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Wal-Mart bans gay couple for NOT shoplifting

Timothy Kincaid

November 7th, 2009

walmartNot every confrontation that a gay person experiences in their life is based on their orientation. But sometimes it is very difficult to see any other possible explanation.

Take the experience that Joe Paolucci, Thomas Hitchcock, and their special need twins had recently with Wal-Mart.

Employees at the Niles, MI Wal-Mart store accused Paolucci of shoplifting some Bic lighters. Although he produced the receipt, they refused to back down, insisting that the two men go to a “detention room”. The employees, using vulgarities and hostility, frightened their special needs kids. (South Bend Tribune)

Paolucci said that while he and Hitchcock were attempting to calm down the boys, the employees ordered them to enter a “detention room” for questioning. Fearful of what might happen behind closed doors, he and Hitchcock refused to enter and asked to speak to a manager.

“Some guy came up and said, ‘I’m the manager,’ then turned around and left,” Hitchcock said.

Paolucci said he and Hitchcock then asked store personnel to call police. Within minutes, deputies from the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department’s Niles Township Patrol arrived, pleasing Paolucci who said he thought a few questions and a review of the store’s videotapes and computer records would quickly resolve the matter.

He said he was shocked when he was immediately handcuffed, without a question being asked, and placed in the back seat of a squad car. Hitchcock wasn’t handcuffed but also was placed in the back seat of a second squad car.

The twins, despite the protests of Paolucci and Hitchcock, were turned over to the store’s security personnel, who took them into the “detention room” or what police referred to as a security room.

A review of the security tapes proved that Paolucci and Hitchcock had done no wrong. So the store management profusely apologized and expressed their remose, right? No. They did not.

The two said they expected an apology and were surprised once again when personnel from the store walked up to the squad cars with the twins and read from a statement that Paolucci and Hitchcock had been banned by the store chain for life. Rather than shoplifting, the reason they were given was “being uncooperative.”

By the time they were read the statement, Paolucci and Hitchcock said, the twins had told them that the security staff had allegedly threatened them in the security room and had made disparaging remarks about Paolucci and Hitchcock’s lifestyle. Paolucci and Hitchcock said they asked police to take statements from the boys but the officers refused, telling the couple they’d have to contact Child Protective Services.

Wal-Mart even refused to replace frozen items that had now thawed due to their unprovoked misuse of their customers. Nor did the situation end at the harassment of the couple at the store.

Paolucci said the boys have suffered a type of post-traumatic stress disorder since the experience. Both wet their beds, although one has stopped, and both have had nightmares about one security employee in particular, he said.

“They’re terrified, horrified. We’ve had to change their medication twice,” he said.

And what does Wal-Mart corporate have to say?

Paolucci and Hitchcock e-mailed The Tribune a copy of a letter from a law firm representing Wal-Mart seeking 10 times the retail price of the items the store still claims were shoplifted by Paolucci. The letter states the matter will be dropped if Paolucci submits the $158.40 payment.

Now this is not the first time that Wal-Mart has been perceived as hostile to gay Americans. In 2007, HRC advised against giving our business to Wal-Mart, and just in April of this year, the CEO signed his name to a petition to ban gay couples from adopting.

Wal-Mart doesn’t care about my opinion. And there’s little I can do to impact their decision to treat gay customers with hostility.

But perhaps there are those, even in Niles, MI, who will decide that this situation is just one too many. That they cannot give their custom to bad neighbors. That it may be worth an extra nickle and a further drive to frequent the stores that do not abuse customers solely because they “disapprove of their lifestyle” and who admit it and apologize when they are wrong.

All I can do is spread the word.

Comments

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Jose
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

Okay, that does it. I have been semi-boycotting Wal-Mart up until now, but sometimes in some very small towns where I have to work, I will go buy batteries or a scraper or something there because it’s the only option in those towns. No more. I would rather rub two flints together than buy a lighter from Wal-Mart. I will never set foot in one again. Thanks for posting this.

Transplanted Lawyer
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

I have heard of similar kinds of stories in the past. If this is true, I suspect it may not be just because they’re gay. (Although I have little doubt that their captors used anti-gay language; that sort of thing is all too common in our society even when someone isn’t in a position of abusing their power.) These guys need to lawyer up and sue first.

Cathy
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

Sadly this is par for the course with this meglomaniac company.

I found this site while researching for an english paper on food safety at grocery stores;

http://walmartsucksorg.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2008-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-03%3A30&updated-max=2009-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-03%3A30&max-results=8

The site hasn’t really been updated this year, but the stories are familiar.

All customers face this crap from them.

Yeah, makes me want to shop there.

DaveM
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

Countersue. The detention on the part of Wal-Mart security constitutes false imprisonment, and the letter constitutes extortion. This couple has gold in their hands.

Bearchewtoy75
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

Stores like Wal-Mart always have to be careful when confronting a shoplifter. They have to be caught on camera.

“Paolucci and Hitchcock e-mailed The Tribune a copy of a letter from a law firm representing Wal-Mart seeking 10 times the retail price of the items the store still claims were shoplifted by Paolucci. The letter states the matter will be dropped if Paolucci submits the $158.40 payment.”

I don’t get it. Why does WallyWorld want the couple to pay THEM? Yeah, I’d say they got a big lawsuit on their hands.

Leonard Drake
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

This is yet another reason why I feel petrified these days to step foot in a WalMart.

I feel so sorry for the couple, and the sheer terror their children must of experienced. For WalMart to merely shrug off this tragedy as meaningless is PATHETIC!

Seth
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

Pathetic.

DaveM is right – false imprisonment, possible assault or battery if the employees forced or grabbed them, and I do hope the police read the “suspect” his Miranda rights when they handcuffed him.

However, sadly I’m sure Walmart would simply overwhelm them with a thousand lawyers and endless legal tactics. They damn well better refuse to pay that, and yes it almost does sound like extortion.

FIGHT IT, guys.

Courtney
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

Sue, sue, sue! This is absolutely, 100% a hate crime.

Jude
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

WTF? The police should know better than to hand over children to security guards. There are laws stating that security can’t even search kids without first calling the police and contacting the parents, so wtf is wrong with these police officials?

Jennifer
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

I work in retail and we are told that we can NEVER approach a customer unless he have seen WITH OUR OWN EYES that a customer has taken an item. Even then, you cannot approach them until they have left the building. The way they approached these customers was VERY unprofessional. I’ve always hated Wal-mart. Everything about it turns me off. I think I have been inside Wal-mart maybe a dozen times in the past five years. I think I can safely say that I will NEVER shop there again. There’s nothing that I need from there that I can’t get at a 24-hour grocery store.

Susie
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

I’m too angry to think clearly, much less write about all the various things wrong about WalMart in this horrible situation.

Damn.

The police seem to have been just as blatantly stupid, surrendering this couple’s children to a security person.

The hatred, the spewing out of ugly words, the fear instilled in the two children, the absolute frustration these two men had to suffer… it’s disgusting, it’s shameful, it’s unforgivable.

I hope everyone shares this story with hundreds of others. It’s time all are made aware of this blind hatred.

My heart goes out to this little family.

nicocoer
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

Jennifer’s right- there’s something WRONG here.

THing is, I think it has more to do with the people that they hire as managers, and who the upper management trusts. When my Ex worked at a walmart, the policy was as Jennifer said- to the point where they were actually unable to DO anything when they did have someone steal. (It was a bad neighborhood.) BECAUSE OF CORPORATE POLICY.

I hope they take walmart to court.

Richard W. Fitch
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

This most likely is not the end of the story. In reading the linked article in the SB Trib it states that the pair are attorneys in Chicago and own a business in a town nearby the Wal-Mart. The additional details in the link make the incident even more flagrantly appalling.

Ron
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Way to go Walmart!

John
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

I will continue to shoplift from Wal-Mart for as long as I can.

Scott P.
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Damn. I have very difficult to fit feet and Wal-Mart actually stocks shoes that fit me. It’s the only reason that I’ve ever shopped there. Well, that won’t happen ever again. I’ll hit a couple of dozen places next time I need footwear, rather than buy from them.

Susan
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Is anyone really surprised by this crap? I haven’t shopped at China-mart for years… this just adds to my laundry list of reasons to continue that tradition! Walmart is a trashy, cheap, crappy company that treats their employees & customers like crap.

amanda
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

One of these guys is a very successful attorney in Chicago. This story makes no sense.

Eva
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Ya know whats really effed-up is the fact that there have been SO MANY of these horror stories(discrimination, the way they treat their employees,etc) and still, they make millions and millions of dollars!People just keep going back.I only went on black friday,but now that sucks too. It’s like America is hypnotized by that evil smiley face.

Sorry for all spelling and grammar errors…..please don’t start the spelling/grammar police war.

Jason
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Unfortunately for me, I am a heavy gamer and they’re one of the better places to buy PC games, and again, they’re the only ones who have good clothes for me. As such, I shop there, but with a bad taste in mouth constantly.

Bobby
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

This is another reason I have not and will not shop in a Wal-Mart. I feel sad for the children. I do agree they should sue Wal-Mart as money is the only thing they listen to. The thing that saddens me is people will continue to shop there. People will think it is ok. Until people stand up for what is right things like this will continue to happen. Wal-Mart hates not just Homos. It hates the middle class. How much does Wal-Mart pay their employees? Fair wages? Do they get health care? Dental? Optical? Sick days?
When you are cheap you get cheap service from a company that only cares about one thing. MONEY

Lynn David
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Does this mean WalMart isn’t giving 5% of it’s online profits to gay groups anymore????

