May 10, 2010

"Why would you kill someone over toothpaste?"

"Why would you even chase them, and how is this not murder — it doesn't make sense.... They've taken away my kids' pops, and you don't do that."

143 comments:

mesquito said...

Tragic, but your title implies the intention was to kill.

And that's risible.

AllenS said...

Finally, a story with a happy ending.

Skyler said...

Well good. He won't be stealing again. When people think that they shouldn't be chased or captured for stealing things you can't have much pity.

The better argument is, "why did he keep running and resisting all for a tube of toothpaste?"

No pity. Those that pity him should explain why they endorse theft.

Treacle said...

Why would you risk your life over toothpaste?

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Come on Skyler, you can't be serious.

You really think that petty thieves should be chased down a street and killed?

What if it's your kid? Still feel that strangling them to death is OK?

There will be 12 jurors who will make short work to ensure that CVS pays millions of dollars for what their employee did (evidently, what they trained him to do) even if corrupt Chicago prosecutors won't do their fucking jobs and administer proper justice.

CVS employees are not cops and we don't want them to be. If they detect shoplifters, the proper course of action is to call the police.

If the police won't come, that's quite another problem, the solution of which is not strangling people to death in the streets.

PatHMV said...

mesquito... is there any evidence to disprove the possibility that the employee had an intent to kill? It would seem to me to be at least negligent homicide. I fail to understand why a CVS clerk would risk his own life to chase down a fleeing shoplifter. Fighting back against an armed robber, that I understand. But chasing a shoplifter out onto a very dangerous street? Why? What would the employee have done if the shoplifter had a knife on him?

rocketeer67 said...

If the facts really are as presented in the article, and there is not some significant aspect of the story missing (e.g., he was carrying some kind of deadly weapon) - I pity him, and his family. I don't endorse theft, but really - deadly force over toothpaste?

Somehow, I don't feel like it's my position that needs justifying.

PatHMV said...

Remember the old saying, "it's better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6?" I'm fine with that... but you have to accept the judging by 12 consequence when you make that decision. ANd of course here there was no indication that the employee's life was endanger once the shoplifter fled the store.

ricpic said...

It's payback for murder of business by thieves.

But really, those who are sheltered by several degrees of separation from "the oppressed" can't be expected to have sympathy for "the exploiters."

rhhardin said...

Once you kill somebody, it's done.

You can't undo it.

The die is cast.

Entropy steps in and stops reversal.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Those that pity him should explain why they endorse theft."

Then I hereby endorse theft.

We pay millions of dollars in taxes so that we have police, courts and jails to deal with thieves in a humane and just manner that is commensurate with their crime.

These taxes we pay precludes CVS employees from embarking on vigilante excursions whenever they feel like it, where they strangle people to death in the fucking streets if those people are the wrong color.

That's anarchy.

Otherwise, I want my fucking taxes back and each man can arm himself and it's every man for himself.

Otherwise, CVS has to accept petty theft as the price we pay to live in a society.

Shortly, CVS will have its fucking asses sued off and they'll pay out millions of dollars of profit for the piss-poor training they give their employees.

Maguro said...

The ruling was accidental death, which seems reasonable. Anyone think it was done on purpose?

Comrade X said...

maybe the employee was tired of shoplifters and didn't want to lose his job due to the store closing from losses. maybe he felt he was more entitled to his job than thief was to the toothpaste. maybe he didn't mean to kill the guy, just detain him. why did the thief keep fighting once caught?

mesquito said...

mesquito... is there any evidence to disprove the possibility that the employee had an intent to kill?

Preumably, yes.

A state's attorney decided not to prosecute, right?

Joe said...


Otherwise, CVS has to accept petty theft as the price we pay to live in a society.


Whoa Dood/doodette..."petty theft" in the micro-realm, darned large stock shrinkage in the aggregate!

How much "petty theft" are you allowed to or required to accept? After all, YOU the consumer pay for it? Are you willing to pay 10-15% more for any gvein item, to cover the loss?

So, now I buy my tooth paste AND yours?

I'm against killing a guy over tooth paste, but I sure don't have any problem with any other procedures to prevent theft! It's not just the cost of doing business. It's why there are few stores in many depressed areas, the cost of doing business is too high to be profitable.

Petty theft hurts business and the consumers, some of whom are economically disadvantaged. Your position puts the law abiding but poor at an increased burden, having to pay for their items and the "petty theft" of their neighbors.

You might want to re-think your position on theft as the cost of society....

Expat(ish) said...

I'm just amazed that someone can pay low wages and can get their employees to chase down a (possibly) armed thief.

That is some targeted hiring.

I will also predict that the employee who strangled the guy and the (possibly invisible) cop who was at the scene were also black. Because while we see the color of the thief in a picture, that is all we get. Where I live that means it is a black:black activity. (It can also mean hispanic:hispanic and, more rarely, white:white.)

I suspect there is a large tranche of story missing.

-XC

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"... last time I checked no one died from a lack of tooth paste in their house."

That is an uneducated statement. You are clearly not a medical professional.

"According to the Centers for Disease Control, researchers have uncovered potential links between periodontal disease and other serious health conditions. In people with healthy immune systems, the bacteria in the mouth that makes its way into the bloodstream is usually harmless. But under certain circumstances, the CDC says these microorganisms are associated with health problems such as stroke and heart disease. Diabetes is not only a risk factor for periodontal disease, but periodontal disease may make diabetes worse."

Gum disease, gingivitis and periodontitis can lead to death in many ways.

Including death by strangulation by CVS autocrats backed by corrupt state prosecutors, apparently.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"... darned large stock shrinkage in the aggregate!"

It is not large. The average "shrinkage" for a retailer is about 2% of annual sales.

Certainly not worth killing people in the streets for.

The fact of the matter is that it is illegal to kill someone who steals toothpaste or otherwise commits petty theft.

The fact that the corrupt slimy fucking prosecutor refuses to do his job in this case does not make it any less illegal.

CVS will face an civil suit. They won't ever let it get to court and they'll pay any amount to settle this case out of court.

Shortly, the employee will be fired. And rightly so. The employee committed a far more heinous crime.

Shoplifting is wrong. Strangling people to death is a far larger wrong.

Joe said...

I forgot Hussein Ham is a satrical fixture here...

How foolsih of me, i now support a FEDERAL program designed to provide, nay MANDATE that all Americans purchase tooth paste. Those who can not prove they have tooth paste will ahve to pay a fine and companies of 25 or more employees will have to provide tooth paste or face Federal fines.

There will be tooth paste exchanges set up for those searching for tooth paste and subsidies for those who lack tooth paste but can't afford it.

Finally, and I can't stress this enough no one will be forced to give up their tooth paste brand, as long as they like it....

Balfegor said...

There will be 12 jurors who will make short work to ensure that CVS pays millions of dollars for what their employee did (evidently, what they trained him to do)

They trained their employees to put shoplifters in chokeholds? It sounds like they had more than one person on the thief -- couldn't they just have restrained his arms or something? Lethal chokehold seems kind of obviously like it would be excessive force here, even if it were legal for store employees to chase down shoplifters and other criminals and detain them on their own say-so. Which I suspect it is not.

Slow Joe said...

When someone steals in a public place, that's very violent in my view. They accept that someone may fight them, and are OK with that aspect.

It's not worth it, but when you deal with a violent criminal, such as anyone stealing in public, you have to make assumptions. I understand those who decide to use force and protect themselves. You don't know what else has been stolen, what kind of weapons or drugs are involved, etc.

