This morning, a woman pepper sprayed about 20 Walmart shoppers and their children, vying to get a limited quantity available X-Box 360 video game. They are calling it "competitive shopping.
The police were called.
Emergency medical techs were called.
It made national news.
I wonder what kinds of charges will be filed against the woman.
What she did was not that different than what police have done, using pepper spray in ways that do not conform to the proper use, as defined by police policy or the law.
The police should be subjected to the same standards used to charge and prosecute this woman. She had her children with her. She could lose her children. The police who pepper-sprayed non-violent, non-threatening, even restrained and captured protesters should lose their jobs and be subject to direct civil litigation, which, when they lose, destroys their financial lives, in addition to prosecution for criminal acts.
We also have to ask the question, did the excessive, possibly illegal use of pepper spray by police in NYC, Oakland and UC Davis, to name a few examples, prime the pump so this woman was encouraged or thought it was okay to use pepper spray in a store?
Did the improper, excessive police use of pepper spray, which, deserved high rotation media attention, lead to this woman to use pepper spray?
And perhaps most important to the 1%, did this use of pepper spray discourage shoppers from going out to stores today? Already TV anchors are showing interviews with shoppers who are saying things like, "Forget it. I don't want to deal with this. "
So, we have Occupy Wall Street critics complaining that police presence and overtime for monitoring Occupy Wall Street occupations and actions are costing millions. Consider that the police use of pepper-spray probably inspired this woman's use of it, which could have led to millions of people staying home, perhaps leading to hundreds of millions if not billions in lost sales.
Perhaps, now that megacorporate bottom lines are being affected by police brutality, it will be reined in.
And perhaps, the occupy movement will take a lesson from this, including the massive publicity this incident is generating, and they will occupy places like Walmart and Target, Sears, Kmart, etc.
The stores will have a choice-- encourage the police to get violent, including the use of pepper-spray, which will also affect customers and employees-- or they can welcome the 99 percenters and even support them. What a concept. Imagine tents in front of Box stores, with permission. It's about time that the new public square-- the box store and shopping mall-- be open to free speech, even if they are private property.