Texas Law and News Blog

Shoplifting Suspect Dies Suspiciously in the Hands of Wal-Mart Security and Employees

Another black Friday tragedy occurred in Lithonia, Georgia over the holiday weekend.  A suspected shoplifter allegedly holding two DVD players that had not been paid for walked out of Wal-Mart and was quickly stopped by three Wal-Mart employees. A fight ensued, ending with the alleged shoplifter at the bottom of the dog pile.  The shoplifting suspect later died at the hospital.

Walmart PicketerRegardless of whether this man stole from Wal-Mart or not, there is no excuse for the violence of the security guard and employees.  Simply subduing the suspect would have been sufficient, but the three individuals lost all of their self control and through judgment to the wind, beating the man so severely between the three of them that he died from his injuries.  A three-against-one fight is never fair, and in this case was completely excessive and unnecessary.

News reports simply state that the man died in “suspicious” circumstances from a “physical altercation”, but I think most people are capable putting two and two together.  The security guard has already been fired, and the two employees are on leave from Wal-Mart.  It is obvious that at least one of the employees used excessive force.

An autopsy report, together with surveillance tape from Wal-Mart, should give enough evidence as to whether all three of the employees participated in the beatings equally, or whether one was the lead aggressor.  One thing’s for sure, criminal and civil suits are imminent.  The video recordings should definitely implicate at least one of the employees in this sad beating death.  A wrongful death suit is expected to be filed by the man’s family.

Walmart StorefrontWal-Mart is famous for its low prices, but infamous for its poor treatment of employees in the United States.  There were several Wal-Mart tragedies throughout the United States this holiday weekend, as well as picketers on strike outside numerous stores nationwide.  However,  their spokespeople ignorantly reported to the media that Wal-Mart had their best black Friday ever. Companies certainly seem to measure success in very different ways.