Well, there is some to like and a lot to hate about WalMart. I know our local store has quite a few gay people working there. I see gay couples nearly every time I grocery shop at WalMart (this in county with less than 40,000 population).

On the other hand I hope they screw WalMart over big time in civil court. As well as the police for simply handing the children off to WalMart lackeys. I’m not sure it was the idea that they were gay that was the problem, but gays with children.

alan van cleave
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

for some reason my credit card wont ever work in any walmart and i have to go to the atm and get out cash to buy anything even though i never have a problem using it anywhere in the world i am at except for walgreens in las vegas nv.

John Smith
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

I believe they got what they deserved, being gay is a choice and a really stupid one at that. Do everyone a favor and dont be gay and then none of this will ever happen. GO WALMART

Judy
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

This is just plain wrong. Not that I condone the lifestyle but to do something like this to children is just plain wrong on so many levels. I don’t have any idea who manages this Wal Mart but I shop there a lot but believe me it won’t happen anymore. And, for you people who say that these people deserve this treatment. You don’t belong in the USA or anywhere else. “YOU DON’T TREAT PEOPLE LIKE THIS EXPECIALLY CHILDREN” Didn’t your mama teach you respect?

Jack
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

This should be a wake up call to EVERYONE. You should NEVER “have” to shop at a wal mart. All you need to do is one thing that’s been drilled OUT of our minds and you’ll never have to set foot in one again. What’s that one thing? PLAN AHEAD!! Walmart THRIVES on the “need it now” population. You DON’T “need” half the crap you get there.

I’ve been walmart free for at least six years. I feel there should be a support group to get people to stop going because it really is like an addiction. Costco, Target, and my local grocery store have everything I need. If they don’t, I find it online. Now stop reading this and start planning ahead. You’ll find you don’t need ANYTHING walmart carries when you do that one thing.

John Ozed
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

I have never set foot in a WalMart so a boycott is quite easy.

And this month, John Smith is featured as the centerfold for Proctologist Monthly.

elaygee
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

To repeat all the others, SUE SUE Sue, they’re set for life if they pursue it.

desmond
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Sanctions achieve nothing.

however, I hope that this family is able to sit in a room and ahve a conversation with the ceo of wal mart, and hopefully they will enroll him in the possiblity that he and this store which represents him could do things in another way. This is very sad.

Rob
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

I hope they get a multi-million dollar settlement out of this ordeal.

Jarrod
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

It’s not just Wal-Mart. K-Mart was almost as bad. My friend Adam was approached by two K-Mart employees who were not in uniform and told to come with them. Adam started to walk with them then thought that these guys were gonna mug him. So he ran. Before getting out of the store Adam tripped on a display and broke his foot. The guys snatched him up and made him walk to the security room where the manager choke-slammed into the wall. Adam had no merchandise on him. Never did. The guys who chased him said he “probably” threw the shirt down. Which if this were true… Adam was never outside of the store, which is NOT shoplifting. They finally released him after viewing the tapes without apologizing.
I know this has nothing to do with Wal-Mart but it just shows that Big companies can do whatever they want

Chris lee
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Don’t even get me started! I have worked in a lot of retail places. Gays are profiled in a few places I know of, for a fact. Walmart being on!

Dan
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

I am very skeptical of this story and I hope we don’t all mindlessly jump on the bandwagon. The two things that send up a red flag: 1) both of these guys are attorneys and 2) they claim their boys are now suffering “from a kind of post traumatic stress disorder”.

Maybe it is all true, but I am deeply suspicious of PTSD claims. PTSD is a condition that follows an extreme traumatic event like rape or a prolonged period of extreme stress, as in war. PTSD is over-used by greedy plaintiffs who now claim it as the result of single-incident, one-time stressors involving essentially insults and disrespect. Again, maybe it is all true but on the other hand, maybe these guys are looking for a payday. I would wait for more of the story to come out

Bearchewtoy75
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Dan,

If you read the original article, it states that they have no intention of suing Wal-Mart because “they play hardball” and would likely have to spend millions on the case if they tried.

Ted
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

I wish they would sue.

Richard W. Fitch
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Dan – about the PTSD. You should note that the twins are already special needs children. The article does not go into detail regarding their situation, but 11 y/o that already require special care can easily be put into extreme stress by the type of treatment dealt by the security and police thugs.

tracy
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

this is appalling and heartbreaking. i already avoid wal-mart like the plague, but stories like this only strengthen my resolve.

darkmoonman
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

I can see that I’m still correct in my 15+ year boycott of Wal-Mart.

Brenda
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

I am so sorry to hear of such treatment to you and your family by Wal-Mart… no one should ever have to go thru something like that…no one… I’m a Black woman living and working in American and have experienced racism on many different levels. Levels tend to escalate in different parts of the country depending on the multicultural mix of a community or the lack of the same….discrimination is alive and well in America no matter who is in the White House.

Lula
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

This is sickening! And just a note to Dan: I understand wanting to be careful, but I don’t discount the story based on PTSD. If the are indeed special needs, they may be more sensitive to that type of thing. And each personality reacts differently to different things. It doesn’t have to be over an extended period of time to be traumatizing; this is especially true if you don’t have the tools to process what happened. I have a cousin who was held up at gunpoint. It took =ages= for her to get her sense of self and comfort back. It does not have to be rape or combat only.

JM
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Ok, how did this get turned into a story about gay discrimination? Guess what people, they do this to straight people too!

Kaiyn
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Here is a link to the original article in the South Bend Tribune. Unfortunately, the article will only be available today. The Tribune has a policy of making people pay to see articles after seven days have passed.

http://bit.ly/4du2kK

There used to be quite a bit of comments on the story, but the Trib has apparently disabled that since the article was first posted.

Dan
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

OK, I did not see the part where they disavowed any lawsuit against Walmart. Assuming they really stick with that decision, then the financial motivation is off the table, and that lends substantial credibility to their version of events. They would have no other reason to lie.

Given this, I do think that this is presumptively an act of discrimination. It makes no sense for this Walmart outlet to disrespect and ban a customer for life if he did not shoplift. When you see someone going against his own economic interest, it is a good bet that some irrational prejudice is driving the decision.

Doug
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Thanks for posting this. I have shared on Facebook and will e-mail everyone that I know. We have not shopped there for years, and this is one more reason for us to NOT shop there, and we moved to Canada where we feel we are in a better place.

nicole
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

I hope those bastards working at wal-mart are fired. i have and never will step foot in a wal-mart never ever. this makes me so angry about the way people treat one another. such bullshit. i feel sorry for them for having to act that way.

rita
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

I do not believe this had anything to do with your lifestyle. I know too many gays that work for Walmart. You were correct in not going into the closed room, and asking for police. The inept people with power here have done serious damage to the children. I am sorry you had this happen to your family.

BSJ
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

I found your story rather suspicious so I read the actual news column from the link and indeed there are several discrepencies in your story here.

First, the lighters were passed over the scanner but they were not scanned, as per the news story. Second, officers found the couple yelling at employees and causing a disturbance instead of trying to handle the situation peacefully. Third, the children did not appear to be treated in an uncivilized manner.

The biggest remark that you left out is that the couple is not seeking any personal damages against either Walmart or police. No lawyer will touch the case, which raises a GIANT RED FLAG. If you what you present here is true, then civil rights lawyers would be scrambling to help them working pro bono or for a cut of the final settlement.

You should be ashamed for getting people in a huff with your slanted reporting and ommission of key facts to support a predetermined tone.

Rik
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

First of all every one of these comments should be emailed to the CEO of Walmarts. Second of all I would boycott all Walmarts to show them Gay Power and Gay Money. The whole store is filled with imports from China. Nothing made in the USA. Third of all, I am tired of always reading how the Waltons are among the richest people in the world…what have they personally done. So much for Christian charity. DUMP WALMART.

Laura
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Sue. They need to sue, sue, sue. It’s *disgusting*. Not just what they did to the men themselves, but what they did to those poor boys. I don’t honestly understand how people can think that’s acceptable.

I’m so very glad that here in the UK, Asda’s not that bad. Even if it is owned by the same company. I’m not saying we don’t have our issues over here, because we do. But it’s not this.

Seriously. These guys need to sue. If not for themselves, then for their sons.

jeff
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Another story of crying wholf.

Bearchewtoy75
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

What about the police? They handcuffed one of them and put both of them in back of their car while Wal-Mart held the children BEFORE it had been determined that they hadn’t shoplifted. Isn’t there something illegal about this? False imprisonment? Hell, I wouldn’t just want to sue, I’d want someone to go to jail!

This whole thing could have been avoided if a few people had just done their jobs correctly.

sarita
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

BSJ- The fact that the couple isn’t suing isn’t ANY kind of “red flag”– what, you think it’s THAT crazy NOT to want to get into a huge lawsuit with a gigantic company that could squash you like a bug? Bring tons of unwanted attention to you and your family? And you actually, sincerely think it’s weird that no other lawyers are jumping at the chance to cover the case PRO-BONO? Get a clue.

NOT that anyone needs any MORE excuse to “get in a huff” about Wal-Mart, but even if what you say is true, it doesn’t change the dozen other terrible things Wal-Mart did in this ONE specific instance.

To anyone who keeps saying this isn’t targeted at gays, but “gays with children,” that simply doesn’t make sense. Obviously, people who dislike gays having children do so specifically because they are gay.

And yes, awful things happen to straight people too, that doesn’t mean this wasn’t sparked by hatred of homosexuals. Why are so many people so hesitant to recognize that this happened because two homosexuals thought it would be ok to go shopping with their children, and a bunch of idiots thought they would harass them for no reason?

