A line-cutting dispute among shoppers who waited for hours outside a New York Wal-Mart and those who stayed inside their cars led to the stampede that killed a store worker, Newsday reports.
Nassau police said Wednesday that the conflict among shoppers who remained in their cars and those who waited in the cold weather fostered a "mob mentality" that led to the death last week of 34-year-old Jdimytai Damour, according to the paper.
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Some blame does have to go to Wal-mart for first setting the stage for this tragedy and then not providing adequate security to control the crowds.
While I support the families' effort to sue Wal-mart and wish them well, I do feel that the real blame rests elsewhere.
The real blame rests with the animals in line that placed their own personal greed at such a high level that they were willing to sacrifice a human life to satisfy it. Some may criticize my use of the word animal but that is too damned bad, it was chosen carefully. There is no other way to describe the pack mentality that was in force on this morning.
I remember a time I was at the grocery store. As I was crossing the crosswalk in front of the store a woman in a pick-up had stopped to let me pass, as is the law and custom in Michigan. This woman had her turn signal on and was obviously in the process of turning down an aisle to get a good parking space in front of the store. As I was right in front of her grill, she started pulling forward. I yelled at her and asked her what the Hell she was doing. She gestured towards the intended parking space where another car was pulling in. The bottom line is that she was willing to run me over if it meant keeping someone else from stealing her parking space.
The point is, the selfishness of people really knows no bounds. They focus on what they want at the exclusion of all around them.
All it would have taken would have been a just a few people to stop pushing towards Mr. Damour and help shield him to save his life. Instead everyone in that line was too intent on getting a great price on an MP3 player or a TV or maybe get Christmas lights for a buck. Can't take out the time to help some poor dude that has fallen to the ground. What was almost worse is that the people raised Hell when Wal-mart store officials told them they were closing the store and they would have to leave.
The police say that it is unlikely anyone will be charged, which is really too bad. There is definitely a need for prison time here.
So what was Mr. Damour doing in the path of this mob? He was trying to protect a pregnant woman from being crushed by the crowd. Too bad there weren't just a few more people in the crowd who were as good of a person as Mr. Damour, I may just be posting about something else tonight.
So, while there are unlikely to be any charges, the people that did this know who they are. To them I say, enjoy your MP3 player. My suspicion is that it never will sound quite right.