No shock that someone like this has a circle of enabler attitudes. It's a shame someone sold him drugs and helped him ruin his life. If drugs were involved in any way, and they could find out who his dealer was, I would vote to convict on manslaughter charges against that dealer.

If you deal drugs, and any of your customers die trying to fund their habit or via some aspect of drug abuse, you are a killer.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"How much "petty theft" are you allowed to or required to accept?"

Nobody asked anybody to "accept" petty theft. There are reasonable responses - and unreasonable responses - to petty theft.

What we require if you want a business license is that you not allow your employees to chase people down and murder them in the fucking streets if you detect such theft in your store.

Otherwise, we're not going to authorize CVS to conduct business in our communities.

The proper course of action is to call the police and have that person arrested and prosecute them. That is the reasonable, usual and right thing to do. Nobody requires you to just "accept" theft.

Chasing them down and murdering them in the fucking streets is not a fucking option, dude.

And CVS will shortly be taught that lesson by paying millions of dollars to that guy's family in return for the crime that CVS allowed its employee to commit.

Joe said...

It is not large. The average "shrinkage" for a retailer is about 2% of annual sales.

2% of 2 Trillion in sales is what about 40 BILLION Dollars, right Hussein? The 2 trillion is from a 2008 report of just a portion of retail sales....so Hussein it's OK that people ahve to pay and EXTRA 40 BILLION for their goods and services, because of "petty theft?"

junyo said...

So, now I buy my tooth paste AND yours?
No, just your toothpaste plus the cost of whatever CVS settles the wrongful death suit for, plus the unemployment benefits of the strangler. That employ probably cost CVS and you many multiples of the cost of that toothpaste.

In theory, shrink is bad, but from a purely pragmatic POV there is a curve, and past a certain point the cost of eliminating the shrink is higher than the ROI on doing so. This is also why every tube isn't locked in a vault surrounded by guards. And as much as everyone likes to talk about it, most people wouldn't shop at a drug store that had toothpaste and Preparation H locked away like diamond rings to achieve a lower level of shrink.

Scott said...

The shoplifter was black = no charges were filed.

Joe said...

Nobody asked anybody to "accept" petty theft. There are reasonable responses - and unreasonable responses - to petty theft.
Hhhhhhhh'mmmmmm that's funny because jsut above you say:

Otherwise, CVS has to accept petty theft as the price we pay to live in a society.

Now President Obama I expect you to remain consistent within the thread...to ask you to remain conssitent thru-out your postings may be asking too much, but within t a thread, please do try.

Slow Joe said...

"
What we require if you want a business license is that you not allow your employees to chase people down and murder them in the fucking streets if you detect such theft in your store."

Stay out of Texas. This was no murder. In fact, CVS should be able to sue his estate for funds to pay the employee with for whatever harm he suffered in stopping another crime. If thieves and burglars are chased and killed if they resist, we don't have to worry as much about thieves and burglars.

Skyler said...

There are two ways the death could have been avoided, and we don't even have to look at intent.

First, the grocery clerk could have let the thief go.

Second, the thief could have submitted to the grocery clerk.

Which is the more rational way? Who bore the most responsibility to give up? I seriously doubt it was anyone's intent to kill the deserving thief, but if the thief continued to struggle and wouldn't submit, the grocery clerk was well within his rights to continue to hold the man.

I'm no expert, but as Marine I've had training in choke holds. Unlike the police, we're trained to use them to kill people. It takes surprisingly little time to starve the brain and kill a man if you compress the carotid artery, or so I'm told. If the grocer was pumped up on adrenaline he could very easily have killed the man in a very short time without even realizing it, and the man would have still been breathing until he was dead from brain starvation.

Like I said, the important point is that the guy won't be stealing again.

I've never stolen toothpaste before, or anything else. I have no pity for those that do.

Put me on that civil jury and I'll happily find for the defendant.

Balfegor said...

The proper course of action is to call the police and have that person arrested and prosecute them. That is the reasonable, usual and right thing to do.

I don't disagree, but you have to realise -- the chances of policemen wasting their time tracking down and arresting a man for stealing $2.00 worth of toothpaste is pretty much nil. Basically, "do the right thing" means you just have to write it off, and let people steal your stuff. We are asking them to sit back and take it.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"They trained their employees to put shoplifters in chokeholds?"

Yes, they do. And they give bonuses for it.

And now prosecutors have reinforced that behavior by refusing to prosecute that employee.

So the prosecutor thinks it's the right thing to do, apparently.

CVS taught that employee that this is what he's expected to do if he sees someone lifting a 12 cent tube of toothpaste.

Right?

Since that's what their employee did. Now where do you think he got that idea?

Wait.

I'll tell you where he got it.

CVS staff and management are paid quarterly bonuses based on the amount of theft they prevent in their stores. I bet you didn't know that, did you? The employee had a profit motive in murdering that shoplifter.

CVS employees get paid a bounty if they can put the fear of death into their customers.

And this employee did exactly that. This employee has put the fear into his neighborhood - the fear that if you steal from CVS, they'll chase you down and strangle you to death in the streets.

And now this employee will be getting a nice fat bonus since their "shrinkage" will be thusly reduced.

That's wrong. And CVS will pay out the ass for it once they get hauled into court.

We have civil courts for precisely this reason.

Balfegor said...

If thieves and burglars are chased and killed if they resist, we don't have to worry as much about thieves and burglars.

Y-es, but if you're mistaken and kill the wrong person, you might trigger an explosion of race-hatred and violence, plunging your city into a dystopia of chaos and ruin. And, uh, you'll have killed an innocent person too.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"What a morally bankrupt thought."

I'm fucking ashamed that you wear my country's uniform Skyler if you think petty thieves should be chased down by corporate hunters and murdered in the streets.

Where is your fucking humanity, man?

Joe said...


CVS employees get paid a bounty if they can put the fear of death into their customers.


Please give me that internal memo/e-mail...

Otherwise I'm just as gratuitously asserting that the shop-lifter swore to the clerk that he was going to proceed to the clerk's home with the stolen tooth paste and murder the clerk's granny with the tube....

See dood/doodette you're satire, you need to work on it...

junyo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

Accidental, but negligent homicide. He likely intended to hold him, but did so poorly and dangerously. What he stole is irrelevant since I can't imagine anything in a CVS that would be worth such risky actions on the part of security. CVS will lose this one. Damages should be limited though by the well-known fact that crime is a dangerous vocation regardless of what you steal.

Joe said...


Why stop with thieves and burglars? Why not summary execution for speeders (a multi-ton car is a lethal weapon), tax cheats (forces the rest of us to pay more taxes), and Internet media pirates (virtual theft is still thief)?

He did say IF THEY resist, presumably if you're a shop lifter, tax cheat, Internet pirate and you DON'T resist you don't get killed?

junyo said...

If thieves and burglars are chased and killed if they resist, we don't have to worry as much about thieves and burglars.

Why stop with thieves and burglars? Why not summary execution for speeders (a multi-ton car is a lethal weapon), tax cheats (forces the rest of us to pay more taxes), and Internet media pirates (virtual theft is still theft)?

Slow Joe said...

balfebog, indeed this is a deadly serious issue and people who attempt to stop someone they think has stolen something had better realize they are undertaking a serious thing and know for sure they are right.

While it's on the criminal to surrender, if you kill a man attempting to stop a crime that didn't occur, of course you are in deep trouble.