And to the oh-so-brave “John Smith” who obviously hates gay people– please, please, PLEASE wake up. “Being gay is a choice and a really stupid one at that”– well, you’d be right if it WERE a choice. But NO ONE would voluntarily choose a life that guaranteed them years of fear, ostracization, confusion, and pain. No one would choose to have their civil rights trampled, or intentionally put themselves and their loved ones in danger because certain people think it’s ok to hate people for not being carbon copies of themselves. Obviously, people are gay because they’re born that way. Was that too logical for you?

Sheesh.

Bruce A
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Yet another good reason to never step foot inside a Wal*Mart. The list just keepos growing.

Denise K. Harriman
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

I certainly hope Paolucci and Hitchcock absolutely do sue, especially including a charge of ongoing harassment in light of the letter Wal-Mart corporate sent them insisting they pay for items they never took.

I echo the sentiments expressed by the majority here.

Jessica
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

People need to start sending letters to Walmart saying WHY they won’t shop there anymore. Just not shopping there won’t do much. We need to tell them that we will not put up with their homophobia. I’ve never shopped at Walmart and am appalled that so many people still do when Walmart has put so many family businesses out and are blatantly discriminating against their own consumers!! Wake up people! Is saving a buck worth everything else?? Talk about blind consumerism.

Rick Cain
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

This is a no-brainer.

STOP SHOPPING AT WAL-MART

Their prices aren’t all that cheap, I’ve compared and its nothing special.

James
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Okay this is just way to much for any store big or not to get away with. I say sue WalMart and the sherrif’s office and make an example of them not only for the Gay issue implied, but for everyone out there. Down here in Florida I watch people open food and eat it while they shop and never pay for it, open and empty boxes everywhere in the store and these people are never prosecuted (they walk right by store employees doing it!) also I thought Walmart had changed thier prosecuting of shoplifted items to item over 30.00 anyway! This has Nancy Grace championed issue written all over it, especially the detainment of the special needs children away from their parents!..they should contact her. Once hitting national news Walmart may aplogize and offer monies on their own. In the meantime I think Ill pay aliitle more and shop SuperTarget instead! SHame on WalMart!

Nthan.X
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

susan… what hell was that China-mart suppose to be? if you related this event to something about China,i can tell you that you are idiot racism!

John
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Filing a lawsuit is a big deal. It involves a great deal of time and money. Rarely do people win large amounts. These guys are lawyers and have probably done the math and realize that the downside of a lawsuit would outweigh any upside. I would agree with them.

Having made that decision, the less expensive (and probably equally effective) way to hurt WalMart is to tell their story to anyone who will listen.

The store looks bad. The company (as a result of the silly lawyer’s letter) looks bad. The police look horrible, particularly leaving the children in the custody of store security. I can’t believe that state law would support putting children (disabled or not)in the custody of hostile store security guards.

I would rate this a much bigger loss for WalMart than for this couple and their kids.

Burr
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Wal-Mart sells a lot of stuff that’s made in China (then again so does Target, K-Mart, etc. any retail store nowadays). That’s all she was referring to. Chill out.

Regardless of the reasons underlying it (and I’m sure they were myriad as is the case of all customer mistreatment in retail), there’s no excuse for that sort of thing. Though I’d be interested to hear a response from Wal-Mart corporate. I really doubt they endorse the actions of this particular store.

Laughing
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

This store is 98% false. I was there. Only things really factual are the names and the date. The rest should have been in the comics section with a wonderful picture about the self proclomations of being stereotyped while stereotyping every person there who was doing their job, recovering unpaid for merchandise. Circus from the word go, even 3 months later. Pay for an item, take it home. Don’t pay, don’t take it home. Make a scene, shop elsewhere. Make a media event based on lies, feel better about yourself. The mens sexual preference had NO bearing on the fact that there was unpaid for items. Nor was it known prior to approach that the men were together, as the story says, they were at seperate registers. Not all LP’s are short fused hot heads, but it sure makes a better story.

mike wilosn
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Dear i still shop at wal-mart but with a bad taste in my mouth – maybe it’s blood from the gay bashing. stop being an uncle tom and SUPPORT GAY OWNED STORES that are struggling.

James Walter Hardin
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

I’m gay also with my lover we shop at walmart in Elizabethton, TN. They are the same way but I have a service animal that is with me and they give me grief over him. My best advice is that dont take no bs from them and know your right as a american citizen. They dont like to be sue or you can alway make a complaint with 1800walmart or do a greivement against them.

ed from dallas
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

All I can say is I am glad I shop Target and not trailor park trash wal-mart.

Jessica Sideways
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

One more reason not to shop at the evil empire known as Wal-Mart…

Alas, a blog » Blog Archive » Open Thread and Link Farm, $47221.09 Dinner Edition
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

[…] Wal-Mart Bans Gay Couple For Not Shoplifting […]

Jerrel
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

These children that own and work for Wal-Mart need to grow the hell up. This is ridiculous. What gives them the right to go above the law like this? Nothing gives them the right.

Ignorance and hatred should be prosecutable misdemeanors. Just because it’s a free country shouldn’t mean giving men and women the ‘rights’ to treat others as lesser beings.

Purely ridiculous, and if I didn’t know someone personally who went through this sort of discrimination; I wouldn’t believe it.

TeeJay
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

I’LL NOT SHOP AT WALMART EVER AGAIN…THIS SHOWS EXACTLY WHY WE AS GAY PEOPLE FIGHT SO HARD FOR EQUAL RIGHTS. ID SUE THE HELL OUT OF WALMART. THIS COUPLE WAS DISRESPECTED SO BAD…. MY HEART TRULY GOES OUT ESPECIALLY TO THEIR TWINS. JUSTICE BETTER BE SERVED

Sheree
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

That is disgusting.

» A Disturbing Reality - The Sacred Paths: A Spiritual Journey
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

[…] Source: http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2009/11/07/16449 […]

Rebecca
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

That couple needs to sue Wal-Mart for all they have. They could definitely win. This is serious abuse that affected 4 people!

pork
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

thankfully we don’t have this piece of sh*t store in nyc.

Melina
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

I will never, ever, under any circumstances enter that store again.

mikeksf
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

I can hardly wait to go to Niles and “chat with” the manager about this despicable behavior. I’ll be driving through that part of the country in December and it will provide an energizing break in my day. Just for fun.

paul j stein
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

Sue the county officers, the county officials, WalMart, managers, security officers.

Lenny
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

Contact a lawyer as soon as possible! This is the only way that same sex relationships are going to be recognized. It is our time and we need to let these companies know that we will not back down. I am sure that there is a lawyer out there that would be more then happy to assist you in this case. Also I will be sure to second think about my purchases at my local Walmart. I believe that this company is going to see more bad days ahead of them. Also if these employees are still working at he store location, insist that they be put on probation until you have proven your case. My heart goes out to you and your family and I hope that justice is served in this case….

Entertainment… Weakly. » Blog Archive » That’s My Favorite Poe Story!
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

[…] What did they do now? This. […]

Susan Gilliland
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

The NCSF, National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, was established to help people in situations just like this. Pass the word for both men to get in contact with them.

Michael
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

My sister works and Wal-Mart and I’ve spent enough time there even talking to other disgruntled employees. From what I have been told multiple times regarding shoplifters is that Wal-mart will not even pursue unless the price of the item is over $50. SO even if they saw the kids pick up a pack of lighters, which I’m sure they didn’t, they still shouldn’t have done anything according to company policy. I’d never condone stealing, but I think it’s about time all the Wal-mart customer’s started getting their “FREE PASS” $49 to see how fast Wal-mart starts to get in line and start being a Business and not a travesty.

Terry Hernandez
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

I just don’t understand why we as a community don’t ban together from wherever we are and VOICE our outrage? Here’s the contact information of the store…let’s flood their phones with our anger until they have to change their numbers and then we do it over again.

Walmart
2107 S 11th St
Niles, MI 49120-4060
(269) 683-2773

Dave Mor....
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

I reluctantly shop at Walmart, but mostly because it’s about 8 miles away. My partner and I have never had any problems shopping there and we save a lot of money. But I do understand that Walmart is probably destroying the world, or at least the poor, working people of the world. They have a policy of lower prices to the detriment of many people all over the world to produce cheaper goods at lower production prices. This has hurt American workers and retailers, but it will begin to hurt the same people in other countries too.

All of this will change the nature of retailing forever, and that might actually be a good thing or it might turn out to be a horrible thing, causing more and more people on this earth to be more like slaves.

But eventually things will even out again. It might take going back to the guillotine and taking out some of these extremely rich and powerful people.

In the meantime, shop at Walmart, use the savings to buy stock in the company. With your dividend money donate to your favorite causes, such as Lambda Legal, Human Rights Campaign, or maybe the ACLU.

I actually don’t think this shoplifting thing was initiated due to these guys being gay. Also, we don’t really know all the facts yet. I DO believe that they were probably insulted by Walmart security with slurs about them being gay. Unfortunately at this time in our country there’s not much we can do about that.

I also know quite a few gay men, and some can be quite emotional in times like this causing other people to be more aggressive towards them if they had just stayed calm. I doubt they did stay calm though. I know that if I am ever confronted about stealing something from a store I will remain totally calm knowing that the matter will be resolved quickly with an apology from security, because I don’t steal and have no need to be alarmed when something happens like what happened to these two guys.

I certainly would like to know more about this case though. Dave Mor….

