Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Prosecutor investigating NJ Walmart racial comment
yahoo.com ^ | March 18, 2010

Posted on 03/18/2010 7:03:57 PM PDT by grundle

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) -- A racial comment made over the public-address system at a Walmart store in southern New Jersey is being investigated as a possible bias crime, a prosecutor's office said Thursday.

A male voice came over the system Sunday evening and calmly announced: "Attention, Walmart customers: All black people, leave the store now."

The announcement, at the Washington Township store, provoked an immediate apology from the store manager and a promise from company officials to try to determine how it happened.

Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean F. Dalton began an investigation Monday and his office said in a statement Thursday that some of the system phones are accessible to the public and not all are in range of security cameras.

Investigators said the announcement could have been made from any of about two dozen phones inside the store. They reviewed video from store cameras, but did not disclose what, if anything, was discovered.

Office spokesman Bernie Weisenfeld said in the statement that its victim-witness unit has contacted the store's management, offering counseling services to anyone affected by the announcement. The county's Human Relations Commission was offering similar help.

Officials say several people have come forward and expressed interest in getting counseling.

Meanwhile, Lorenzo Lopez, a spokesman for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer was working to reduce the number of phones accessible to the public and with public-address capabilities.

Company officials have said the announcement was "unacceptable."

While it was unclear whether a rogue patron or an employee was responsible for the comment, many customers at the time expressed anger to store management.

(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: walmart

1 posted on 03/18/2010 7:03:57 PM PDT by grundle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: grundle

It was probably somebody tired of waiting at the Site to Store Pickup. I know I’ve used the phone back there to call customer service to tell them I’m tired of waiting for someone to bring my order out. Anyway, the phone has all the buttons marked for the different departments and the PA thing.


2 posted on 03/18/2010 7:07:53 PM PDT by sockmonkey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grundle
....several people have come forward and expressed interest in getting counseling.

Setting the foundation for the flurry of Law suites.

3 posted on 03/18/2010 7:07:54 PM PDT by ladyvet (WOLVERINES!!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grundle

What a waste of time and money!


4 posted on 03/18/2010 7:09:13 PM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grundle
as a possible bias crime

So some Wal-Mart shopper grabbed a phone and pulled a prank - whatever happened to the First Amendment? How can this person be prosecuted for the words he spoke?

If he was not authorized to use the phone, maybe Wal-Mart can get him for some sort of trespassing claim.

I guess we should be thankful that there is so little crime in New Jersey that this isn't a waste of prosecutorial resources.

5 posted on 03/18/2010 7:10:15 PM PDT by SirJohnBarleycorn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grundle

“....being investigated as a possible bias crime, a prosecutor’s office said Thursday.”

— — —

When did being a complete dumbass become a crime?


6 posted on 03/18/2010 7:11:22 PM PDT by HighWheeler
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grundle
I say...disgruntled employee (current or former) or an imaginative individual who hopes to cash in against one of the richest corporations in the world.
7 posted on 03/18/2010 7:12:32 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Host The Beer Summit-->Win The Nobel Peace Prize!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grundle

Everybody is acting as if the person was in the store. Several years ago (about 30), my son and his buddies rigged up a CB radio to be on the same frequency as their high school pa system. They then set in their car one afternoon and dismissed the school due to an “emergency”. They never did get found out. I only found out about it five years later over some beers.


8 posted on 03/18/2010 7:13:44 PM PDT by ProudFossil
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SirJohnBarleycorn
whatever happened to the First Amendment

Yelling "fire" in a crowed movie theater comes to mind. Not everything said by someone is covered by the First Amendment.

9 posted on 03/18/2010 7:17:39 PM PDT by doc1019 (To call Obama a bumbling idiot would be an insult to bumbling idiots worldwide.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: grundle
Wouldn't surprise me if the perp was "of color". A lot of this sort of thing has been happening in recent years.
10 posted on 03/18/2010 7:21:40 PM PDT by Major Matt Mason (ClimateScandal.org)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: doc1019
Yelling "fire" in a crowed movie theater comes to mind. Not everything said by someone is covered by the First Amendment.

Yelling "fire" in a crowded movie theater would not be considered a "bias crime."

I'm sure that if some low-life grabbed the phone and said "all crackas get out da store now" the only thing that would have happened is there would have been a lot of laughing, hooping and hollering.