And of course some murderers will abuse any legal theory they can. I know here in Austin someone killed an enemy and claimed he had stolen a 6 pack of beer. That wasn't the real reason, so he's facing murder charges.

However, I am glad that people here know they are taking their life into their own hands if they steal from me. Not because I would kill them or want to kill bad guys.

Because I don't want my stuff stolen. Things work well here.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"he chances of policemen wasting their time tracking down and arresting a man for stealing $2.00 worth of toothpaste is pretty much nil. "

Then we need better policemen.

The solution to that problem is not strangling people to death in the streets.

CVS pays its employees bonuses based on how well they deter theft in their stores.

Do you really want these employees having this profit motive chasing people down and killing them?

Because if that's the new rule - survival of the fittest - I'm willing to predict that CVS sees a lot of its stores subjected to some molotov cocktails tonight.

Slow Joe said...

junyo, you snipped out the part of my argument that directly addresses your stupid point.

When you steal in public, or enter a home or business to steal, I think that's inherently violent. You know you're putting yourself up against the people who might catch you.

It's the law of the land where I am that I can kill if I reasonably believe that's the only way to keep my stuff. Even if my person is not threatened. It works well.

Joe said...

CVS pays its employees bonuses based on how well they deter theft in their stores.

Which is NOT the same thing as chasing them down and killing them, is it?

Do you really want these employees having this profit motive chasing people down and killing them?
No but as usual President Obama you have constructed a mighty fine Straw Man there.

Because if that's the new rule - survival of the fittest - I'm willing to predict that CVS sees a lot of its stores subjected to some molotov cocktails tonight.

Care to make a bet? As only about 10 of us know aobut this, mostly on this internet board.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"What he stole is irrelevant since I can't imagine anything in a CVS that would be worth such risky actions on the part of security."

The employees are not chasing down shoplifters to get the fucking 12 cents worth of toothpaste back.

The employees are chasing down shoplifters because CVS is paying them a huge "shrinkage" bonus.

The shrinkage bonus can mean thousands of dollars per quarter to management of a single CVS store.

CVS paid this employee to kill that guy. To send a message to all the other petty thieves in the community not to "mess" with that CVS.

Prosecutors are helping get the message out that this particular CVS is "protected."

junyo said...

He did say IF THEY resist, presumably if you're a shop lifter, tax cheat, Internet pirate and you DON'T resist you don't get killed?

Not by some random CVS employee.

As I said above, if the employee's life were in danger, fine. I'd argue that the employee should have never put himself in that situation to begin with. Killing someone isn't really good for the psyche unless you're a psychopath. But people are basically flippantly advocating death for petty crime.

Joe said...


The shrinkage bonus can mean thousands of dollars per quarter to management of a single CVS store.


Good....again you neglect any metnion of the SIZE of the cost of shrinkage....stock shrinkage equals the value of Warren Buffet's Net Worth, but hey don't let numbers or facts get in the way of your righteous wrath...

Balfegor said...

CVS staff and management are paid quarterly bonuses based on the amount of theft they prevent in their stores. I bet you didn't know that, did you?

No, and I don't see that in the linked article, but that sounds pretty reasonable. Particularly if it's just based on the store's shrinkage measure.

CVS employees get paid a bounty if they can put the fear of death into their customers.

That . . . doesn't sound too reasonable. Just to clarify, are we talking about a line in employees' annual performance evaluation criteria that says "this employee puts the fear of death into our customers" and rates them on a scale of one to ten? Or by "bounty," do you mean CVS pays bonuses to employees who rack up successful shoplifter intimidations? So their annual performance evaluation criteria has a line "number of shoplifters threatened with death," and it's indexed to a performance bonus measure, and all that? This is a pretty serious accusation you're leveling here, and I must say I find it incredible.

Anyhow, on a more serious note, I don't see any evidence in the article linked that they trained their shopkeepers to put people in chokeholds. If they did that, they shouldn't have done, but it's not clear to me that they did that.

Skyler said...

I'm fucking ashamed that you wear my country's uniform Skyler if you think petty thieves should be chased down by corporate hunters and murdered in the streets.

Where is your ***** humanity, man?


Um, I'm a Marine. I'm supposed to kill people, that's my job.

He wasn't murdered. It was an accident. There was no intent to kill the guy, I'm sure.

There was once a time in Norse countries, probably other places as well, where one was required to resist a robbery, or else the law would punish you. The theory was that if you didn't resist, then you were guilty of allowing the robber to attack someone else. I prefer that way of thinking to the wussy idea that you should just let anyone walk into your store and take whatever they want.

In Texas you can use deadly force lawfully to stop a thief if you reasonably believe that the property will not be recovered. It's pretty reasonable to believe that the police will not bother recovering a tube of toothpaste.

holdfast said...

Today is a big day here on Althouse - both Alex and New Hussein Ham (same guy?) took off their Moby-masks and let their lefty freak flags fly - congratulations!

Joe said...

Killing someone isn't really good for the psyche unless you're a psychopath.

Really humans have been doing it for the last several million years, seemingly with few deleterious side effects.

This is pretty much the standard human act of violence...after all we've only had swords for a few thousand years, and fire arms for a few hundred.

We've been throttling one another and striking one another with rocks far longer....I'd debate your contention.

TheThinMan said...

The involvement of the cop (which the police are trying to cover up) is the real sticking point for me. She (the cop) should have pointed the gun at the choker and made him stop, but instead she joined in with him by pointing her gun at the chokee and telling HIM to calm down(?). She effectively deputized the violent one to continue his violence while she went off to make a call. That is why the police won't charge the guy with murder: he had an accomplice, who was the cop on the scene.

Slow Joe said...

Wow, CVS pays a bounty to kill people in the streets! And it's a 'fucking disgrace' for a Marine to wear an uniform and agree with some popular and tested notions of defense of your property.

Amazing.

I suspect this is actually great for CVS. It's excellent attention, and they should print this story and post it on the wall near things that get stolen. Perhaps every ten minutes they can point out that someone died trying to steal toothpaste and random employees are armed with mace or stun guns.

OK, I'm joking, but the idea that CVS is about to be attacked with molotavs is hilarious. They did nothing wrong. They are not evil for incentivizing reducing shrinkage (if that even happened).

No surprise drugs are involved. Next time someone tells you that dealing is not violent or victimless, laugh in their face.

Dead Julius said...

I AM SHEEP! HEAR ME BAAAAH!

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Now follow along nicely and obediently in line, people. No twiddling with the toothpaste or the Empire will kill you. And it's never murder when the Empire murders.

My favorite line from the piece is where the Sun Times considers the question of whether there was a Chicago police officer at the scene:

Chicago Police say there is no reference to an off-duty officer in their report.

So these fucking moron idiot nimrod asshole police officers can't figure out if one of their officers was at the scene, and therefore they can't answer the question directly. Instead, see the report. A man was killed over toothpaste, now see the report.

Naturally, the Sun Times doesn't push for an actual answer the question before publication... and so they are accomplices after the fact.

Ann Althouse said...

"Tragic, but your title implies the intention was to kill. And that's risible."

This entire post is a quote from an individual, presented without comment. You can infer, but I did not imply.

SFC B said...

I'm not sure that New Ham isn't Blighter from Megan McArdle's blog.

Skyler said...

I'm not privy to Illinois law, but here's what Texas says about using deadly force to protect property:

Texas PenC §9.42 A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:

. . .

(3) he reasonably believes that:
(A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or

(B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.