Joe
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

Personally, I just don’t believe this really happened. It just sounds too ridiculous. Something is being blown out of proportion and it’s more than likely the couple’s story. Maybe it’s just where I live. I live in a full-blown melting pot with gays, blacks, hispanics, bi-racial, you-name-it, and if something like that had happened here, it would’ve been an all out riot. I’m not saying the couple wasn’t accused of shoplifting – they probably were, but I find it very hard to believe all that BS described went down…sounds like someone’s feelings got hurt and concocted the scenario for a potential lawsuit. Is there a newspaper clip or an actual report of the incident?

CB
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

Lone individuals suing a corporation would cost these gentlemen millions. The best way to get WalMarts attention is to make sure this story makes all gay blogs, also media, like CNN and MSNBC, maybe Anderson Cooper and Rachael Maddow (FOX is a bust when it comes to gay rights). A gay boycott would really do nothing except to satisfy those who boycott (boycotts rarely work when it comes to large corporations). It should be noted that WalMart first opened in the “bible belt” in the state of Arkansas. This should give you a clue on what their civil rights position consists of.

Terry
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

I’m having trouble believing that anyone actually believes this story as it’s written. There are always two sides to this story and I’m sure that the couple described was hardly agreeable and cooperative when this all happened. I’m sure they acted like comlete jerks and that made the Walmart employees go to the extreme. Not an excuse, but I can guarantee they didn’t treat the employees questioning them with respect, so they were shown no respect.

Timothy Kincaid
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

Joe,

As always, at BTB we link to our sources. Go click on “South Bend Tribune” in the commentary above for the newspaper story.

Joe
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

Ok, I read the clip, but it still sounds too melodramtic for my blood. People just don’t act like that under any circumstance. There must have been some kind of noxious gas coming through the ventilation system that caused a mass hysteria or something. My guess is that the couple was out looking for a confrontation for just this kind of thing. Just like the blacks who will scream if you just say “you people,” meaning something other than color reference. it’s stuff like this that’s going to give us all a very bad name. Use some sense. There’s intelligent ways of handling situations like this and they’re usually more effective. I’m done…..

Charles
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

I think they [“the couple”]are lying. If it was a gay couple, they would not have children. TWO OF THE SAME SEX CAN NOT HAVE CHILDREN. They should have shopped at Target, were they support Gays.

Ken in Riverside
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

Charles, you might want to check reality again. Gay couples do indeed have kids. Pretending otherwise might make you feel better about discriminating against such families, but their existence is a factual matter; not something you can debate.

Alex
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

Seems like the anti-gay comments here are dumber than usual these days.

Tammy
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

As a former employee of Wal-mart I can tell you the treatment of these two and their children is not out of the normal. I was checking out an older white (not that race matters) couple one day when security came up to them and started to harass them. Now these folks come in all the time. They were not shoplifting, just minding their own business, trying to pay for their few meager purchases. They were dressed in clean sweats but had scraggly hair like it hadn’t been washed for a few days. The security guard told them they have to leave the store, Wal-Mart chooses not to serve their kind. pretty much the same thing happened to them. They were grabbed, shoved, and pulled to a “holding room”. I found out from a another employee that they were placed in a tiny room and they heard the guards yelling at them berating them, calling them names ect…luckily, the older couple had a friend who was a lawyer. The store employees ended up being fired for harassment without provocation.

This stuff like in the story above really does happen at Wal-Mart almost on a daily basis.

And to say that a gay couple can not have children is just plain ignorant.

And…if this couple was looking for a confrontation they 1)would not have their kids along ESPECIALLY special needs children, 2) would not have paid for the lighters they were accused of stealing then producing said receipt…or didn’t you read that part?

Aleister Mraz
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

It’s not ~evil~ “Wal-Mart”. If Wal-Mart wasn’t in the town, then I’m sure the couple would still have to shop somewhere, and I’m sure that the same assholes would give them a hard time through their management of that store instead. It’s just people. Maybe the power of the corporation enables these intolerant few to feel as though they can act on their prejudices, but it is most certainly not Wal-Mart policy to allow such actions.

I’m not for Wal-Mart, but I think it’s ridiculous to be against the entire corporation for the actions of employees. We should boycott Wal-Mart because all of their produce comes from 1000’s of miles away rather than the local farm down the road.

On the occasional drive up to Wal-Mart in my flower painted car and dawning a pink fuzzy coat, I get more negative feedback from other customers than from employees. I’m not gay, but I’m judged. It’s just people.

Let’s be reasonable.

Sue Wo
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

I think that the manager of this Walmart should have his head handed to him by MANAGEMENT for allowing this to happen. With all the Walmart stores there are, the manager is generally responsible for the actions and the general climate in the individual establishment.

we have one closeby, the employees are treated well and treat all the customers well. It’s generally a very happy place due largely in part to Christine their manager, who’s very competent and cares about more than just the bottom line. And, no, I don’t know this woman other than from shopping in her store.

So, in a nutshell, it would definitely behoove the upper echelon to come down HARD on people like those in the store in question and fire the bastards!!!

richard
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

the big issue to me here is not even the idiots in Walmart’s employ…that’s a foregone conclusion. I’m appalled that these police officers took children from their parents’ supervision and placed them in the care of other unknown civilians. If the state needs to separate a parent from the child, that’s what Child Services is for. If there’s anyoneone to be sued here with great cause it’s the Sherriff’s office.

Melinda
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

To quote the late great Bernie Mac, “This is some bull!”

charles sexton
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

I really think we all should ban together and build it up gay , bi ,straight and show wal-mart just how much money we spend there and do it all over the usa and let them feel the shortage of income maybe we can help k-mart pull out of their tail spin and maybe shut down a few super centers hell we have 2 less than 5 miles of each other and a sams club next to both how stupid is that !! I hate walmart and i always will I worked there 10 damn yrs and got treated like crap!! and i think me being a gay male had alot to do with it !!! go to hell walmart !!

M
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

John Smith: you are so poorly informed that I almost feel sorry for you. Homosexuality is not a choice, not an illness and not something sinister or wrong. Humans are hardly the only ones that exhibit other sexual orientations. You are a sad, sad person and intolerant as well.

Tracy
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

Please, people….Don’t start Fighting for your right to shop at Walmart! Never shop at Walmart. Never go there to do ANYTHING but use their bathroom. The company sucks from start to finish.

Barbara Blackgum
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

The fact that Walmart employees and police forcefully separated parents from their children is an abomination. It was entirely without cause and grossly inhumane and inappropriate.

I hope those gentlemen sue, and I hope that if they need signatures on a petition to force policy change at Walmart, that I see and sign it.
Till then, Walmart is on my list of hostile environments, and I wont spend another penny in that miserable place.
{insert vile profanity here}Walmart!

Oh, and to those of you who posted more anti gay rhetoric, grow up and learn about bigotry. you may face it one day, especially if the masses decide that STUPID people have no rights.
Smarmy microbes. That’s you.

stephanie
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

i get so sad when i hear stories like this. There is way to much ignorance and hate in this world. People have so much anger and not enough love toward others. Its so sad.

All Spin Zone » Why are Young Conservatives Embarrassed by the GOP?
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

[…] I just love that Walmart angle to the story. It’s so wholesome and chock filled with family values, isn’t it? Like these Walmart family values. […]

Barbra
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

I’m glad there’s no Wal-Mart in Brooklyn and I hope they will keep them out…but even if they do come here, I
will boycott them for this and about twenty other reasons.

P.S. I hope they sue them

Stay classy, Wal-Mart « Karen’s Rant Page
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

[…] http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2009/11/07/16449 […]

Ken Smith
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

OMG… that’s all I can say… When will we as a ‘people’ grow up?

Jaroslaw
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

It seems kind of sad that in this age of videotapes and audiotapes AND witnesses (when has a Walmart store ever been empty? so there should be lots of witnesses!) that the FACTS are so hard to come by. Reading all the opinions here that contradict each other it seems hard to know what to think. One thing is for sure – if one or both of these guys are attorneys they should know how they’re going to proceed.

wow
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

This kind of makes me want to get a big group of people to have a big Gay Day 2010 protest at the Niles, MI Walmart sometime …

J.
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

I’m gay, I’ve been banned from walmart for being an accessory to shoplifting. My boyfriend has also been banned from walmart, on a separate occasion, for shoplifting.
Years later, now he works there.

Jennifer
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

This just appalls me to no end. Walmart is even worse then I thought. I personally shop there all of the time because their prices are cheap (regardless of what some believe) and I can’t afford much else, but I certainly would rather clip coupons galore and shop somewhere else rather then step in that place again after reading this.

All I can say is that I feel sorry that this had to happen. If the couple doesn’t want to take on the daunting task of suing the company outright, start with the employees that mishandled the situation and the cops that turned the children over to the store (that HAS to be illegal).

I have a letter written and ready to go out to the mailbox. Let’s just say that Walmart in Niles is getting a not-so-friendly letter from a not-so-happy women. :)

Celiene
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

Appalling. But I’d believe anything of Walmart. Evil place, Walmart.

One thing I’d like to know – HOW could trhey ban them from ALL Walmarts? (Not that they would shop there again…) BUT HOW? Will their photos be in the hands of the Geezer Greeters? Will their credit card number be flagged at the register? What of they pay cash?

Walmart = GESTAPO!

Reverend Mik
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

Anyone remember what a flash mob is?

Get a bunch of your friends together, the more the merrier (make sure they invite their friends too). Every single person grabs a cart. Move toward the registers. Block the access to the register. Everybody start talking to each other, pleasant as can be. Just nice, pleasant, happy people. Ignore employees who try to interrupt (Interrupting is rude).

When a manager is finally called, hand them a copy of the SB Trib article. And say, very politely, “Oh, we were just discussing this. Were we bothering anyone?”

Then walk out of the store. Make sure to tell an employee good-bye and “See you tomorrow.”

I’ve been in human rights activism for 27 years now. The way to get their attention is to make it very inconvenient for them to do business, but do it with a smile, and do it above the law. It works a lot better than a boycott (if they don’t see you come in, they don’t know about it), or a picket line (which tends to annoy the customers more than management).

Remember, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. And the fly gets stuck to the plate.

Skyler Rain
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

O.K. I just thought that I would comment on this. not saying that this is not true about wal~mart. in fact i work for the company. and dislike it. I do know that they don’t always treat people fairly, but i also know that they are not to accuse you of stealing unless for sure they see you doing it with their own eyes. I also know that at some not sure if it is all wal~marts that if that do know that you stole something from them they are not to touch you at all. they have to ask you to go with them while they wait for the police to arrive. if you chose not to listen they are to write down your looks and license plate number to give to the police. also i know that not all wal~mart are anti-gay for a fact. I know many gay couples that shop at my store and we treat them like every other couple.

NDC
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

I feel sorry for these men, and their kids. I wouldn’t be caught dead in a Wal-Mart store, never have been in one, never will go in one. My partner feels the sameway. It bothers me that people think they need to go their for cost and conveniece. Is it worth it to feed that monster coporation more of your hard earned dollars, and take their corporate insults. Buck up people, like someone else said, plan ahead! We don’t need to support them.

Emeline Walker
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

This is just disgusting. I am horrified. I cannot even fathom this situation. I’ve never liked Walmart and now, will officially be boycotting them for good. I will also be sending this to every media outlet in my area that I can possibly think of.

katherine
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

I KNOW THIS FAMILY! 


And I’m surprised they are allowed into ANY store. These parents are obnoxious and their kids are undisciplined brats. If you see this family coming, RUN, or at least contact a good lawyer – you’ll need it!



I am neither prejudice or “hate gays”, (as Mr. Paolucci likes to claim). Nor do I love or work at Walmart. But I do hate parents who have horrendous parenting skills and blame everyone else for their own unwillingness to be good parents. And that is why I think people should know the truth and PUBLISHED FACTS about Mr. Paolucci and Mr. Hitchcock. 



Two years ago when Paolucci – Hitchcock’s sons got kicked out of their first private school, City Day. Paolucci – Hitchcock screamed “harassment”, even though City Day had other same sex parents with no complaints. Instead of trying to grow from the experience the couple called reporters, screamed and threatened lawsuits against the school, the Head Mistress and kid’s teacher. Next the boys got thrown out of St. Clement School, (in less than a month) and the couple again went ballistic, claiming that their son’s behavior was justified because they’re adopted. And just this past spring, Child Services of Illinois was called by a teacher at the boy’s latest public school. Paolucci – Hitchcock again claimed “harassment”, “gay hating” and “adoption” as an excuse. Later, threatening the teacher who cared about the welfare of their children. 

Blaming everyone but themselves for their complete lack of skills is norm for these truly bad parents.

If you want to see the real kind of parents Mr. Paolucci and Mr. Hitchcock are, click on the South Bend Tribune article. 

In the interview, Paolucci and Hitchcock give out very personal and bizarre information about their kids in order to make positive points about themselves. 



These are either the most stupid parents on the earth or the most conniving, rotten parents ever. Either way, these kids are doomed

lisa riley
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

another reason to not shop there. Walmart has been ferocious in their ban against unions and employee rights. They are anti anything that smacks of being left of center. I hope these men get a lawyer and pursue what is the right course to take. what walmart did was gestapo like in nature. they had the receipt what gives.

richard
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

Let’s all ban together and make the Original K Mart the big guy on the block again. Screw the “Buy American” chain!

Jeffery
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

I don’t know what happened here as I wasn’t there but I suspect that some small town bigots (including the cops) in a position of what they consider power (pathetic really)got to harass these guys for being gay.

Don’t shop at Walmart! Walmart is not allowed to come to Brooklyn (where I live)for a variety of good reasons including their culture or rather lack there of. If only the rest of America was as smart.

Heather
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

Though I am a “straight” woman, I support my GLBT brothers’ and sisters’ rights AND I WILL NEVER SHOP AT WAL-MART EVER AGAIN FOR ANYTHING. This is egregious behavior for ANY company.

Luta
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

Kathrine

I was very curiouse to see if any of your facts could be backed up or if you were just one of those lovely ppl that wal-mart sends out to spread lies aka a manager… And suprise, suprise, I found not a single artichal that you state should be out there from the children being kicked out of preschool and the couple screaming racism to news pappers.. And even if all that bs you just spouted was true, those children should never have been seperated from their parents when they’re parents were not under arrest and Wal-mart should have appologized and backed off.

Shena
November 10th, 2009 | LINK

You said all you can do is spread the word, but that is enough – that is the power that we all have. I didn’t need another reason to totally boycott Wal-Mart myself here in Canada but this adds to the many reasons I can give others when I speak my truth and “spread my word.” We can all show how we feel by telling others and by simply withdrawing our spending power.

For every time there is someone who says: nothing we do will make a difference, there is someone like you who is doing just that. Thank you!

Links « Stuff
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

[…] Gay couple banned from Wal-Mart for not shoplifting. […]

Matt
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

This is depressing story, but it is evident that there is more to it than just this single event.

What’s more depressing is some of the ridiculous comments here. The idea that someone would make a ‘choice’ to face a life of discrimination and abuse from tiny minded, hateful individuals like this is utter nonsense.

Some people are gay, get over it.

Willard Russell
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

I wonder if WalMart will ever understand that the people they put their support behind would not be caught dead shopping in one of their stores?

Charlene
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

Actually there’s a lot more they can do, they can file a lawsuit. They shouldn’t have any trouble finding an very good attorney to take this case…maybe even pro-bono. For Wal-mart not to drop this suit and appologize to these people borders on asinine stupidity. Sam Walton would have turned in his grave over such poor customer treatment. Walmart has an attorneys already because they knew that they’d need them.

Nevada Blue
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

It seems to me there is reason to doubt that the article was entirely accurate and unbiased, or that this is a widespread issue of bigotry, rather than store, or even shift or employee specific. I would not boycott a store based on this story, though I would add it as evidence of Walmart’s generally poor reputation with customer confrontations.

I agree with Richard that the police should be held more accountable regarding separating the children from the parents. They should be held to a higher professional standard than all of the store employees involved.

I live in Reno where all the Walmarts welcome Burning Man attendees with open arms. The Burner community has a high percentage of LGBT, and I’ve never seen nor heard of any discrimination incidents, not that I look for them. I do imagine that given the lucrative cash cow of Burning Man, the stores take extra measures and training to make sure employees keep to a strict code of conduct.

That said, I urge everyone to boycott Walmart in support of local businesses and community, and in protest to the hemogeonization of the US.

ann
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

Here’s the article about how one of the guys already tried to sue his son’s preschool for harassment because of him being gay:
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/School's+out:+high-powered+Chicago+attorney+Joseph+Paolucci+brokers…-a0168511522

so the previous poster Katherine was correct

Mat
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

These people need to hire an attorney NOW.

ann
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

Actually, I stand corrected. At the time of the article, he was contemplating a civil suit. But the headmaster, and then board of trustees expelled them from the school. If this were an overtly gay discrimination matter, why didn’t he sue (it was an obvious win) and why would the high-powered day school take a chance of a lawsuit by expelling a gay family? I’m sure they had good advice from their own attorneys. And why did the Chicago Commission on Civil Affairs dismiss the case?

Don
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

I can not beleive this has happened to this couple and thier children. What is this world coming to when even the Police can’t seem to do the right thing! WalMart was way out of line and so were the police. Maybe it is time for us to start fighting back. Maybe not only boycotting WalMart, but picking a day( say the day after thanksgiving) and picket outside the stores! Now i beleive there is a good case for a lawsuit…but with these huge corperations come high priced lawyers that would make a case drag on for years. That would not help this couple or thier children. So i say send this artical to your congressmen aand tell them we’er not going to put up with this crap any more!

JGK
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

You people blow me away. You are ready to shoot the whole herd because 1 horse is crazy. Give me a break. This was 1 store not the whole corporation. I really think there is a lot more to this story than what is being told to. .. And boycotting Walmart…really? If you are going to boycott a chain store because of their practices and the way they do business, or the way they treat their employees etc then you better be prepared to boycott all of the chain stores right up the line to the high dollar department stores. Dig deep enough and they all operate the same way Walmart does….always have and always will. Personally, I will continue to shop at Walmart and I will reserve my judgment on this incident until the whole truth of the situation comes out. It hasn’t yet.

Sherry
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

Okay – I’m straight, don’t have a gay relative (that i know of), and no close friends that have ‘come out of the closet.’ But I’ve seen enough Lifetime movies to be sympathetic and I understand that their love for each other is no different than the love between a man and a woman! It makes me sick that Walmart thinks it can play the bully like this. I too am boycotting Walmart!

Kathleen McAlister
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

The only place I am called “sir” is in Walmart as I am a lesbian. I talked to my friend Nancy who is a lesbian clergy and she said the same thing about them. This is a serious comment about customer service where folks don’t look at you or look you in the eyes. When you are an older woman in the 44DD cup range, being called “sir” is a pure insult. If you are not sure, say “may I help you?” I got so upset that I asked my frank friends who tell me I look like a soft chubby grandmother. I was so sorry to hear that special needs kids were the brunt of this stupid investigation and the fact that economical and stupid are linked together.

