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Thread: 4 WalMart Security Employees Fired For Disarming Shoplifter

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    4 WalMart Security Employees Fired For Disarming Shoplifter

    OK, This is an interesting case. Can't wait to see what you think of it.

    "The shoplifter smashed Gabriel Stewart up against a wall. It didn't take him long to realize that pressure against his lower back was from a loaded gun held by a desperate man who didn't want to go to jail.

    The gunman had a firm grip on Stewart's shoulder, telling him and three of his Walmart co-workers, "Don't make me do this."


    The Walmart store in Layton "Absolutely, time stopped," Stewart told KSL News. "I didn't know what to do."

    Instantly, Shawn Ray and Justin Richins kicked into gear, spinning the gunman around. Lori Poulsen ripped the gun away and secured it. They all held onto the man until police arrived minutes later.

    The four Layton Walmart employees felt it was mission accomplished. Police officers told them they had done everything right.

    But a week later, all four were fired from their jobs. Walmart said their actions had violated company policy and put their fellow workers and shoppers at risk."




    Read the rest of the story: http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=14319284

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    Regular Member VW_Factor's Avatar
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    So what... Were they supposed to do nothing and get killed/shot for no reason?

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    Quote Originally Posted by VW_Factor View Post
    So what... Were they supposed to do nothing and get killed/shot for no reason?
    No. I imagine that Wal-Mart wanted the four simply to let the shoplifter go. They did not want an armed confrontation inside their store. They would rather risk not being able to find and prosecute the criminal (whose image has surely been captured on video) than risk the attempt to disarm the BG failing and shots being fired.

    If that is the policy (it is not unreasonable), then the employees should have followed it or accepted the consequences.

    Now, if the BG had given the employees any reason to believe that they were in danger, even if they backed off, that would be different. However, it seems as though the perp would have just walked, with no shots fired, it allowed.

    Many businesses have a policy to do what the criminal demands if he has, or says he has, a gun. That is their right to have such a considered policy--and to enforce the policy with sanctions when employees fail to follow it.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Now, if the BG had given the employees any reason to believe that they were in danger, even if they backed off, that would be different. However, it seems as though the perp would have just walked, with no shots fired, it allowed.
    Next time you are robbed at gunpoint, and your assailant promises sweetly that he will release you once you release all your personal belongings to him, I assume you will comply immediately?

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    If you're going to have some asinine corporate policy about that prohibits stopping shoplifters, why even have security personnel? What's the use?

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    Regular Member sharkey's Avatar
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    There's another thread already discussing this issue. I think Walmart started these policies after the 1998 murder of two of their employees.

    http://www.dmcantor.com/news-article...e-killing.html

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    Regular Member Superlite27's Avatar
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    I always assumed that "shoplifting" connoted hiding merchandise upon one's person and attempting to evade detection.

    At what point does one get to point a firearm at a person and still get to be classified as a "shoplifter"?

    As I have evidently misunderstood "shoplifting", I guess I have also miscategorized "armed robbery".

    I'm apparently a little foggy on the difference between shoplifting and armed robbery. Maybe someone could explain why this goon is considered to be a "shoplifter" and not an "armed robber" since the story points out the fact he did stick a firearm into a person's back.

    I'm guessing since Wal-Mart's policy is to let shoplifters make their exit without confrontation, these employees violated that policy.

    What's their policy on defending one's self against an armed robber? What exactly does Wal-Mart consider to be one of those since sticking a gun in someone's back evidently fails to meet that definition?

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    Regular Member sharkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superlite27 View Post
    I always assumed that "shoplifting" connoted hiding merchandise upon one's person and attempting to evade detection.

    At what point does one get to point a firearm at a person and still get to be classified as a "shoplifter"?

    As I have evidently misunderstood "shoplifting", I guess I have also miscategorized "armed robbery".

    I'm apparently a little foggy on the difference between shoplifting and armed robbery. Maybe someone could explain why this goon is considered to be a "shoplifter" and not an "armed robber" since the story points out the fact he did stick a firearm into a person's back.

    I'm guessing since Wal-Mart's policy is to let shoplifters make their exit without confrontation, these employees violated that policy.

    What's their policy on defending one's self against an armed robber? What exactly does Wal-Mart consider to be one of those since sticking a gun in someone's back evidently fails to meet that definition?
    He plead guilty to robbery. It started out as shoplifting. Technically he didn't try to steal with a gun, he tried to flee with a gun. Maybe it should have been resisting arrest with a deadly weapon or something but since he plead guilty it's all moot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superlite27 View Post
    I always assumed that "shoplifting" connoted hiding merchandise upon one's person and attempting to evade detection.

    At what point does one get to point a firearm at a person and still get to be classified as a "shoplifter"?

    As I have evidently misunderstood "shoplifting", I guess I have also miscategorized "armed robbery".

    I'm apparently a little foggy on the difference between shoplifting and armed robbery. Maybe someone could explain why this goon is considered to be a "shoplifter" and not an "armed robber" since the story points out the fact he did stick a firearm into a person's back.

    I'm guessing since Wal-Mart's policy is to let shoplifters make their exit without confrontation, these employees violated that policy.