Here we have a grocer who reasonably believed that the police would not protect or recover his property. He may also have thought that the man was armed or was strong enough to escape again without a serious grapple hold.

The law is on the side of the grocer here in Texas.

In civil law you would have to prove negligence of some sort. If the thief was not submitting peacefully, I'd say the grocer was perfectly reasonable to keep a hold of him however he might feel necessary.

Balfegor said...

Then we need better policemen.

There is an efficiency problem in having myriads of policemen devoted to tracking down and closing out titchy little thefts of a couple dollars apiece. Policemen do not come cheap. Nor, once criminals are apprehended, does the court system.

If your society is basically a peaceful society, in which a little shoplifting is the only thing you have to worry about, you may be willing to invest in the handful of policemen necessary to track down and arrest your handful of criminals, on a sort of broken-windows theory -- you don't want any windows broken in the first place. And they won't have much to do, so investigating small thefts is probably a decent use of their time.

But in most cities in the US you have violent crimes like rapes and murders, and serious thefts involving thousands of dollars, that are much higher priority. It's natural that the police should focus their attention on these more serious problems, and devote less time to chasing down criminals who steal the equivalent of pocket change. From an efficiency perspective, it might even be more efficient for the government to just reimburse shopkeepers for the smaller losses than to spend the manpower to send a squad care and a brace of policemen to investigate.

Ann Althouse said...

If you think the man should have stopped resisting, consider this, an expert opinion quoted in a Supreme Court case about chokeholds:

"Another factor contributing to unpredictability is the reaction of the victim. . . . [The] pressure exerted in a bar arm control . . . can result in a laryngeal spasm or seizure which simply shuts off the trachial air passage, leading to death by asphyxiation. Also, it must result in transmission to the brain of nerve messages that there is immediate, acute danger of death. This transmission immediately sets up a flight or flee' syndrome wherein the body reacts violently to save itself or escape. Adrenalin output increases enormously; blood oxygen is switched to muscles, and strong, violent struggle ensues which is to a great extent involuntary. From a medical point of view, there would be no way to distinguish this involuntary death struggle from a willful, voluntary resistance. Thus, an instruction to cease applying the hold when "resistance ceases" is meaningless."

Skyler said...

And killing people who likely represent no harm, just to make a point, is barbaric

I think stealing is harmful.

Skyler said...

Ann, I didn't see an autopsy, but the article mentioned that the man was complaining vocally that he couldn't breathe. If you can speak, you can breathe.

It takes a long time to kill someone by cutting off their air, and they pass out long before they are dead.

Yet, if you cut off blood to the brain, they can die pretty quickly while still being able to breathe somewhat.

So your point is most likely moot.

Skyler said...

Or maybe irrelevant is a better word than moot.

rocketeer67 said...

I think stealing is harmful.

Really, we get it, Skyler. You think all theft is a violent crime, and you would kill over a tube of toothpaste. You've made your point, okay?

junyo said...

I think stealing is harmful.

I think second hand smoke is harmful. I'm going to start strangling smokers who refuse to put out there cancer sticks.

Sea Urchin said...

I worked in a cell phone store in a tough(ish) area of town once. We got stolen from a LOT. And we had it repeatedly hammered into our heads that we were to prevent theft as much as possible through being observant, directing people with merchandise in their hands (or possibly their pockets) to the register, but to not to attack or chase a thief. I would be seriously surprised if CVS did not tell their people something very much along those lines.

And yet despite the repeated instructions not to chase, it happened occasionally. A lot of the sales people are young folks, fairly high energy, and it galls them to let people go. We once had a thief pretend to buy several high-end phones so that the salesperson would take them out of the merchandise cage in the back, and then he swiped them right from the register and ran.

The salesperson chased him across the parking lot and tackled him. All those young folks working there thought it was really cool, even though the manager was displeased.

This choking business is something else, though. Even chasing somebody over toothpaste is odd, but then choking the thief for a prolonged period -- either the CVS employee is missing some synapses or there's more to the story than what's told.

Slow Joe said...

Skyler, thanks for your service.

You're awfully smart for someone with a jar for a head (just kidding, most Marines I've dealt with are much smarter than the average undergrad).

And you know this is one of those great federalism arguments. Some people here do not like Texas's idea of justified homicide. And I have no problem with their states doing things their way so long as the basic right to own guns is respected. It's a nice political issue for states to differ on, and we wouldn't have these strong rights without educated volunteers serving our country.

In my view, if someone is really trying to steal property around employees or owners, they are very dangerous and have completely broken Rawls's fake contract. I'm not going to put a bullet in their head because I'd probably hit a neighbor or my foot, but I am delighted my property is shielded.

as long as new ham and his friends keep their liberalism to their states, I'm happy.

I feel very sorry for the family that Althouse quoted. Sadly, so many people have been brainwashed with this constant drumbeat of how it's the victim's fault they are stolen from. CVS should accept thieves, Newham screams (And denies screaming, and screams again, and then denies screaming again). This drug addict had a kid who totally buys the confused idea that accepting crimes is going to lead to a better society.

Somehow, newham never admits this death is his fault. It's these advocates of not standing up for your own property and person that encourage all these cretins to steal and their enablers to blame the good guys. They aren't pointing the finger to move blame from the thief... it's themselves they are trying to cover for.

Just stay out of Texas. You won't be happy here anyway, and we're never going to change our well proven societal concepts. Chances of my CVS being hit by a molotav: 0.0%. Apparently Newham's society is so terrible that he predicts the opposite.

Whatever price he demands for this society of his, it's clearly not worth it.

Slow Joe said...

sea urchin, it's hard to know all the details in the heat of the moment. That's why bright line rules are helpful. You don't know that this thief, who already was willing to commit crimes in front of you, isn't armed, or hasn't stolen all kinds of other stuff.

Apparently, the thief thought it was so serious he shouldn't surrender. It's really awful that he died for such a tiny thing, but he really died for his next fix, didn't he?

fivewheels said...

I just don't think the CVS guy had any intent to harm the guy. It was an accident. I'm sure he's not an expert on chokeholds and legal force, he was just trying to stop the thief.

I don't see it as very much different from a hypothetical where he chases the perp out of the store, and the thief trips and falls, hits his head and dies.

It may have been preventable -- but the one who could have prevented the situation the easiest was the perp.

Triangle Man said...

A strangle hold is a lethal maneuver. The CVS manager used deadly force to subdue a shoplifter and Chicago is OK with it.

Needs a Chicago is like Texas tag.

Triangle Man said...

I suppose if Chicago isn't going to let citizens protect themselves with firearms, strangle holds may be inevitable.

Slow Joe said...

" junyo said...

I think stealing is harmful.

I think second hand smoke is harmful. I'm going to start strangling smokers who refuse to put out there cancer sticks.

5/10/10 3:49 PM"

Yeah, you're burning a straw man and deliberately missing the point again.

Snip out any pesky details, and lie about what people mean. Someone claimed this wasn't harmful, and it was harmful. That's not a statement that any harm can be remedied with death.

The real problem is that when you defend your property or person at all, you're inviting all kinds of mistakes and problems and consequences.

If anyone truly believes they know this employee meant to kill the criminal, they are lost to reason. But when you engage in activity, such as stealing from people, that could bring force against you, you are responsible for any deaths that result, theirs or your own.

Expecting people to master Kung Fu before defending themselves is silly. Either we place blame on the bad guys, or we simply refuse to let anyone defend anything. It's too hard to predict outcomes to blame results on innocent parties forced into action by druggies.

