Frito Lay truck Collision Behind Dallas Tx. Wal-Mart Market 05/19/2014

2nd suspect arrested in car theft at Athens Ala. Wal-Mart 05/19/2014

Post Falls Id. Police declare suspicious package a false alarm 05/19/2014

Police: 'Palm reader' gropes women in Fla. Walmart parking lot 05/19/2014

Entrepreneurs hitched businesses to Minn. Wal-Mart. Then it left. 05/20/2014

Watchful Utah Walmart manager leads police to burglars 05/20/2014

Police looking for man involved in SC Walmart larceny 05/20/2014

Woman arrested at Ga. Wal-Mart 05/19/2014

Ill. Walmart worker alleges retaliatory discharge after comp claim 05/20/2014

Banks At Walmart Are 'Exploiting The Poor': Investor 05/13/2014

Walmart US CEO Gets A $1.5 Million Bonus For Missing Expectations While A Worker Gets $0 05/12/2014

Police: Man stole beer and television from Palm Bay Fla. Walmart 05/20/2014

Portland Oregon's $9 million investment in Wal-Mart? The financial return for recent investment prior to divestment could pay half an employee 05/20/2014

Hadley Ma. police: Granby man who rode bicycle into rear of vehicle in Walmart parking lot taken to hospital with minor injuries 05/20/2014

Two sought in Fla. Walmart theft 05/20/2014

Bayonne NJ woman charged with shoplifting razor blades from Walmart 05/20/2014

Camera Watches Nebraska WalMart Thieves 05/20/2014

Fort Bend Tx. Walmart re-opens after bomb scare 05/20/2014

Always Low Wages, More Pollution: Why Barack & Michelle Obama Relentlessly Shill For Wal-Mart 05/21/2014

Huntsville Ala. police say shoplifter pushes Wal-Mart employee to get away with DVDs in pants 05/21/2014

Sheriff's Office seeks identity of suspect in TV theft from York Va. Walmart 05/22/2014

San Antonio Tx. Walmart employee accused of bringing gun to work 05/23/2014

TrenDE Delaware Horror Story: Why Wal-Mart's lousy customer service reputation is warranted 05/23/2014

Hoax prompts evacuation of Camdenton Missouri Walmart 05/23/2014

Washington Police: Man who drowned in canal was running from Walmart guard 05/22/2014

Miss. Walmart employee charged with embezzlement 05/22/2014

Police: Meth lab bust at NC Walmart parking lot lands 3 in jail 05/22/2014

Walmart cracks down on shoplifting from Wyoming store 05/22/2014

Lubbock man faces five counts of aggravated assault in hit-and-run incident at Wal-Mart 05/22/2014

A 33-year-old Lubbock man was in jail facing multiple felony charges after injuring five people — including four children — when he rammed his heavy-duty pickup truck late Thursday into three vehicles at a Wal-Mart parking lot in Southwest Lubbock.

Nicholas Zane Melton was being held at the Lubbock County Detention Center on five first-degree felony counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a state felony count of criminal mischief and a misdemeanor count of issuance of a bad check, according to jail records. ....

Investigators believe Melton was having an argument about 9:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart at 6315 82nd St. before entering his white 2012 Dodge Ram 3500 pickup and speeding off north, according to the release.

Melton continued speeding in the parking lot and struck three vehicles in the Murphy fueling area. He continued driving away, crossing a grassy area onto 82nd Street and hitting a fourth vehicle.

Melton drove his truck into the Betenbough Homes parking lot and walked away. Officers found Melton shortly after and arrested him.

None of the individuals Melton allegeldy struck were involved in the earlier argument, said Lubbock police Sgt. Jason Lewis. Complete article

Former Pa. Walmart employee allegedly wanted to assault other employees with baseball bat 05/23/2014

A Slatington man who previously worked at the Walmart near Lehighton is facing attempted assault charges after showing up at the store with a baseball bat he planned to use against his former co-workers, police said.

Anthony Munoz, 21, allegedly went to the Walmart on Route 443 in Mahoning Township on Wednesday night and fled before police arrived. No one was hurt. Complete article

Wal-Mart Is Falling Apart Like Never Before 05/19/2014

Documents: Fired Ark. Deputy Took Nude Photos; Walmart Called Police 05/21/2014

One of the three Washington County deputies arrested or fired over the last month was terminated after taking nude photographs of a woman without her knowledge, according to a termination letter released by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

A May 2 termination letter to Darren Morrow states he was fired for violating the Sheriff’s Office policy against conduct unbecoming an employee or officer.

