Black Friday has been an American tradition since the mid 1950's, but only since early 2000's. Since the 20th century, the day after Thanksgiving has become increasingly associated with two things: Retail sales and spats of intense violence within and out of said stores.
BlackFridayDeathCount.com, a site that collects stories of Holiday brutality, estimates that 10 deaths and 111 injuries have occurred as a result of the big shopping day. Despite Black Friday increasingly resembling The Purge, the outbursts of capitalism-driven crimes hasn't seemingly stopped anyone from spending. The American Marketers Association estimated that in 2017, U.S. retailers earned a record $7.9 billion on Nov. 24, marking an 18% uptick from the year before. Meanwhile, Forbes statistics indicate that shoppers spent over $1 million a minute on online purchases that same day.
This year isn't slowing down in terms of either expenditures or destructiveness: Despite it being the coldest Thanksgiving since 1901, Black Friday continues to go in both length and scope, according to Vox.
Stores like Target and Kohl's opened their doors at 5 pm on the even of Thanksgiving; the Adobe Analytics firm estimated that shoppers had spent over $1.75 billion as of 5 p.m. — more than 28 percent since 2017, according to the New York Times. And in terms of crime? The day is young, but Sheriff's have already began putting out warnings to locals in states like Alabama, according to WBRC, a Birmingham, Alabama-based Fox affiliate.
Here are five of the most insane Black Friday crimes we could find.
1. Price gauged potatoes
A woman who thought she was buying a discounted iPhone 6 was shocked to instead receive a box filled with sliced potatoes.
A viral video of an unknown Milwaukee, Wisconsin woman claiming to have purchased the device from a shoddily marked truck on Black Friday was outraged when she opened the packaging to see some spuds instead, according to The Independent, a UK-based news organization.
“What the heck am I supposed to do with this?” the woman screamed in the video.
It's unclear if charges were ever filed in connection , or if somebody ever responded to the woman and forwarded her a recipe for steak fries.
2. Whip It Good
A shirtless man was seen using his belt as a whip during a sartorial skirmish at an Adidas store in Vancouver, Canada on Black Friday in 2016.
The store had to be closed following the violent altercation, according to CTV News, a Canadian news organization.
"He was running around with his belt, swinging it at people, and then out of nowhere some guy came behind and just started choking him," a teen who witnessed the event said.
The man was ultimately arrested. but police released no further information on the incident.
3. Barbie Girls, Violent World
Two California women unfortunately proved that the plastic life isn’t always as perfect and dreamy as what Barbie made it out to be.
The pair broke out in a fist fight in Norwalk over an argument stemming from a discounted Barbie doll during Black Friday 2014, according to CBSLA, a Los Angeles based CBS affiliate.
Police were called to attend to the brawling women and managed to diffuse the situation. No one was arrested as a result of the scuffle and no one was injured.
“The whole thing was pretty stupid,” said a shopper named Sonia, “that was very dumb.”
4. Walmart Throws Money At Family Of Trampling Victim
In 2013, Jdimytai Damour, 34-year-old Long Island Security worker, was crushed to death by frenzied Walmart shoppers looking a piece of the action on Black Friday, according to the New York Daily News.
The retail giant agreed to implement new safety protocols soon following Damour’s tragically brutal death.
"We never want it to happen again," said Walmart executive Hank Mullany, according to the Daily News. "We're committed to learning from it."
The court's decision to not implicate Walmart in the death was criticized by Damour's lawyer, Andrew Libo.
"The ability of [Walmart] to dictate the results of this criminal investigation demonstrates the epitome of corporate arrogance,” Libo said. "Justice is not for sale."
5. 2018 Mall Shooting
2018 was no exception in terms of the prevalence of Black Friday crimes. As of the morning of November 23, one fatality was already reported, according to The Associated Press.
On the night of Thanksgiving, police shot and killed a man at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Alabama. The police were responding to calls of a shooting that injured a teen and a 12-year-old girl.
The mall was ready for a reopening by 6 a.m. on Friday.
[Photo Credits: Black Friday Shoppers by Kamil Krzaczynski / Getty Images]
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