The man killed in an early morning Black Friday rush at Wal-Mart was a part-time contract worker, hired for the holiday season.
What does the post-Thanksgiving shopping rush dubbed Black Friday really symbolize in the U.S.? The death of a Long Island worker after a mob of shoppers rushed into a Wal-Mart certainly shows the worst of American consumerism and excess, but where do we position such exuberance in a time of economic downturn?
Bargain-hungry shoppers stepped on a fallen Wal-Mart worker, who died Friday morning, after the crowd knocked down the store’s front doors—and the worker—during the “utter chaos” of a Black Friday shopping melee, Nassau County police said.
“A throng of shoppers ... physically broke down the doors” at around 5 a.m. Friday and knocked the 34-year-old part-time worker to the ground as the crowd pushed its way into the store at the Green Acres Mall, Nassau police said.
“This crowd was out of control,” said Nassau Police Det. Lt. Michael Fleming, who is investigating the death. He characterized the melee as “utter chaos.”
Fleming said an estimated 2,000 people had gathered in line around 5 a.m. as the store was preparing to open. Asked at a news conference whether the store had enough security given the crowds that Black Friday shopping typically attracts, Fleming said no. Four shoppers had minor injuries, police said.