LONG ISLAND, NY - The Valley Stream Wal-Mart store on Long Island, NY delivered shock to the waking world early on Black Friday when a 34-year-old temporary employee Jdimytai Damour of Jamaica, Queens, was knocked to the ground and trampled to death after hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of the store on Friday morning.
The tragic scene marked the start of America's annual Black Friday sales event, a shopocalypse designed to encourage violent materialism while raising credit card debt by tempting desperate shoppers with extreme sale prices and limited supplies offered at no other time during the holiday shopping season. At least that's what these big box retailers would like everyone to believe.
"This crowd was out of control," said Nassau police spokesman Lt. Michael Fleming. He described the scene as "utter chaos." Source: ABC News
Nassau police indicated that over 2,000 people were gathered outside the store when doors opened opened at 5 a.m. as Damour attempted to hold back the unruly crowds after the doors opened. The doors were quickly ripped off the hinges according to reports. Witnesses confirmed that surging throngs of rabid shoppers knocked the man down. When he fell, he was stepped on as he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him. One witness said that dozens of store employees who tried fighting their way out to help Damour were instantly getting trampled by the crowd.
"He was bum-rushed by 200 people," said Jimmy Overby, 43, a co-worker. "They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too...I literally had to fight people off my back." Source: NY Daily News
Jdimytai Damour was rushed to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead at 6:03 a.m. Earlier reports also indicated that a 28-year-old pregnant woman suffered a miscarriage after being knocked to floor at the same Wal-Mart location, the report was later called unfounded.
This tragic Wal-Mart casualty clearly underscores our culture's obsession with bargain hunting and our quest for material things. Black Friday events have transformed into an annual ritual of greed and self-seeking that seems to bring out the worst of our shopaholic nature. When deep discounts on flat screen TV's and computers take priority over human life, it's time for serious self-examination. The lust for things has reached a fever-pitch in our country.
People are dying to go into debt and dying to be first in line to grab that ultimate deal on something that will deliver no real joy to their empty lives. One man paid the ultimate price trying to prevent others from being injured, simply trying to help desperate and savage shoppers to slow down. Where can I go to get in line for that kind of courage? I'm guessing it won't be going on sale anytime soon. It's not cheap and it's not for sale. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Damour family.
I hope that for hundreds of families in Long Island, today will be remembered as the blackest Friday of all. It is certainly a dark day in our country's history. Welcome to the shopocalypse.