11 posted on 03/18/2010 7:28:59 PM PDT by SirJohnBarleycorn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: doc1019

“Yelling “fire” in a crowed movie theater comes to mind.”

Stampede as black people listen to the dumbass and storm out of the store :)?


12 posted on 03/18/2010 7:29:58 PM PDT by mainsail that
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: grundle

This story is so freakin’ funny I think I’m gonna say something that could get me banned but it would start out something like, “Attention K-Mart shoppers...”. ROFLMAO!

If they escalate this thing any higher BamBam will be having press conferences about it and sicking the FBI on the situation.


13 posted on 03/18/2010 7:30:14 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: doc1019

This is not relevant to yelling fire in a crowded theater.


14 posted on 03/18/2010 7:34:49 PM PDT by ohioman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: SirJohnBarleycorn

Wouldn’t make it right under the First Amendment, which is what I thought we were discussing.


15 posted on 03/18/2010 7:40:01 PM PDT by doc1019 (To call Obama a bumbling idiot would be an insult to bumbling idiots worldwide.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: doc1019

First of all, the ‘fire in a crowded theater’ rule was overturned some time ago. But even if it still existed, the rule existed to prevent a needless panic that could endanger lives in rush to the exits. Such is not the case here. The statement posed no danger to anyone other than the person who said it, provided he was found out.

The county prosecutor has no business jumping on this bandwagon. That is an insult to all the victims of real crime in the state. That headline grabbing political hack needs to be fired and possibly disbarred.


16 posted on 03/18/2010 7:40:05 PM PDT by sig226 (Bring back Jimmy Carter!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: sig226

Just shows you how long I have been out of school. I was going by something I learn in a law course I jumped on back in the day, just to fill a requirement. I would love for you to site case precedent for me so I might investigate further. Thanks in advance. ;-)


17 posted on 03/18/2010 7:50:29 PM PDT by doc1019 (To call Obama a bumbling idiot would be an insult to bumbling idiots worldwide.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: grundle

“Attention, Walmart customers: All black people, leave the store now.”

If this prankster had said: Attention, Walmart customers; All white people, leave the store now.” Would this have been made into this big issue? I think not! Gee, why is that?


18 posted on 03/18/2010 7:51:39 PM PDT by Batman11 (Sarah Palin: "Illegal immigrants are called illegal for a reason!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grundle

A non story if ever there was one, all part of the desperate effort to portray America as a racist country, correction as a White racist country, when that most emphatically is not now the case.


19 posted on 03/18/2010 8:05:33 PM PDT by Williams (It's the policies, stupid)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grundle

Guess it’s worth mentioning that if any person in the store thought this was a seriuos announcement,or was part of a company or even single store policy,

Then that person is an absolute idiot.

Oh the horrible persecution of minorities in America 2010, some jerk saying something stupid once over a store microphone. /s


20 posted on 03/18/2010 8:08:56 PM PDT by Williams (It's the policies, stupid)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grundle
A male voice came over the system Sunday evening and calmly announced: "Attention, Walmart customers: All black people, leave the store now."

Or did it say, "Attention, Walmar customer: All bla peepoh, leave da sto now"?
21 posted on 03/18/2010 8:10:08 PM PDT by aruanan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grundle

Oh for cripes sake. IT WAS A PRANK. GET OVER IT!


22 posted on 03/18/2010 8:11:49 PM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SirJohnBarleycorn; Batman11
"...All crackas get out da store now..."


SirJohn, you are 100% correct.
As a caucasian, I would bust out laughing if I heard that broadcasted!
Then again, I also have a sense of humor, something sorely missing in urban America.

23 posted on 03/18/2010 8:13:54 PM PDT by Blue Jays (Rock Hard, Ride Free)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Blue Jays

Just to be clear, this area is not urban. Very nice series of strip and big box stores, I was there tonight.

IF we lived in a white racist country, Walmart wouldn’t be apologizing and changing their public address systems, the government wouldn’t be offering counseling, the patrons wouldn’t be angrily protesting, and the prosecutor wouldn’t be investigating a possible “bias crime”.

If we did live in a racist country such an announcement would be troubling, however I can tell you that living in this area I have NEVER seen anything but black customers being given deferential service, but then let’s have AP turn something inconsaequential into a worldwide incident.