    What's their policy on defending one's self against an armed robber? What exactly does Wal-Mart consider to be one of those since sticking a gun in someone's back evidently fails to meet that definition?
    It surely was armed robbery. Also assault and a dozen other felonies. The point is that the corporate policy is that employees are to follow the instructions of the an armed attacker. That corporate policy is not that unusual. It is in recognition that the chance of anyone being shot is far less if an armed robber is given what he wants. Wal-Mart is not the only corporation with such a policy and not the only corporation who will fire violators. The bank my wife works for has the same policy. They specifically want employees to focus on getting the armed robber on the other side of the door.

    The employees indeed have the right to take the gun. The right to self-defense cannot be taken by the employer from the employee. However, the employer can make his policy on how he prefers the situation be handled a condition of employment.

    That's how Liberty works.
    Last edited by eye95; 02-12-2011 at 08:41 AM. Reason: I just thought some bolding was in order. No content was changed.

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    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    well,,,

    a corporation can have a policy that says, let shoplifters go,
    and give the armed robber the money!

    but when a man with a gun threatens to shoot you,
    then no policy can over ride your right to defend yourself from harm!

    THAT is HOW Liberty Works!!!
    Last edited by 1245A Defender; 02-12-2011 at 03:52 AM.
    EMNofSeattle wrote: Your idea of freedom terrifies me. So you are actually right. I am perfectly happy with what you call tyranny.....

    “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

    Stand up for your Rights,, They have no authority on their own...

    All power is inherent in the people,
    it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED!

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    Its just like carrying into a No carry zone and you end up defending yourself. You wont be charged for killing the person but will probably get fined for carrying there and that is something you must understand and accept. And by saying this it does not mean I like it or agree but thats why you have a choice same as those workers who had the choice to work there. I don't like the policy but thats there right. And yes you have the right to defend your self by law and the law is not being broken by doing so a store policy is. and your not being fined or anything so all you gotta do is go work somewhere else.

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    This termination business sounds like penalizing someone for taking a bold successful action with very little time to think it through. "Split second decision" as the cops call it.

    In as much as WalMart probably did no force-on-force training, or anything like that, so the staff could react according to policy, I can't figure how WalMart justifies the termination. Jeezus, a hair-raising, not-every-day situation develops, a split second decision is needed, the staff acts boldly, without hesitation, and succeeds--and the company fires them?

    Were I the manager, I'd be wanting such employees, not sheep.

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    Regular Member Ivan Sample's Avatar
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    Wal-mart has such a crazy policy but if you work there then you have to follow them or risk being fired. This is not the first time that we have heard of Wal-mart firing their workers for protecting themselves or others. I give them one thing and that is that they are consistence in their policy. That is why I choose not to work for them! So I can see both sides of the story and do I agree with Wal-mart policy and the answer is hell no. So I just keep it moving and pray that no one get hurt or killed. If a Wal-mart wants you to do nothing then I will do nothing if I work there and let the BG steal half the store if he/she wanted to.
    Capricorn

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Sample View Post
    Wal-mart has such a crazy policy but if you work there then you have to follow them or risk being fired. This is not the first time that we have heard of Wal-mart firing their workers for protecting themselves or others. I give them one thing and that is that they are consistence in their policy. That is why I choose not to work for them! So I can see both sides of the story and do I agree with Wal-mart policy and the answer is hell no. So I just keep it moving and pray that no one get hurt or killed. If a Wal-mart wants you to do nothing then I will do nothing if I work there and let the BG steal half the store if he/she wanted to.
    Wisdom.

    I am sure that Wal-Mart is trying to protect their associates and customers. I don't know for a fact that their policy does not provide more safety than one allowing associates to try to stop armed robbers. I believe their policy is too simple. However, our legal system favors zero-tolerance-type policies.

    If their policy is unacceptable, do not work there. Folks who dislike the policy could also reasonably choose not to shop there.

    That is what Liberty is. You get to make your choices. And Wal-Mart gets to make theirs.

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    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VW_Factor View Post
    So what... Were they supposed to do nothing and get killed/shot for no reason?
    Yes, at least they'd have their jobs.

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    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    Wal-Mart asset protection staff are expected to confront shoplifters but stand aside if they are armed or threaten them in anyway.

    But it has nothing to do with protecting the staff/customers and everything to do with protecting Wal-Mart from liability.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry1981 View Post
    Its just like carrying into a No carry zone and you end up defending yourself. You wont be charged for killing the person but will probably get fined for carrying there and that is something you must understand and accept. And by saying this it does not mean I like it or agree but thats why you have a choice same as those workers who had the choice to work there. I don't like the policy but thats there right. And yes you have the right to defend your self by law and the law is not being broken by doing so a store policy is. and your not being fined or anything so all you gotta do is go work somewhere else.
    Wrong! In todays economy NO ONE has a choice of where they work. They scrape the bottom of the barrel and hope that they come up with something so that just maybe they can survive long enough to reach their next birthday....
    "And shepherds we shall be, for Thee, my Lord, for Thee.
    Power hath descended forth from Thy hand, that our feet may swiftly carry out Thy command.
    So we shall flow a river forth to Thee and teeming with souls shall it ever be.
    E nomine Patri, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti."


    "If the rest of the world says: 'War,' I can only say: 'Very well. I do not want war, but no one, however peaceable, can live in peace if his neighbor intends to force a quarrel.'" - Adolf Hitler...

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    Quote Originally Posted by devildoc5 View Post
    Wrong! In todays economy NO ONE has a choice of where they work...
    That is the same kind of argument that anti-Liberty types make for their laws and regulations that protect stuff, like the "right" to health care.

    That you have a right to make a choice does not mean that you are free from the consequences of that choice. That I would starve to death does not mean that I do not have the right not to eat. That someone will remain unemployed if he turns down a job at Wal-Mart (actually, a quite silly false choice) does not mean that he does not have the choice to accept the job or not.

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    I used to do AP for WalMart, and I ended up with the same fate. (slightly different circumstances though)

    There were two instances when I was threatened with a weapon. Luckily, in both instances I came out of the situation unharmed. The first was when I was finishing up my training at the South Hill store. Long story short, he ran, I tackled him, out came a 9mm. I was already on top of him, and I had the upper hand because I had his back, so I decided not to back down. I quickly disarmed him, we cuffed him, and waited for police.

    In the second instance, I chased a couple guys who had stolen a paintball gun at the Spanaway store. I was right behind them as they jumped into a waiting car. I pulled out my phone to call the police and started backing away when one of the men attempted to stab me through the front passenger window of the car. The police showed up, got an address off of the plates of the car, and went to the house. They were detained and I was brought over to I.D. them.

    I was then fired. However, it didn't have anything to do with the weapons, it boiled down to my manager's manager having a personal issue with us. The knife wasn't even brought up during my exit interview....

    I can understand having policies to protect employees, but in these types of situations, discretion has to be given to the guy who's in the situation. As for the OP, everyone came out safe. What if the guy hadn't been disarmed and the shoplifter had used his weapon?

    I think going after an armed individual who is pointing a weapon at you is a terrible idea, but thats not what happened. They AP and shoplifter were in close proximity when the gun came out. These types of situations are the type that require discretion by the AP guy who is there, staring down the barrel of some criminal's pistol.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KSelig View Post
    I can understand having policies to protect employees, but in these types of situations, discretion has to be given to the guy who's in the situation. As for the OP, everyone came out safe. What if the guy hadn't been disarmed and the shoplifter had used his weapon?

    I think going after an armed individual who is pointing a weapon at you is a terrible idea, but thats not what happened. They AP and shoplifter were in close proximity when the gun came out. These types of situations are the type that require discretion by the AP guy who is there, staring down the barrel of some criminal's pistol.
    Exactly the point I tried to make earlier. +1
    Last edited by marshaul; 02-17-2011 at 01:12 AM.

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    if it hasnt been said here yet, it should be metioned; no good deed goes unpunished.

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    Regular Member TyGuy's Avatar
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    Baaaaa.

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    My $.02. The suspect went into a closed room with the Asset Protection people. I don't believe that room had a direct door to outside the building. Out came the weapon inside the room to threaten the employees. At that point, letting him go would be into the general public area of the store with a displayed weapon and the possibility of a discharge into a crowd of innocent customers and employees. The possibility of even an accidental discharge is great at this point. How many times have you slipped on a wet floor in a store? Bumped into someone and you or the other person lost your balance? I guarantee the perp would have had a finger on the trigger and been in a high stress position. It's a long ways to the entrance with obstacles between.

    In my opinion, they employees deescalated a potentially deadly situation for the safety of the customers and other employees.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack House View Post
    Wal-Mart asset protection staff are expected to confront shoplifters but stand aside if they are armed or threaten them in anyway.

    But it has nothing to do with protecting the staff/customers and everything to do with protecting Wal-Mart from liability.
    And be killed like a peasant in front of a samurai? I don't think so.

    CENTURIES of written records of warfare and politics dictate that when you are in the immediate presence of an individual and that individual produces a concealed weapon, be it dirk, dagger, sword, or pistol, that you immediately disarm the individual because he has made an implicit threat of deadly force on your life for whatever purposes he may have at that moment. Wars have been started in this fashion.
    Last edited by Kirbinator; 02-20-2011 at 04:42 PM.
    It takes a village to raise an idiot.

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    Regular Member Russf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    No. I imagine that Wal-Mart wanted the four simply to let the shoplifter go. They did not want an armed confrontation inside their store. They would rather risk not being able to find and prosecute the criminal (whose image has surely been captured on video) than risk the attempt to disarm the BG failing and shots being fired.

    If that is the policy (it is not unreasonable), then the employees should have followed it or accepted the consequences.

    Now, if the BG had given the employees any reason to believe that they were in danger, even if they backed off, that would be different. However, it seems as though the perp would have just walked, with no shots fired, it allowed.

    Many businesses have a policy to do what the criminal demands if he has, or says he has, a gun. That is their right to have such a considered policy--and to enforce the policy with sanctions when employees fail to follow it.
    You actually believe that you can not defend your life.......wow How do you know if no shots would have been fired...

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