“That is conduct unbecoming an Employee or Officer of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office,” said Rick Hoyt, Enforcement Major of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

“The reasons for your termination stem from an incident that occurred where you used a cell phone to take nude pictures of a female (redacted) without her knowledge,” the termination letter states. “You then went to a local Wal-Mart and printed several hard copy prints, prompting Wal-Mart to call the Fayetteville Police Department because of the nature of the photos.”

The termination letter goes on to state Morrow drove his county-owned police vehicle to Walmart to order and pick up the nude photographs. Complete article

UPDATE: Man sentenced following 2011 Va. Walmart shootout 05/23/2014

Police: Oswego woman, already banned from NY Wal-Mart, charged with felony for stealing big screen TV 05/23/2014

Louisiana Walmart employee on light duty claims bathroom assignment is punishment 05/24/2014

JC Tenn. woman caught on camera stealing from Wal-Mart 05/25/2014

Man forces woman into car at gunpoint outside Walmart in Orlando Fla. 05/25/2014

ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando police are looking for a man they say tried to rob and carjack a woman in a Walmart parking lot.

Authorities said it happened around 5:15 p.m. Sunday at the Walmart at 2500 S. Kirkman Road.

As the woman loaded her purchases into her vehicle, the suspect got in, pointed a gun at her and demanded money, police said.

According to police, the woman told the man she didn't have any money. That's when the man forced the woman into the passenger seat, pointed a gun at her head and demanded her ATM card. Complete article

Police: Man arrested, charged in attempted Fla. Walmart carjacking 05/28/2014

Police: Woman accidentally shot at Ind. Walmart 05/25/2014

COLUMBUS, Ind. - Police say a gunshot wounded a woman inside a central Indiana Wal-Mart store Saturday night after a man's handgun fell from his pants and fired.

Columbus police Lt. Matt Myers says 26-year-old Ginny Thompson was treated for an upper arm wound by medics at the store but declined to go to a hospital.

Myers tells The Republic that city Police Chief Jon Rohde was inside the Wal-Mart store Saturday evening when he heard the gunshot and called for assistance.

Myers says a 56-year-old man told officers that his handgun was in a holster when it fell from his waistband. One bullet hit Thompson who was pushing a shopping cart with her newborn son inside. Complete article

Man dies after Fla. Wal-Mart parking lot shooting 05/26/2014

A man died Monday after being shot in the parking lot of a Greenacres Walmart, according to a Greenacres Department of Public Safety news release.

The victim, Andre Lamar Folsom, 36, of West Palm Beach, was found in the parking lot at about 12:30 a.m. at the Walmart at 6294 Forest Hill Blvd.

He was seen leaving the Walmart moments earlier with several people. Those people are persons of interest, according to the release. Complete article

Bomb threat forces evacuation of Wal-Mart in Swatara Township Pa., police say 05/27/2014

Wal-Mart Shareholders Want to Hear More About This Bribery Problem 05/27/2014 But Institutional Shareholder Services wants you to vote no anyway; it also wants you to vote no on Wal-Mart's say-on-pay proposal and yes on a proposal to have an independent chairman. "Independent" means, in this case, "not having the last name Walton,"3 and again a majority of the shares voting on that proposal will be controlled by people with the last name Walton. Good luck!

Walmart cross-dresser suspected in thefts of TVs worth $10k from Casselberry Fla. store 05/27/2014

These guys have taken shoplifting through the roof.

For nearly a month, two men — one dressed as a woman — slipped big-screen TVs out of the Casselberry Walmart.

They took roughly $10,000 worth of TVs, 18 in all, from the electronics department at the 24-hour store at 1239 State Road 436 from April 12 to May 19.

They took them into the gardening center, which was closed at the time of the thefts, from midnight to 2:30 a.m.

Then they managed to climb up shelving, hoist up the TVs and slip them through fabric panels that acted as the ceiling in the gardening center, police said in a report. Complete article

What Wal-Mart prefers to keep secret 05/27/2014

Suspected shoplifter at Lakewood Co. Walmart pulls gun; leads police on chase 05/27/2014

A couple accused of pointing a gun at a Walmart security guard in a shoplifting case led police on a chase from Lakewood into Denver in a Jeep that had an infant on board.