Priya Lynn
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

Thanks for your support, Sherry.

Patrick
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

This is just disgusting. Gay or straight, nobody deserves to be treated the way these two and their children were treated. I think I’m simply repeating what others have said but I do hope these two sue Walmart for every single penny they can possibly get.

Richard W. Fitch
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

The more this incident circulates, the more it seems there are some pieces missing. It took three months to hit the press???? I believed it initially, but now it just doesn’t smell quite right.

Ryo
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

I can’t say you can totally blame the company for the morons that a single store hire. But I also don’t know who’s in charge of hiring, whether its the individual store or corporate. You have to keep in mind that individual people are not perfect robots, built for customer satisfaction and service. They’re humans, and they’re capable being swayed and forming opinions, albeit horribly closed-minded ones. As for lawsuits against Walmart, that is something I will agree on that Walmart is a corporate tyrant. Mainly for instance, that one lawsuit where the woman was injured in a wreck with a Walmart Semi-Truck, and ended up losing money instead of winning it because she worked for Walmart, and in the devious small-print of their contracts, it states that workers of Walmart cannot sue Walmart for money.

At any rate, I’d like to go all gun-ho with everyone else and boycott stores like this, but I don’t have a choice because I live in a 6k population town and the only store we have is a small, non-super Walmart. (Not that it makes a difference really, its so small, they hardly have sh*t I need.)

Jack
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

One big law suit against Wal-Mart for something like this WON, and I think ridiculous discrimination like this might be on its way to an end.

News Briefs: November 10, 2009 | Cul de sac Magazine
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

[…] haven’t been actively avoiding Wal-Mart like it was H1N1, now you have more justification: a gay couple was recently banned for life from the chain after being harassed by Niles, MI store security for reportedly shoplifting, claims […]

David R
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

JGK,
Target, K-Mart, and the other big retail stores don’t give their employees Welfare and Medicare forms instead of benefits.

mike winter
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

Yeah, I’m done with this business. They are the dirties business in this country. They are the richest family in the world yet refuse health benefits to many of their workers. They are the hugest retailer in the world and use it to bully other companies around (such as P & G)and now I find out that piece of work is publicly saying he’s against gay marriage- I’m done and I’m telling everyone I know. I’m starting a gay civil rights group (it has 5-15000 members that have been expected to join as of now) and this has lead me to another idea for the group, to have a
“black list” of business that are homophobic in some mentality!

Nerdful
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

I only shopped at walmart when i had financial issues, now that I am doing better I support the smaller local businesses that sell real american products. I would never support walmart unless I was suffering from poverty again and I felt cheap crap that will fall aprt within a year.

Todd
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

First: what the heck is the police department doing over there? Keeping the boys in a detention area w/o proper guidance? The police should be looked at as well as Wal Mart employees and all should be TERMINATED. There are enough people out of work that would take those jobs in this difficult economy. It’s appalling to think this type of behavior still goes on and is tolerated to some degree. Wal Mart needs a lesson from the government. Its disgusting and this isn’t related to being gay biased, nor dealing with down’s syndrome boys, it’s just wrong how people treat people.

Steve
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

The CEO of Wal Mart did NOT sign a document to “prevent gays from adopting.” Follow the links. The title of the document is “to ban ANYONE co-habitating without being married” from adopting.

That means gays who are not co-habitating COULD still adopt. And that means HETEROSEXUALS who *are* co-habitating also couldn’t!

The actions of this Wal Mart’s employees were atrocious, but reporting lies doesn’t help.

Timothy Kincaid
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

Steve,

Perhaps you are ignorant of the intent of the petition. Although phased so as to avoid declaring itself as overtly anti-gay (which would subject it to challenges similar to Romer v. Evans), there was no misunderstanding as to reason the petition was circulated, to ban gay couples from adopting.

And, unlike heterosexuals, this law forced gay people to choose between being a parent and being in a committed, covenanted, life-long relationship with the person they love. In Arkansas, marriage is not an option for gay people.

I will write this off as ignorance, because otherwise your comment comes off as disingenuous.

You say that the petition wasn’t against gay couples, it only was against “couples who aren’t legally married”, conveniently ignoring the fact that gay people are also banned from marrying in that state. It’s a bit like saying, “I don’t discriminate against Jews, I treat everyone wearing a yarmulke badly.”

Linda
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

this is a bunch of crap..walmart needs to be held responsible for their caveman ways of thinking..it that was my son and his partner ,I know a law suit would follow.

Jamie
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

I dont think thse guys being gay has anything to do with their apprehension. How did this story get twisted? HEADLINE READS…. WalMart detains straight guy! What the hell does gay… straight… have to do with anything here.

Byron Solis
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Whether one is gay or straight, this experience can happen to anybody. Just look at how Wal-Mart treats its employees, it’s no surprise they treat customers the same way. They are heartless and evil. Phuck Wal-Mart. Another added reason why I have not and will not shop in that evil chain-store.

Adam
November 14th, 2009 | LINK

Outsourcing and Hatred will never get far. These corporate giants will fall under their weight one day. This, I can only hope, will happen in my lifetime.

Laughing
November 15th, 2009 | LINK

It still amazes me the sheep that believe the media filled story, issued by the “victim”. It has worked. How many posters are more willing to ‘emotionally react’ versus try to get the real story? IF laws were broken, jobs would have been lost, both at the “evil” wal-mart and the sheriffs department. Do you not think that the checks and balances are in place to keep this from happening as the story alleges?
Simple run down of the facts as given from somebody that was nearby the incident. (1) unpaid for items were found in the cart(more than the ‘lighters’). (2) Only one person was asked for a moment of time to review camera footage (this wasn’t a situation that couldn’t have been easily solved by watching the video and paying for the items with just a bit of cooperation, knowing that there were unpaid for items) (3) was only ONE person involved, the one who was at the self scan, not the family, and he was alone when it happened. How was he stereotyped? He wasn’t drawing any attention to his sexuality (dress/demeanor etc, you know, the things people would begin to use to stereotype) (4) request to call police was made and honored, and the yelling/screaming/stereotyping begins from the family against all of the store personnel while awaiting the arrival. (5) police show up and family is screaming, yelling, and refusing cooperation with the police (6) parents were placed in police cars, children in a room UNDER CAMERAS instead of sitting in a public area (if I had kids, I’d prefer my kids be allowed to play their PSP versus be left to wander a store if I were detained).
Sorry that the facts don’t support the fictional story, and definately aren’t as exciting, but the video (as available under the FOIA) disproves the allegations, hence the lack of charges brought forth. And yes, SOME LP’s are short fused rabid pit bulls, however, they are the ones that companies fire to save their bottom line and reputation. So please. Boycott if you choose to, but do it for a factual event, not some work of fiction.

Angry
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

I was a walmart shopper, not often but i would go. However reading this story has left me extremely angry that walmart would feel the need to put people through this crap. Like many of the post have read this is just another reason to avoid walmart at all cost.
We all need to stick together not just for how this store has treated this couple, but for everyone out there that gets treated like crap over someone being close minded and predjustice.
I feel truely sorry for this couple and I hope they make walmart pay. Teach them a lesson for once! As the old saying goes, the bigger they are the harder they fall… later walmart!

alma kesling
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

I didn’t shop at Walmart for over 5 years, but others always make excuses for having to shop there. Walmart is just BAD foreveryone. It’s been proven time and again.

Skyler
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

That was horrible! I wish that the world could get over their prejudices and accept thatt we are all human beings and deserve the right to love as we wish. What harm would it cause ANYONE if I as a woman am in love with a woman?

The Journey Continues, But Don’t Take Our Word For It | The Lancast
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

[…] Wal-Mart story Daniel […]

Kristen
November 17th, 2009 | LINK

It’s a good thing I’ve always hated Wal-Mart and haven’t actually bought anything from them in over five years! I know I’ll never go back for certain.

dustin
November 17th, 2009 | LINK

first off you people act surprised that this happend…second you act like walmart is the only place this happens at! if you want to boycott walmart and never shop there then do yourself a favor and boycott all stores and never shop anywhere…because guess what THEY ALL DO THIS or some form of it! ya its sad its 2009 and people are still doing this BUT its not going to stop any time soon, me and my husband still get shit because hes black and im white. what about stores that still treat black people like shit…you going to stop shopping at them to? or how about the stores that profile muslims, you going to stop shopping there as well? im not going to boycott walmart because not ALL walmarts are the same that goes for any store…its the people that work there not the company!

Jason D
November 17th, 2009 | LINK

dustin, you’re pulling the “everyone does it, so it’s okay” mantra and it’s rather ridiculous.

Wal-Mart has a history of hiring illegal workers, underpaying it’s staff, and purposefully setting their hourly requirements low enough that they don’t have to pay most of their employees any benefits.

Additionally they drive local shops out of business, and then raise prices when the small town shoppers have no other options anymore.

Wal-Marts employees act this way because their management allows them to. Yes, Wal-Mart corporate IS responsible for this incident as well as for not rectifying it.

Sorry, there are businesses who understand equality, there’s a little thing called the HRC corporate equality index, as well as other rankings that show that not all of them do this.

Keith
November 18th, 2009 | LINK

Is this for real!? I know Wal-mart isn’t known for great social responsability, but this is absurd! I’m surprised that this hasn’t gotten more press.

Annoyed
November 19th, 2009 | LINK

I wish that everyone would quit believing everything they read without knowing the whole story, thanks to the wonderful wal-mart the whole story doesn’t exist on the web. Quit being followers and put the mouse away, grab a phone and call to get the real story instead of some sob story. I think that wal-mart needs to get off it’s ass and start putting out the real story. BTW, the number to the store, according to the receipts is 269-683-2773.

Priya Lynn
November 19th, 2009 | LINK

Yes, “annoyed”, I’m sure Wal-mart will not only be happy to answer calls from strangers about an incident that’s embarrassing to them but they will be sure to provide the “real” story given their vested interest in making themselves look as good as possible.

Walmart Bans Gay Couple For NOT Shoplifting « Headdesk.Wordpress.Com
November 20th, 2009 | LINK

[…] Couple For NOT Shoplifting What? I can’t even…ugh. So many levels of wrong.  Source. Wal-Mart bans gay couple for NOT shoplifting Timothy Kincaid November 7th, […]

mtthwpkl
November 20th, 2009 | LINK

Well I work at walmart. and I am gay, this kind of stuff happens all the time. Especially at small town walmarts

Dowagiac
November 20th, 2009 | LINK

I lived very close to this Walmart for the first 20 years of my life, and this isn’t very surprising. I know several people from that area who are gay and ALL of them have had problems there. Small town prejudice + a company that’s already evil = trouble for anyone who doesn’t fit the right mold.

Dowagiac
November 20th, 2009 | LINK

And as a response to Dustin… anytime that you decide to buy a product from any store that supports views, values, or ideals that oppose your own, you chose to further their views while destroying your own morals. And It’s not the employees at stores like Walmart that gain the money, power, and political pull when you choose to purchase merchandise from these stores, only these morally bankrupt corporations gain. Every product that you buy from Walmart, or any other company like it, lets them know that it’s okay for them to do things like this. As long as people like you don’t care enough to stop buying products from their stores, they wont care enough to stop doing things like this.

Paul Thomann
November 21st, 2009 | LINK

Reminds me of a TV show (might have had 2-3 episodes but I’m thinking I just saw the pilot), where the rent a bully with a gun shoots a customer who has a full shopping cart and will not get out of the 10 items or less line.

The customer right behind him calls 911 medics makes sure he’s Okay then steps around and pays for his items. Shot guy starts laughing. 911 guy asks why ’cause he knows he’s in real pain. Shot guy answers “Cause I now own this store and the first thing I’m going to do is to fire that jag-off who shot me”. Love the story and if anyone remembers the name of the show please post to my face book account.

Erinn
November 21st, 2009 | LINK

Walmart wants your business just like any other company. With that said they need to drop the charges since their own admission says that the two gentlemen did nothing wrong and were harrased by the employees of Walmart. Come on walmart is known for cheap prices and putting towns and state infastructure dependent on its bottom line. Think about it do you really need this type of publicty walmart.

Susan
November 21st, 2009 | LINK

I worked for Wal-mart for almost 6yrs. and they are one of the worst companies I have ever worked for. There are 4 stores in about a 35min. drive from me and I DON’T go to any of them if I can help it. I have known people looking to work for them or even working for them that were let go when there sexual preferences were found out. So tell your freinds not to shop there and don’t shop there youselfs it does make a dent maybe small but it does hurt them.

getaclue
November 23rd, 2009 | LINK

Every time you shop there you condone this crap.

Jim
November 23rd, 2009 | LINK

The folks at my local Walmart are great. There is smething amiss with this one-sided story. It takes two sides to have the truth.
You never explin why and for what Walmart is billing them.
Walmart overall does an OK job. Look at the big picture; for all the stores and people they have the do not make too much trouble.
I don’t like them much because of all the imported crap they sell and the fact that they are non-union.
Sometimes, they are the only and best alternative.

Kate Lenthall
November 24th, 2009 | LINK

I hope there are protests going on across the country, people picketing in front of the stores. This is absolutely inexcusable, and that the police were being just as bad is frightening. If we weren’t so poor, we’d stop shopping there in a heartbeat.

LALady
December 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Walmart in Hammond, LA is horrible. The workers are so miserably treated, and underpaid that moral is at an all time low and this means CUSTOMER service basically does NOT exist… My husband and I have shopped at walmart for years, until 4 months ago. We had made several complaints at the Hammond Walmart over the mistreatment of us as customers, in general. Two or 3 “nice” long time employees told us the manager there, Buffy, does not care about anything but making money for walmart. Long story made short after we made several comeplaints we seemed to be on walmarts’ “hit list” meaning we were treated even worse. We even told the managers if things did not improve we intended to stop shopping there, and spread the word about how customers are mistreated.

Well, my husband was at work one night. I went in about 7:30 pm to buy groceries. I decided to browse around with a Christmas list and price items, etc. Well, believe it or not I was accused of shoplifting…???

I had bought nearly $100 in groceries, checked out, and had a Tangipohoa sheriff deputy (working his paid detail at walmart) and a walmart loss prevention guy, first name Tom, detain me catching my arms and telling me I must go to the “back room” with them. I had no idea what was going on… then after I refused to go to the “back room” the loss prevention smuck, stated I had some of “his mercandise” on me and that if I didn’t go to the back room and allow them to search me the cop was going to “take me down”… The cop threatened to tackle me and take me down if I didn’t cooperate. When I asked him what he meant he said he’d throw me to the floor, and search me right there if I did not cooperate with the loss prevention guy.

I was shocked, afraid, stunned, and hurt. They kept me 2 1/2 hours in the back room (a video control room) I saw the video… it showed NOTHING wrong…only me looking at items, putting some back, using my phone several times, getting it in and out of my purse/pocket, etc …. nothing at all as proof. The walmart loss prevention jerk keep talking about how he had such “an adrenaline rush”…it was great to “catch” someone, he had not caught someone in a while. EVEN the cop finally told him to “hush” he should not be saying all that in front of me… He continued to ran-sack my purse and took my lipstick, opened batteries, my small flashlight, and a small can of Off insect repellent. The cop told him to let me go as he didn’t have enough to charge me and the loss prevention guy dug in my purse again taking my flash light and off the second time.

He demanded to know if I didn’t steal the items WHY did I have such unusual items in my purse??? (like it’s ANY of his business???) I told him and the cop, we (husband and I) have animals 4 miles from where we live on our other property… and we go by at night many times to tend, check them… hence the small flashlight and the small can of off insect repellent.

Now, we’ve spent $2500 dollars for an attorney to defend me… over a $58 dollar theif charge. The walmart loss prevention guy had $23 dollars of MY things, the cop told him walmart did not prosecute unless it over $25 dollars…so what’s the guy do? Dig through my purse and hunt more of MY THINGS to try to make the charge more and more. He even had the nerve to take a cell phone I’d had for a year and a half… He said I stole it also and it was “his merchandise”. To which I responded, “Oh, really then tell me why it’s been registered in my name for nearly 2 years?” At this, he threw the cell phone back at me, stating that’s not my merchadise.

I was held for 2 1/2 hours, then taken to the police station. I was charged with theif : $58 dollars. It all went on sooo long, the walmart loss prevention guy finally came down off his andrenaline junky high, long enough to realize his mistake. He, Tom, said he couldn’t let me go then …it was “too late”, if he didn’t prosecute me, he and walmart would be liable for what he did to me.

PLEASE do not shop at Walmart. This can happen to YOU, your wife, husband, mother, child, etc. BEWARE. It happens everyday all over America at any given walmart at any given time.

Let your heart burn with loving kindness, even when seeking justice « Sahar’s Blog
December 5th, 2009 | LINK

[…] There is, quite unfortunately, a lot of discrimination that still goes around, even in ‘civilized’ countries likes ours’. Walmart had such an incident, the full story of which you can check out here. […]

Bill Vincent
December 8th, 2009 | LINK

Google the couple. There is some info missing from this article. Looks to me like they have made it a “business” to go looking for and creating trouble.

megan
December 8th, 2009 | LINK

honestly, this makes me sick. i don’t understand how people can be treated this way and get away with it. something needs to be done about this.

Wal-Mart Bans Gay Couple for NOT Shoplifting « Queer Visalia
December 9th, 2009 | LINK

[…] recent story I found at Box Turtle Bulletin is a perhaps not so startling example of how far we still have to […]

scarcarsister
December 9th, 2009 | LINK

How sad that a company so large and recognizable behaves so reprehensibly.

Can you imagine if this had happened to a Lexus driving white couple?

We would see Bill O reilly and Hannity holding the protesting signs.

Goodbye Walmart.

Etienne Chalis
December 9th, 2009 | LINK

Stop focusing on the discrimination, half the judges wouldn’t give a shit, go straight for harassment charges and then sue them for emotional damages. Show evidence of traumatized children and you get a nice wad of cash. Plus if the case was veered away from discrimination as a basis for anything, then the discrimination factor would only increase their chances. Make it a case of, ‘we were harassed’, not ‘we’re gay and we were discriminated against’. Its a more viable case.

WalmartSUX
December 9th, 2009 | LINK

We quit shopping at Wally World a few years back because of their discriminatory practices and terrible treatment of their own employees. We have never regretted it, they don’t have a single thing you can’t buy elsewhere. If more people would stop shopping there, they would be forced to change their ways!

Omar
December 9th, 2009 | LINK

I am very happy that I stopped shopping at Wal-Mart altogether a few years ago. I stopped going because the Wal-Marts in Louisiana (and I imagine everywhere else) are filled with rude employees, even ruder customers, and security personnel on a power trip. I just moved from Louisiana to North Carolina, and I am happy to say that the nearest Wal-Mart to me is over 30 minutes away! I don’t even have to look at them!

Matthew
December 9th, 2009 | LINK

Agreed…. this is definitely something that should enter a court room. There are a bunch of law firms and advocate groups that would take this case up in a heartbeat.

