Talk about irony! Who knew that when I wrote the article "Veterans protesting at Smithsonian met with pepper-spray", back in October, I would end up being the victim of another pepper spray incident. It was Black Friday and their was a 32" TV advertised in the Walmart paper. I normally don't shop at that evil empire but my mom insisted. In the rural south there are not many options for shopping. I knew when I walked in that the night would be full of drama but I didn't know how much drama. It was a total nightmare. The store was unorganized and the sales people seemed lost.
My mom, excited to go shopping, pulled my sister and I into going shopping with her. We thought, "This is going to be a nightmare." However, we could have never predicted how our night would unfold.
We were waiting in line at the Walmart in Kinston, NC, when people began grabbing for things ahead of time and pushing each other. The police sprayed pepper spray into the crowd. Children, elderly, and disabled people were in the area but police sprayed indiscriminately. Many had to be taken to the hospital due to reactions from being sprayed.
I was in line patiently waiting for my item since 8pm. I was nowhere near the people who were fighting and pushing and yet I had to suffer being pepper sprayed. That is not the way it is supposed to work. You can't punish the masses for infractions of the few!
The reaction from people is that, "Well people shouldn't have been fighting!" This people get what they deserve attitude is appalling. The ends do not always justify the means and in this case they certainly do not. It is as if police officers have forgotten there are other methods of crowd control! No one said the police should have done nothing. However, what they did do was inappropriate and they should know better. The choices are not take to extreme measure or do nothing. There is such a thing as proper protocol when it comes to crowd control and police are trained to know what to do in situations like this. Their actions escalated the event and caused more injuries. The entire situation was handled incorrectly and that is the bottom line.
I hate to be harsh but the police signed up for their jobs and if it is too much for them to control their tempers and act according to proper protocol then they have the wrong job. Police officers are trained in various techniques of crowd control and the use of pepper spray is only one. For example, tools like stink bombs, low frequency sound cannons, and net guns can be employed without risking the health of innocent children, sick, and elderly people. Police officers are entrusted to protect us, they are supposed to put the needs of the people above their own and not take the easy way out. They acted without regard of all the innocent people who were in the area and many people had to be taken to the emergency room that night. Luckily not everyone is sensitive to pepper spray and so the shopping continued for them but what about all the others who were not so lucky.
I recorded this video because I was completely outraged at what was going on at the store. Luckily, I did not get sprayed directly and only suffered a bit of temporary discomfort. What I am now is outraged that this happened and even more outraged that so many think that the police were justified in their actions. I'm sorry but how it can be okay to pepper spray hundreds of people to stop the actions of a handful is lost to me.
Police gone wild with pepper spray at Walmart
Veterans protesting at Smithsonian met with pepper-spray