The Jeep eventually stopped near West 12th Avenue and Perry Street and the driver, a man, ran away leaving a woman and a 2-year-old behind, said Steve Davis, a Lakewood Police Department spokesman.

Police using dogs to search for the robber found a suspect at about 12:55 p.m. Tuesday, hiding nearby in bushes, Davis said. He was taken to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries, including a dog bite. Complete article

Pair sought in Kingsport Tenn. Walmart shoplifting 05/27/2014

Pennsylvania mother charged with stashing $210 of stolen goods from Walmart in 3-year-old child's backpack 05/27/2014

POLICE REPORTS: Man in truck points gun at angry man in Tx. Walmart parking lot 05/27/2014

Springville Utah Walmart employee arrested for theft 05/28/2014

Mom leaves sick children in car at Dickerson Pike Tenn. Walmart 05/28/2014

Wal-Mart CEO says pace of acquisitions to accelerate 05/28/2014

Police: 74-year-old Auburn woman charged with burglary after shoplifting from NY Walmart 05/28/2014

Shoplifting suspect captured after fleeing the scene at ga. Wal-Mart 05/28/2014

Woman robbed at gunpoint outside Walmart in Franklin Wisc. 05/28/2014

Wal-Mart Fires Back at Proxy Adviser Over Pay, Bribery Criticism 05/29/2014

Two Fla. Walmart employees in Palm Springs arrested for theft 05/29/2014

Sketch released of man who exposed himself inside Fla. Walmart 05/29/2014

Man, woman accused of $2,000 merchandise theft from Fuquay-Varina NC Walmart 05/29/2014

Vandal uses marker to tell Pa. Walmart shopper ‘learn how to park’ 05/29/2014

Clear Evidence That Costco And Walmart Live In Totally Different Worlds 05/29/2014

As Walmart grows globally, so does worker resistance 05/29/2014

Tx. Wal-Mart Supercenter named in negligence claim 05/29/2014

Police looking for two men accused of stealing cash from Ky. Walmart 05/29/2014

Anna Ill. police investigating Walmart thefts 05/29/2014

Krebs woman charged in Ok. Walmart check-cashing scheme 05/29/2014

Police: Flatscreen Thief at Tx. Walmart Caught After Pursuit 05/28/2014

Woman nabbed after fleeing Mich. Walmart theft scene 05/28/2014

Some Employees Are Furious At Management Payouts In Walmart's Big Adtech Acquisition 05/27/2014

NM Walmart parking lot scuffle ends in gunfire 05/30/2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —A fight in a Walmart parking lot ended in gunfire around 4:30 a.m. Friday.

Officers were called to the Walmart on Coors Bypass NW to check on a scuffle involving a large group of people.

Shots were fired as police arrived. Nobody was hurt, but police had to chase some people who ran from the scene. Complete article

Suffolk Va. Police looking for Walmart shoplifting suspects 05/30/2014

Police: Man Dressed In Army Uniform Steals Pool From Walmart 05/30/2014

Police: 2 steal 35 iPods, other electronics from NC Walmart 05/30/2014

Welcome to Wal-Mart High! 05/30/2014

It's springtime in Texas. The weather is warming up and the air is thick and humid as students count down the days until summer break, but inside one Houston-area high school, a group of students isn't exactly tied to their desks.

They aren't in the gym, in home economics class or studying math. These students are inside Scarborough High School's mock Wal-Mart store, located just down the hall from traditional classrooms. The store is a lab of sorts, set up and paid for by the retail giant, complete with a cash register, shelves of inventory, and those familiar "rollback" pricing signs on each display.

As the students of all high school grade levels fill up the lab, their teacher Sarah Ray begins to lecture them on the finer art of retail seasonality as she stands amid racks of bathing suits and beach towels.

It's the end of the first year of a retail immersion class called Etail/Retail, which is the brainchild of Tracy Davis, director for the Center for Retail Management at the University of Houston—Downtown. Complete article

Walmart moms announce new strikes in 20 cities starting Friday 05/29/2014

Shoplifting incident reported at Walmart in Raritan Township Pa. 05/31/2014

Suspects hit two Pasadena Tx. Walmart stores 05/2/2014

PSP Investigating Retail Theft at Pa. Walmart 05/30/2014

Toccoa residents charged with armed robbery outside Clayton Ga. Walmart 05/31/2014

2 Wanted for Thefts at Ill. and Ky. Walmart Stores 05/30/2014

6 ways Wal-Mart’s greed has gotten the company in hot water 05/24/2014