24 posted on 03/18/2010 8:21:50 PM PDT by Williams (It's the policies, stupid)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: grundle
Office spokesman Bernie Weisenfeld said in the statement that its victim-witness unit has contacted the store's management, offering counseling services to anyone affected by the announcement. The county's Human Relations Commission was offering similar help. Officials say several people have come forward and expressed interest in getting counseling.

Counseling?

Really?

For what?!

25 posted on 03/18/2010 8:22:24 PM PDT by Zeppo ("Happy Pony is on - and I'm NOT missing Happy Pony")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: doc1019
Wouldn’t make it right under the First Amendment, which is what I thought we were discussing.

My point was that your counter-example of yelling fire in a crowded theater is not relevant to a dicussion of a First Amendment case of prosecution for a bias crime.

Another example is defamation - if you slander a private person, those mere words are not protected by the First Amendment. But that also is not relevant to a discussion of a First Amendment case of prosecution for a bias crime.

I think if this is a bystander who grabbed the phone without authorization and said what he said, he is protected under the First Amendment from bias crime prosecution for the content of what he said. Maybe the store could get him for some sort of trespassing, however.

On the other hand, if it was an employee who grabbed the phone and said what he said, Wal-Mart may well be in violation of state anti-discrimination laws applicable to public accomodations.

26 posted on 03/18/2010 8:31:21 PM PDT by SirJohnBarleycorn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: grundle
I think the person should be prosecuted for corporate sabotage. He's trying to ruin the reputation of Walmart.
27 posted on 03/18/2010 8:38:41 PM PDT by Greg123456
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SirJohnBarleycorn

Thank you. Obviously I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about. ;-)


28 posted on 03/18/2010 8:40:46 PM PDT by doc1019 (To call Obama a bumbling idiot would be an insult to bumbling idiots worldwide.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: grundle

This whole thing smells to high heaven. THe prosecutor and counseling service?

I would have loved to have heard the accent, if any, of the male voice making the announcement.


29 posted on 03/18/2010 8:44:42 PM PDT by DakotaRed (What happened to the country I fought for?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pnh102

Oh for cripes sake. IT WAS A PRANK. GET OVER IT

I agree, suddenly thin skins become legal challenges.....pathetic


30 posted on 03/18/2010 8:45:00 PM PDT by terycarl (4)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: doc1019
Brandenburg v. Ohio

There's a more recent one, I think, but I can't recall the name. The Brandenburg rule says that the speech has to be intended to incite imminent, lawless action.

31 posted on 03/18/2010 8:57:09 PM PDT by sig226 (Bring back Jimmy Carter!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: grundle

They should start with the lefties.


32 posted on 03/18/2010 9:00:41 PM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grundle

It’s obvious to me that he just wanted them to move their Cadillacs from the handicap parking. The usual double parking in the fire lane was ok!


33 posted on 03/18/2010 9:02:44 PM PDT by carmelanne (State and County Republican party leaders, your all finished.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sig226

Thanks, gives me a starting point. ;-)


34 posted on 03/18/2010 9:07:50 PM PDT by doc1019 (To call Obama a bumbling idiot would be an insult to bumbling idiots worldwide.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: ladyvet
"'...several people have come forward and expressed interest in getting counseling.'

Setting the foundation for the flurry of Law suites."


Obviously these people do need to seek some psychiatric counseling that might assist them to GET A GRIP!!! Unfortunately the actual counseling they are looking for is probably of the legal variety to help them determine how much money they can milk this for.
35 posted on 03/18/2010 9:18:46 PM PDT by ThomasSawyer (Democratic Underground: Proof that anyone can figure out how to use a computer.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: grundle
If THIS is a big deal, imagine if the guy used the “N” word when making the announcement.

What's next, some kids TPing the wrong house for goodness sakes?

We are a Nation of whimpering Children.

36 posted on 03/18/2010 9:25:04 PM PDT by Kickass Conservative (Obamunism, the fatal cure for Bush Derangement Syndrome.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ProudFossil

I find that very hard to believe.


37 posted on 03/22/2010 5:48:14 AM PDT by airdalechief
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: grundle
While it was unclear whether a rogue patron or an employee was responsible for the comment...

Is not racism predicated upon the race of the participants? Being mitigated by similarity rather dissimilarity? If we don't even know the racial component of the first half of the equation, then how are we to conclude, or even surmise, anything?

38 posted on 03/22/2010 6:15:34 AM PDT by csense
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson