Black Friday turned into Red Friday for Jerald Newman, 54, who was out on Thanksgiving evening shopping with his grandson. Consumers prepped themselves for long lines in retail shops, but Newman didn’t think he’d have to brave for a police assault.
Newman was shopping at a Wal-Mart store in Buckeye, Arizona late Thursday night along with thousands of other Americans who congregate to celebrate consumerism in a post-holiday bargain hunting binge called Black Friday. Newman says he became overwhelmed by the crowds at the Wal-Mart he was shopping at, so he attempted to lift his grandkid into the air to avoid a mob of violent shoppers. To free his hands, Newman says he placed a video game into his waistband and tried to launch the youngster out of the crowd. Police suspected the man of shoplifting, however, and took him down. Hard.
Cell phone cameras began rolling shortly after a police officer swept the legs of Newman, dropping the man to the ground, where he promptly hit the concrete floor of the shopping center face-first. As he laid motionless and silent, cops mounted the man while a pool of blood began to spill out into the store.
“Get that on camera. See how fucked up that is,” a bystander is heard yelling at the cops.
David Chadd, 24 of Las Vegas, caught the whole thing on his iPhone 4S. He tells RT that hundreds of people were in the entertainment section of Wal-Mart for games that the store only kept six copies of apiece.
“People were getting trampled,” says Chadd.
“You would have thought there was a cure for cancer in this box,” shopper Skyler Stone adds to a local Fox affiliate. “I mean people were literally going insane."
Chad says that police had already handcuffed Newman without incident and were walking him though the store when a cop “hooked the leg of the man and grabbed [him] by the shirt and slammed him face first into the ground.”
“The man was instantly knocked out and gushing blood,” adds Chadd, who said that Newman remained unconscious for around ten minutes.
“Are you sure that was necessary for shoplifting?” another bystander is heard asking the cops in Chadd’s clip.
“Why did you throw him down so far? All he did was shoplift and you threw him down like that?”
“He didn’t even shoplift. He just put it under his shirt so he could get out,” responds another customer. To the Fox station, another shopper says that Newman was clearly not trying to shoplift.
“Someone call 9-1-1,” another patron jokingly yelled at the cops.
“All of a sudden, you see this little boy run up and wailing and yelling, ‘Grandpa, Grandpa,’ and crying his eyes out,” Stone adds to KSAZ.
“The worst part was seeing his grandson in tears when he saw his grandfather unconscious on the floor with blood all over,” Chadd adds to RT.
After he regained consciousness, Newman was transported to a local hospital; after, he was charged with his alleged crime.
The Buckeye police chief has defended the actions of the officers and says that the cell phone footage doesn’t do justice to the entire incident; store surveillance cameras didn’t catch the event on tape. Because force was used in the arrest, however, an investigation will open up while the officer remains on the force.