Slow Joe said...

"A strangle hold is a lethal maneuver. The CVS manager used deadly force "

How do you know he didn't mean to make the guy pass out? Sometimes, TV tells me you can do that. I don't think everyone thinks you will automatically kill when you put your hands on a throat. I also wonder if the killer really meant to put his hands on a throat. Perhaps, in a struggle, his arms simply reflexed to that spot, and when that produced the result of turning the tide in the fight, the man simply was too scarred to let go.

I have no idea. Poor guy is probably grieving that some druggie had to steal some crap. We shouldn't assume people handled their fights with Bruce Lee control and forethought.

enki said...

We don't know, but I'll guess: I bet this CVS employee feels terrible and will never cause anyone else's death. But had he let the shoplifter go, I have little doubt the unemployed drug addict thief would have gone on to commit many more crimes, and probably worse ones. I'm not saying he deserved a death sentence, but yes, right now I feel worse for the man who was trying to do the right thing and had it turn into something awful, and now has to hear jerks from the sidelines who were not there and have not faced that situation calling him a murderer.

EDH said...

A senseless tragedy.

- Jessica Simpson

Shanna said...

The proper course of action is to call the police and have that person arrested and prosecute them. That is the reasonable, usual and right thing to do.

I don't disagree, but you have to realise -- the chances of policemen wasting their time tracking down and arresting a man for stealing $2.00 worth of toothpaste is pretty much nil.

Absolutely. I had a man try to break into my house when I was home alone (he also stole a weedeater which is way more than a tube of toothpaste) and the police basically did squat. You think they give a damn about CVS losing two bucks?

Obviously, the guy went overboard (I wouldnt' chase anybody down for that kind of thing, but I do admit that I used to work customer service and it irritated the crap out of me when people tried to return things they had obviously stolen without a receipt), but it very well may have been an accident. And the thief could have stopped struggling and probably made it worse by not doing so. They were both idiots.

Slow Joe said...

Obviously he didn't *deserve* to die.

Is that the argument? If he didn't deserve to die, CVS or the employee are at fault somehow?

I think sometimes extremely terrible things happen to moderately bad people. I mostly blame anyone in his life that let him abuse drugs, and especially those who sold him and helped him gain his addiction.

Even then, I know in some cases you can't blame anyone because the universe is full of surprises. With druggies, death is no surprise, though, so I have no problems pointing my finger and looking down from my considerably lofty horse, who is not high on drugs, but rather my own considerable virtue and rosey odor.

Chip Ahoy said...

They've taken away my kids' pops ..."

Why the plural where singular is needed? I do not understand this. Does not compute ⚡⚡〄♒ does⚡not☒com♒ute⚡ƥƈɤ shutting ⇓

*reboots*

An intern used to do that. He was always asking me how to say something when tasked to write a memo, which was weird, you'd think his education would have provided all that somewhere along the line of courses necessary for an MA. Once in a meeting he said "something, something...mah moms ..." and I sat there thinking, " see, that's the non-standard English that would tend to hold back an aspirant to management."

It's also the sort of thing that confuses the living hell out of me in hieroglyphics. The signs that make something plural differ by situation and can have more than one meaning. It forces you to closely examine the ligature of signs and come down on what goes with what, what is modifying what. The results can vary widely. The decipherer is left to interpret what is intended. In the case of a misplaced "s," which does not denote plural in hieroglyphics, is one such sign. It could mean singular third person feminine, plural third person common, dual third person common, it could be an early variation of a dependent personal pronoun used in specific cases, or it could mean a piece of folded linen. Or it could be part of something else. You can't just go sprinkling around "s" where they don't belong like you've gone wild with an s-shaker.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Good....again you neglect any metnion of the SIZE of the cost of shrinkage"

For the second time, I am not ignoring the SIZE of the cost of shrinkage. It is insigificantly small. That's its real, actual size: insignificant.

Hardly worth mention.

CVS made $20 billion dollars of profit in 1009. They are hardly fighting to earn pennies.

Isn't that enough?

Didn't Obama teach us that at some point, you've made enough money?

As a whole, shrinkage attributable to theft by customers is less than one tenth of one percent of CVS annual sales. Almost all retail shrinkage is the result of employee theft.

Chasing down and murdering petty toothpaste thieves in the streets of Chicago is not appropriate corporate behavior and CVS will shortly learn that lesson. They're about to have their fucking asses sued off, and rightly so.

The employee will be out of a job momentarily. And good fucking riddance.

He'll have to live for the rest of his life knowing he killed somebody for a tube of toothpaste, then got fired for his trouble.

Everybody else should learn the lesson.

Skyler said...

He'll have to live for the rest of his life knowing he killed somebody for a tube of toothpaste

It's a myth that everyone is psychologically harmed by that.

Skyler said...

Chip, it's pretty common for people to call an old man or their father "pops." It's not making a plural of a singular, it's just another way of saying the singular. You usually see it in old movies.

junyo said...

Yeah, you're burning a straw man and deliberately missing the point again.

Snip out any pesky details, and lie about what people mean. Someone claimed this wasn't harmful, and it was harmful. That's not a statement that any harm can be remedied with death.

The real problem is that when you defend your property or person at all, you're inviting all kinds of mistakes and problems and consequences.

If anyone truly believes they know this employee meant to kill the criminal, they are lost to reason. But when you engage in activity, such as stealing from people, that could bring force against you, you are responsible for any deaths that result, theirs or your own.

Expecting people to master Kung Fu before defending themselves is silly. Either we place blame on the bad guys, or we simply refuse to let anyone defend anything. It's too hard to predict outcomes to blame results on innocent parties forced into action by druggies.


I pasted the entire post that i was responding to. Which makes you either incapable of reading, or a deliberate liar. I'm quote your nonsense in it's entirety so you don't get confused.

I'm not missing the point. I'm just not buying the point you're trying to sell, especially since I've seen it argued better, and didn't buy it then. The simple fact is, the logical construction that you and several others are invoking is that "harm" is a magical binary switch, that once flipped, justifies killing and/or removes any responsibility for anyone else's choices. Further, there seems to be no need to give any consideration as to the level of harm. If your argument has more nuance, it's not on display.

Now you yourself now reiterate a point I made earlier. The core of the pragmatic argument for letting the shoplift go is that the employee had to know that his actions have consequences as well, and that those consequence may very well have been worst that the crime he prevented.

And yet in the same post, you argue against it by beating on this tired, simplistic, binary morality set. Either we place blame on the bad guys, or we simply refuse to let anyone defend anything... If you don't pin all the blame on the bad guy, then you can't defend anything? Really?

The clerk could have:
- Let it go
- Fought better
- Brought a better weapon
- Followed him and given the police his location
- Given the police his description/picture from the security cameras

There are a myriad of ways that "defense" could have been achieved that had a lower probability of harm, to either party, than the course that was chosen. And while a whopping big lot of the responsibility is on the thief, some of it is on the clerk, for the choices he made, especially since those choices resulted in the loss of a life.

Buford Gooch said...

I only read the first few responses. Perhaps people got more sensible further down. The man was a thief. He was stealing because he thought he could get away with it. An employee chased him down and caught him. The employee restrained him until the police arrived. The man wouldn't stop struggling (according to the "friendly witnesses"). The employee used enough force to keep him there. There was no use of "lethal force", just a lethal result of using normal force. If the guy hadn't stolen stuff, or if he hadn't continued trying to get away, this would not have happened. If it was my kid, I would be horribly upset and angry. I still don't excuse theft.

Blue@9 said...

I would be amazed if CVS trained its employees to chase shoplifters, much less put them in chokeholds. If so, CVS management and their lawyers need to be fired. Shopkeepers don't have a right to use force or even detain suspected shoplifters; doing so opens them up to civil and possibly criminal lawsuits. The employee who did this is an idiot and will hopefully spend some time in jail. Yeah, it was an accident--an accident involving potentially deadly force against a toothpaste robber. Amazing.

As for the 2% shrinkage for retailers, the vast majority of such losses are to employees stealing for themselves. In the grand scheme of things, shoplifting has a rather minimal impact on retailers.

traditionalguy said...

A great law suit ready to be tried. We will never hear the dead man's version of the facts, will we? Choke holds are cruel and unusual punishment, per se.

holdfast said...

Folks today don't seem to know what murder means - apparently to them it means "a death I disagree with", whereas murder really does require a certain intent, even if it is transferred-intent.

My read, based on the very skimpy facts, is that at worst the CVS employee would be looking at negligent homicide / manslaughter.

Oligonicella said...

New "Hussein" Ham --

"Didn't Obama teach us that at some point, you've made enough money?"

Well, it's good to see you at least have retained a sense of humor.

Joe said...


In the grand scheme of things, shoplifting has a rather minimal impact on retailers.


What's forty or so BILLION dollars between friends, eh?

It's only you and I picking up the tab...in many cases it's only the POOREST picking up the tab?

Sure they have to pay a premium for their goods and services, but what the heck, we all hate the poor, right?

Because, in the end, the POOR are the ones who take it in the shorts, gas goes up, unemployment goes up, price of milk goes up, AlGore and Ann Althouse can afford to pay a little extra, the poor not so much.

But hey, it's only raising the cost to the poor a LITTLE BIT, so it's all good, right, just a little of the Class Struggle by Other Means....

traditionalguy said...

What is at stake here is not the Righteous Clerk. What is at stake here is a public education about choke holds. Snuffing out a fellow human's life for a hero's reward is all imaginary BS that needs to be held up to utter condemnation. Real human life is no video game. The police know not to use a choke hold, because they know that it is a straight out murder. It is time that today's digital age game players have a lesson in living organism reality, and a billion or two in punitive damages will communicate that lesson.

Oligonicella said...

Blue@9 --

"Shopkeepers don't have a right to use force or even detain suspected shoplifters; doing so opens them up to civil and possibly criminal lawsuits."

Blanket statement, and a false one in some communities.

Blogger traditionalguy --

"Choke holds are cruel and unusual punishment, per se."

An opinion. Mine is that they are a quick and effective way of subduing an antagonist. As opposed, say, to beating the living shit out of them. Also a potentially lethal situation.

Death can come at the point of pencil, so people's fixation on modes amuses me.

Joe said...

It is time that today's digital age game players have a lesson in living organism reality,

Hyperbole unmatched by reality....as video games have become more PREVALENT, Violent Crime has DECLINED...sorry to upset your Apple Cart Ar-nuhld or Mr. Huckabee


and a billion or two in punitive damages will communicate that lesson.

Hyperbole, period......of course IF a chokehold is worth a billion or two in damages, I'm thinking that my life partner and a couple of store clerks might profitably use the choke hold on me. Even after the prison time, if any, the clerks are set for life...not to mention my life partner.

Jeeeeez, dood/doodette try to be marginally rational in the discussion.

c3 said...

Frankly, I'm amazed at the level of acceptance of someone dying over a tube of toothpaste. If this gentleman had stolen $2 from a fellow drug user and was then shot dead we would mumble about the shit conditions and morality on the street and what did he expect with this drug life on the street but I don't think we'd give the shooter a free pass.

Maybe I, having had to deal with an adult child and drug abuse, sympathize "too much" with the parents.

Eric said...

I'm not sure that New Ham isn't Blighter from Megan McArdle's blog.

Nah. Blighter is an commenting artist. New Ham is just a hack.

Eric said...

What is at stake here is not the Righteous Clerk. What is at stake here is a public education about choke holds.

This. You should never, ever use a choke-hold unless you're prepared to accept the possibility the person you're choking will die. I could see choking out a serial killer or a terrorist. Maybe someone who just attacked me. But a shoplifter? No.

Slow Joe said...

c3, it is terrible that this guy died. Whatever sins he committed he was paying far more than a fair price for.

I don't think people are accepting his death as the right outcome. They just realize it's not the clerk's fault. This is a terrible tragedy anyway. Perhaps some realize it's a tragedy and need someone to blame, and the clerk is who they picked, though I argue for others being blamed.

And Eric's right, it's very dangerous to choke someone. Although, in the heat of the moment, it may seem prudent anyway. People get scared and screw that kind of thing up, and I don't expect them to be gentle. If they are going to use force, I simply accept that the outcome is going to potentially include some death.

traditionalguy said...

@Joe...Let me and a jury spend a few weeks together on this wrongful death case, and the trial judge's discretion to grant a new trial will be all that keeps their verdict under two Billion. A jury will passionately defend victims of the Drugstore everytime. And CVS choke holds are a commmonly understood form of intentional infliction of death by torture. This one time reality is stranger than fiction to you.

Oligonicella said...

traditionalguy -

"And CVS choke holds are a commmonly understood form of intentional infliction of death by torture."

Horse...shit.

Geoff Matthews said...

Once you tolerate 2% shrinkage, it'll expand to 3%, then 4%, etc.

Once you tolerate petty theft, larger thefts will occur.

It's the broken window theory of policing. Stop the little crimes and the big crimes will drop.

Ideally, the thief would be facing a month in jail. But because he resisted arrest, he's dead. It's a shame.

But the employee who caught him is contributing to a society that will have less crime. Tolerating any level of crime has societal costs that all of us bear. This man is no free loader, and for that I thank him, and hope that he is able to deal with his role in this tragedy.

Hoosier Daddy said...

After reading this, I was crestfallen.

c3 said...

They just realize it's not the clerk's fault

AND

"I can't breathe, I can't breathe!" as the CVS worker held him in a chokehold for what they thought was several minutes.

These two statements are mutually exclusive.

Or maybe you're getting hung up on the idea of intent or maybe the idea of potential punishment but "fault"...

feels a bit like the "discussions" I had with my kids when they were little after they cried

But its not my fault!

traditionalguy said...

Oligionicella...Nothing personal, but you are wrong. That is the point here. The police stopped choke holds because they found out about them after tens of thousands of "accidental" deaths. The Tazar became its replacement. If store clerks want to freely use choke holds, then they need lengthy training and sworn status. If you still doubt me, then I suggest that you have an expert CVS store clerk use one on you and wait until he lets go.

Oligonicella said...

c3 --

"I can't breathe, I can't breathe!"

Because of course, a criminal, once apprehended, tells the truth.

Perhaps he might have bolstered his position had he quit struggling, showing that he understood the position he was in.

Oligonicella said...

traditionalguy --

"tens of thousands"

You know that reduces your credibility, right? Tens of thousands. It's what's called a fallacious statement.

"If you still doubt me, then I suggest that you have an expert CVS store clerk use one on you and wait until he lets go."

I have taught martial arts for 40+ years. I have demonstrated choke holds on students and had them demonstrate on me. I am fully cognizant of what they can do.

Matt said...

This is tragic and a failure on the part of the manager. Or at least a partial failure on CVS and their lack of manager training.

Anyone who has ever been a manager of a store of any kind [and I have] is you let the shoplifter go. You are never supposed to go outside after a shoplifter. It is never worth it. You may confront them inside the store but never to the point of putting yourself in harms way. This is manager training 101. [Plus the potential for lawsuits is obvious].

The loss of merchandize is never worth putting oneself in danger. And if it gets to the point where shoplifting is prevelant then you hire a guard who works independently and has the right to confront and or chase the shoplifter and in some cases restrain them in a more sensible way.

Oligonicella said...

traditionalguy --

Just so you know what you said. Assume the choke hold has been in use for the last 50 years (it hasn't). Also (to give you a little slack) assume only ten thousand deaths.

That would mean there has been a death by choke hold every other day.

Not.

PatHMV said...

I never thought I'd see the day when Javert was considered to be the HERO of Les Miserables. Damn Jean Valjean... should have been guillotined rather than imprisoned on the island.

traditionalguy said...

Oligionicella...The news stories since say 1960 of the strange deaths of young men who ran afoul of a group of policeman somewhere, always concluding in a story line raising the suspicion that the healthy earlier in the day dead man must have been on a strange drug making this was one more mysterious death, run past tens of thousands. I am a wrestler who could always control a man without using Martial Arts death holds. There seems to be a great power trip in snuffing another man that makes this death hold so popular.The police officially forbade using these death holds when the digital cams became ubiquitous.

Triangle Man said...

I have taught martial arts for 40+ years. I have demonstrated choke holds on students and had them demonstrate on me. I am fully cognizant of what they can do.

Then you are aware that strangulation is deadly force. I bet that you tell every one of your students that it only requires eight pounds of force to prevent blood flow to the brain, and that ten seconds is sufficient to render a person unconscious. It is the single deadliest thing you can do without a weapon.

Steven said...

The laws should be set such that the low-risk option when caught committing a crime always is immediate surrender. Flight should be dangerous for a criminal, and injuries of any kind or degree sustained by a criminal in flight should not be valid grounds for a civil suit.

Criminal use of excessive force on the part of a apprehender should still be punishable, sure. But there should be no civil remedy available, whether or not the prosecution goes forward.

Seven Machos said...

This is just a travesty. CVS should pay millions, and that won't be enough. The killer should go to jail.

Matt said...

Oligonicella

The lesson here is that a manager of a store should never use a chokehold on a shoplifter. The only time it would ever be acceptable would be if a manager had to restrain someone in their store from harming someone. Then it might be worth it for self defense purposes. In this case the chasing and the choke hold were completely unnecessary; Even if the shoplifter had taken $10,000.

The shoplifter struggled, yes. Who wouldn't? Most likely he was struggling because he couldn't breath. Think about it. If you couldn't breath would you just stop moving? Most likely not. And you seem to know your stuff. But our instincts are to stuggle when we can't breath.

Theo Boehm said...

New Ham: Reality has overtaken your parodies.

Now what?

ken in sc said...

At the time and place where I grew up, police were still allowed to shout, “Halt or I’ll shoot!” If you didn’t halt they shot. A guy I went to school with, he actually lived down the street about three houses, was shot by the police while running away from a service station he had robbed. He was a jerk and most people thought he got what was coming to him. I don’t remember if he lived or not. I know for sure he didn’t do that again.

Jeremy said...

Kenny - "I don’t remember if he lived or not. I know for sure he didn’t do that again."

Cool.

AllenS - "Finally, a story with a happy ending."

Dumb...as usual.

Jeremy said...

ONLY here would you find idiots defending this asshole for choking a man to death over stealing toothpaste.

Couldn't just hold him until the police arrived.

Had to make damn sure he wouldn't get away...so something so important could never happen again.

Daryl Gates wold be proud.

Shanna said...

You are never supposed to go outside after a shoplifter. It is never worth it.

This has been the mentality at every store I have ever worked at.

And unless I hear otherwise, I'm guessing the guy who did the chokehold knew nothing at all about chokeholds, and this was a terrible accident.

knox said...

If you commit a crime in public, you are risking your own safety and that of everyone around you. You cannot break the rules, and expect everyone else to follow them.

And when society begins to openly tolerate a certain level of petty crime, criminals will seek to ratchet up the definition of "petty crime". And they will do things like sue the victims of their crimes.

In Great Britain self defense has been dumbed-down so as to be almost non-existent. You stand a good chance of being arrested if you do anything to stop a home invader or a mugger. Bystanders are forbidden to help. My point being that there really is a slippery slope here and real danger in giving criminals too wide a berth.

Jeremy said...

knox said..."If you commit a crime in public, you are risking your own safety and that of everyone around you. You cannot break the rules, and expect everyone else to follow them."

Ahhh, and yet another pompous ass acts as if...they're kid or a friend got caught stealing toothpaste and crayons...run the risk of death.

We ALL know you'd actually be so mad at the person who killed did the choking, and of course ready to sue the shit of the store's deep pocket insurance.

Good lord...toothpaste and crayons. What's the worst thing that could have happened if the man had gotten away?

The very worst thing.

Jeremy said...

Before the whining...

Typo: "they're" should have been "their."

I apologize...really.

pst314 said...

"I fail to understand why a CVS clerk would risk his own life to chase down a fleeing shoplifter."

Then you would have been utterly bewildered by the pre-sixties America.

This idea that shoplifters should not be pursued is a very recent delusion, possibly unprecedented in the history of Western civilization.

"What would the employee have done if the shoplifter had a knife on him?"

Have you ever seen what a group of righteous citizens can do to a lone thug with a knife? It's not pretty but it is pleasing to the eye.

pst314 said...

"where they strangle people to death in the fucking streets if those people are the wrong color."

Jumping to conclusions are we?

pst314 said...

"That is an uneducated statement. You are clearly not a medical professional."

Nor are you.

You can do a lot without any toothpaste on the brush. In fact, did you see the recent news item about the Japanese soldier in the Philippines who refused to surrender for decades and who maintained his teeth by brushing with twigs?

pst314 said...

"'They trained their employees to put shoplifters in chokeholds?'

Yes, they do. And they give bonuses for it."

Where's your evidence?

Or, if you wish to keep the discussion on the heightened plane of elegant discourse that you clearly prefer, where's your fucking evidence? :-D

pst314 said...

"Why would you even chase them?"

That is a very common attitude in certain parts of Chicago.

c3 said...

Oligo;
Perhaps he might have bolstered his position had he quit struggling, showing that he understood the position he was in.

In my earlier days I'd often see folks in the ER who wouldn't cooperate and quit struggling. Many of them were delirious as a part of their ongoing dying process.

Occasionally, the physician on duty would make the mistake of taking it personally, getting angrier and more vociferously insist on submission. The mistake would be compounded by inappropriate sedation or restraint.

And yes in this case hypoxia is one reasons to be delirious. Of course a well trained store clerk might not know that.

Seven Machos said...

I really don't see how anyone can defend the clerk here.

A man's workplace where he earns a meager salary given by a large, annoying corporation is not his castle.

Paul said...

Kyser's family said that though he had served prison time for drug convictions and had a drug problem and "his ups and downs," nothing he had done came close to justifying his death.

I bet he's been nothing but trouble to his family and they wanted nothing to do with him. But, with a large settlement looming for a wrongful death suit, he's finally redeemed himself.

Seven Machos said...

People -- the dude took toothpaste. Have you never shoplifted in your life? I did, when I was a teenager. What self-respecting person who had an adolescence has never stolen something?

I am, in fact, willing to wager that every person here making light of this or arguing that this person somehow deserved to die has stolen something in their lives.

Paul said...

Seven Machos said...People -- the dude took toothpaste. Have you never shoplifted in your life?

Granted, the toothpaste provides an element of pathos. And I'm not saying Anthony Kyser should be killed for stealing toothpaste. However, this is a drug addict, in and out of jail, and I'm sure he stole many, many things in his life. He probably stole from his ex-wife until she kicked him out of the house. So, no, I don't equate him with some goofy teenager. Guys like this die stupid one way or another--either they rob someone who takes it personally, or they o.d. and die with a needle in their arm, or something else. No great loss, not worthy of financial settlement.

Seven Machos said...

Paul -- Every single human being has dignity, even unemployed barbers who steal toothpaste.

I wish I could be the ambulance chaser who has this lawsuit come across their desk. There are few slam dunks as good as this one. And it's going to be a third of a mighty big settlement. Note the word settlement. This case will never go to trial.

Fred4Pres said...

I suspect this is a tragic accident and not murder. I do not celebrate his death. I also know the person who did this will have to live with it. The shoplifter's family will likely have a civil suit against CVS. Not that they should recovery, but I suspect they will.

Revenant said...

You really think that petty thieves should be chased down a street and killed?

He wasn't killed for stealing toothpaste, he was killed resisting a citizen's arrest for stealing toothpaste.

If he'd given up, he'd still be alive.

Seven Machos said...

Revenant -- There is no citizen's arrest in this case. Perhaps you mean shopkeeper's privilege, which very likely does not extend down the alley and to murder.

Shanna said...

What self-respecting person who had an adolescence has never stolen something?

Well, I have never stolen anything. I have hade things stolen from me, though, and I think theives are scum. But we're not talking about a 14 year old here. We're talking about a grown man who, when confronted over stealing toothpaste, ran for it and continued to struggle. The shopkeeper went too far, absolutely, but I do think this was probably a tragic accident on his part. There was no accident in the theft, though.

Skyler said...

People -- the dude took toothpaste. Have you never shoplifted in your life? I did, when I was a teenager.

Nope, never did.

I guess you were lucky you didn't get killed. I'd suggest not shoplifting again, or if you do, then immediately surrender the merchandise when challenged.

Largo said...

Will: "It's a hell of a thing, killing a man. Take away all he's got and all he's ever gonna have."

Kid: "Yeah, well, I guess [he] had it coming."

Will: "We all got it coming, kid."

Jessica said...

I don't think the family will get a dime. If they sue on behalf the deceased, he was clearly in pari delicto

Slow Joe said...

"I am, in fact, willing to wager that every person here making light of this or arguing that this person somehow deserved to die has stolen something in their lives."

See, this is the problem, while I'm sure someone in the thread cracked a joke or said he deserved it, all the serious commenters noting this is his fault are not saying he deserved it. They are saying it was an accident that isn't the clerk's fault, despite it being more than the thief deserved.

These people hardly lack empathy and need to go out stealing to see what it's really like so they aren't so bloodthirsty.

Of course he didn't actually deserve death. If I kill an intruder to protect my home, it's not because I'd have voted for a death penalty. It's because, when you engage in any level of violence to stop a bad guy, and something bad occurs as a result (because violence is unwieldy and the risk averse and inexperienced fighter may have little control over it), that's the fault of the people who disturbed the peace in the first place.

Ask the clerk, and he'll admit the thief didn't deserve to die AND it's his fault he is dead. I assume. Perhaps he's deluded into mistaking causation for justice too.

Oligonicella said...

traditionalguy -

"always concluding in a story line raising the suspicion that the healthy earlier in the day dead man must have been on a strange drug making this was one more mysterious death, run past tens of thousands."

Yet again you pull that number out of nowhere and support it with a bland assertion based on "suspicion". Don't cut it.

Oligonicella said...

c3 --

A patient, unconscious on a table, is not comparable to a grown man, taken down in flight and then put in a hold not submitting. Perhaps it escapes you, but the patient is not capable from the moment the doctors see him. The perp, however, was fully conscious and thinking up to and even for a while after the hold. It was his continued resistance which caused the continued hold which caused the result.

Understand now? The perp could have stopped the moment he was apprehended, but chose to continue to fight. Chose to risk injury or death.

Slow Joe said...

What kind of toothpaste was it? And how bad were the thief's teeth?

Did he have gingivitis?

c3 said...

Largo;
Great quote, and Eastwood delivers the lines so well.

I think this case has delineated a hard divide between the commenters on this blog. Interesting.

Myers-Briggs would say "Thinker" vs "Feeler". Strange since I'm a strong "Thinker"

traditionalguy said...

Once a choke hold has been applied, the "Perpetrator" has no more control. All control is there after exercised soley by his executioner. Why defend this killing on the spot which is clear denial of the recognised social contract that gives "Perpetrators" a right to confront accusers, and call witnesses in his defense, and cross examine his accusers with effective assistance of counsel. The monster choke holder recognises no right for the Perpetrator even to speak, much less to recieve an opportunity to tap out and end being his being choked to death for Perpetrating.

Skyler said...

Once a choke hold has been applied, the "Perpetrator" has no more control.

Trad, let's put this in more plain terms.

The thief was supposed to surrender BEFORE anyone had to grapple with him.

Once the grappling began, it's pretty reasonable for the grocer to believe that if he released his grip that the guy would violently attack him.

The thief had the onus of giving up before the grocer was forced to escalate in order to retrieve his property.

The grocer is completely blameless morally and legally.

traditionalguy said...

Skyler...Let us try again to reason together. In a state with concealed carry laws the Statutes usually also permit the use of deadly force(Firearms) to prevent the commission of a felony in my presence. Therefore, if I had come upon a drugstore clerk murdering a shoplifter, I would have been perfectly within my rights to draw my weapon and shoot the murderer between the eyes to prevent his commission of the felony of murder in my presence. Think that one through. You may need to look around and make sure that I am not there next time you support murdering someone with a choke hold in my presence. I would remember Clint Eastwood's William Muney line in Unforgiven, "...well if Greely wanted to kill my friend, then he should have armed himself." People who justify murdering others as a righteous act may be forgivable as soon as they repent and stop doing it, but until then, many good men will oppose their practices openly and forcefully.

Revenant said...

There is no citizen's arrest in this case.

You have four private citizens restraining a criminal until he can be handed over to police custody -- classic example of a citizen's arrest.

Perhaps you mean shopkeeper's privilege, which very likely does not extend down the alley

Under the common law principle of hot pursuit it does. Did you think that shopkeepers were forbidden to apprehend thieves once the thief reached a certain distance from the store?

and to murder.

Calling this "murder" is childish, since it was clearly accidental and has already been ruled as such by the investigating authorities.

The dumbass in question stole something and was accidentally killed while struggling to escape. Given that it took four people to hold him down it would appear he was struggling pretty hard, too. Someone should nominate the doofus for a Darwin Award.

Skyler said...

Trad guy, you would be mistaken because you would not be preventing a felony from being committed. The grocer was clearly within his rights to prevent the theft (at least by Texas law, I don't know about Illinois but the authorities seem to agree).

Your calling it murder doesn't make it murder. In fact the only murder would be your hypothetical of shooting the grocer if you knew he was a grocer trying to retrieve his property.