*justice, tolerance, understanding…. NICC GSA*

Brent
December 9th, 2009 | LINK

I avoid Wal-mart at all costs anyway. They are evil in so many ways.

andre
December 10th, 2009 | LINK

Well i love wal-mart i am gay and have several gay friends that work at wal-mart and have never had any discrimination against me or my spouse. It is horrible the way this couple was treated but we live in a world of hate and I am not going to stop shopping at my favorite store because of one narrow minded prejudice store. I am sure there are many others out there but there are also many stores other than wal-mart that are just as against my lifestyle as they are. I am not going to become a hermit if I encounter hatred at a store then that store and that store only will stop receiving my business, but not the whole chanin.

Deborah
December 10th, 2009 | LINK

Sounds like a one sided story to me…has walmart pressed charges and if so what was the outcome? I know for a fact that the civil demand statement does not state that the charges will be dropped if the 158$ is paid. I would be suprised if the asset prevention associates, after viewing the video that showed their innocence, would prosecute knowing that it would be a career suicide and possibly financial suicide. I am interested to know the outcome of this case and if there has been a follow up story to it.

Kory
December 11th, 2009 | LINK

As a manager at Wal-Mart I would have apologized and do. There is a law called “The Merchant Law” which does let retailers hold/detain people. All of this aside this is the mentality of Wal-Mart Inc. Theft at Wal-Mart is mostly internal. They are a horrible company and cases of things like this is why I wont be working for them in 3 weeks. The bad part is that they treat there “associates” even worse. However they wont speak up cuz they need there jobs. They know they will be fired or if they unionize that the company will just closes the store. Either way they don’t have a job. I applaud this couple for speaking out and yes they due need to sue if the camera’s show nothing! The Merchant Law doesn’t protect against that!

Robert
December 17th, 2009 | LINK

The sad truth is no matter how much we try to avoide,& boycott piece of garbage companies like this, our financial situations keep forcing us to come back again and again.

The only way to avoid this kind of crap and to not allow these kind of atrocities is to find the inner strength to spend just a little more, and not go.

Sadly most of us don’t even have the inner strength not to go buy fast food,or to sometimes get our fat lazy butts off the couch, so why would this be any different? (I include myself in this statement, as I am well aware of my own personal faults.)

Ashlyn
December 20th, 2009 | LINK

Walmart is stupid…they need to get off their high horse! I hope they lose millions of dollars each year from shoplifters…&& I will also continue to STEAL from their asses ;) THANK YOU WALMART EMPLOYEES FOR BEING DICK HEADS!!!

Yet Another Reason to Boycott Wal-Mart at RunawayJim.org
December 31st, 2009 | LINK

[…] Wal-Mart Bans Gay Couple for NOT Shoplifting […]

JT
December 31st, 2009 | LINK

Something tells me that we dont know the whole story. And unfortunately for these two guys and their children I have no doubt that walmart did indeed catch them stealing lighters. after three years of working in a gas station and two years at target I have caught more people you would never expect of stealing lighters doing just that. What this story doesnt spell out is that it costs the corporation to pursue the legal restitution personally if the item is less than 20 dollars in most states. The police wont do anything other than give them a summons and send them off. There is obviously a reason these guys have not already started a lawsuit. People dont submit letters to thier local paper and then set on a gay soapbox asking for a boycott. they want money when they are in the right. especially when thier kids are special needs. I have been accused of being a rascist anti gay anti female and many other comments as well as called a “faggot cracker” and other things because I saw someone take a lighter or a 24 oz beer and put it in pocket. The solution to 85% of these interactions is to ban them from the store for life.

Jason D
December 31st, 2009 | LINK

SIGH, I really hate it when people post comments when one click and 2 minutes of reading would’ve been time better spent

JT said: Something tells me that we dont know the whole story. And unfortunately for these two guys and their children I have no doubt that walmart did indeed catch them stealing lighters.

From the article linked to in the story:

Paolucci and Hitchcock estimated it was at least 45 minutes before officers told them they had reviewed the store’s tapes and had determined that the lighters hadn’t been shoplifted.

later in the article:

As for the shoplifting accusation, a copy of the police report obtained by The Tribune under the Freedom of Information Act stated that video surveillance clearly showed Paolucci scanning both packages of lighters.

A retailer with self-checkout equipment would have to be prepared for the possibility of their equipment to fail , a well-intentioned customer to not recognizing it, and the best most respectful way to correct the situation.

Instead, Wal-Mart showed us the ugly face of bigotry.

Kevin
January 4th, 2010 | LINK

Wal-Mart employees have also killed multiple people in attempts to prevent shoplifting.

So yeah, Wal-Mart is the epitome of evil.

JT, if you worked at Target, you should know that employees technically have no legal standing to detain someone.

Wal-Mart was clearly in the wrong here. As always.

Larry Wolfe
January 6th, 2010 | LINK

I have always disliked WAL-MART and now I definitely do and will never shop there. They only bow to economic power and we must wield what power we have.

samy
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

These people are not saying the truth I am retail store manager and I am catching on a average 1-2 people shoplifting daily at my store.I am pretty sure the other side of the story is not being told Police Dept will not handcuff till all the formalities are done so the story that has been said is absolutely wrong they know if they put a lawsuit they will loose

Désirée
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

samy,
did you miss the part of the story where it said that the surveillance video showed they had NOT shoplifted. This isn’t about some side of the story not being told – the video evidence isn’t in dispute – they didn’t do anything wrong to begin with. But hey, why should a little thing like facts get in the way of a little anti-gay animus, right?

Sally Greuling
January 24th, 2010 | LINK

Wal-Mart’s at it AGAIN!
I am/was a loyal Sam’s Club employee for well over 9 yrs. In fact, I wasn’t one that went seeking them, I was recruited in Omaha. I was opposed to unions and promoted Sam’s Club to businesses and those I’ve known. I was a solid Wal-Mart employee and kept the company line firm. I managed costs and kept that friendly smile on my face consistently. I focused my attention on our members looking to resolve any challenges they may have had, as customers are the bed-rock of Sam Walton’s legacy. But Buddy, at this point, where’s that union representative – sign-me-up !!

Sam’s Club, a part of the Wal Mart family is initiating a round of lay-off’s across the country today. This is occuring at 8:00 AM meetings on Sunday Jan 24th, today. This is occurring at every Sam’s Club store across th nation. For me, it has occurred at the Columbus, OH stores eliminating at least 30 people per store. In my store, 6308, These are all women/men between the ages of 50 and 70. With well over 500 stores in the US, this amounts to at least 15,000 people. It’s not only the most senior employees that have been targeted and are being given notice that they’re being laid-off because their jobs are eliminated. They also selected the outside sales reps and marketing teams to avoid having the issue seen as a discriminatory act against the senior Demo Ladies. This is occuring during a challenging economy when Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club has just come off of a profitable year-end close.

Regardless of my documented outstanding year-over-year performance, or having, been the employee of the month multiple times in multiple clubs, the employee of the year, or having received the highest allowed hourly increase every year since joining Sam’s Club, it’s the age that’s the key-driver in these current round of actions. I’m a 56 year old, white female, full-time employee. Sam’s Clubs has younger employees, with less time (many having been with Sam’s from only a few days to a few weeks) and they’re carefully selecting the most senior employees. As compensation they’re advising long-term senior employees that they can apply for part-time, such as Cart Person, or Maintenance. Can you imagine a 70 year old woman lugging those carts around the parking lot! To get severance I’ve been asked to sign a release form stating that I’ll not file any form of discrimination suit against Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club. I’ve 45 days to sign this form, or loosee my 9-week severance package.

This is a company that’s promoted to be the customer-friendly store and dedicated to their employees. With these actions, they treat their employees with a lack of caring, and total dis-respect. If I don’t sign the agreement, we’ll have no income, other than unemployment.

Use this story. I’m now totally supportive of any private or class action against Wal-Mart.

Sally

jaedyn
February 9th, 2010 | LINK

omg i was arrested by wal-mart once (i had stolen 200$ worth of videogames while i was high when i was like 14 years old, i am 19 now) and they were nothing but professional and polite (ofc i broke down mostly because i was high but also because i felt really guilty) and the man who arrested me even told me stories of crack addicts that would try to stuff meat into their carts while completely wasted on crack and would ru nout of the store and trip the cart-line thing and fall on their faces and have like meat all over them and pass out …and when the cops came they were really nice to me too they handcuffed me but that was b/c it was protocol and they handcuffed me in the front b/c i was freaked out and triggered + they called my mom and she was like “yeah shes neurotic and on meds plz be careful” so they brought me to my moms work and let me go and i just had to go to some anti-stealing lecture…ironically enough it worked and i never stole again :S
i really liked those walmart guys though
this walmart seems like ap iece of shit
or maybe that part of the coutnry just sucks idk ;-;

Brian
February 10th, 2010 | LINK

I wouldn’t be too surprised to find this kind of homophobic behavior at any big store with underpaid employees, but the complicity of the police in this wrongful series of actions is particularly disgusting. I hope they sue for all they can get.

Lane
February 24th, 2010 | LINK

Understand that when you enter the loss prevention area. There is audio/video in there. Contact Amy Ganci, attorney at law. She use to work for the National Firm Gordan and Rees, who can also help you-they are national and have offices in many major cities throughout the US. Ganci is based in Dallas and communication can be done with documents and such via email, facimile, and telephone. You will only have to meet up in court. She will also get HRC and LAMBDA’s attorneys as well as the ACLU to aid in attorney fees. She is a wonderful attorney and very familiar with updated case law regarding same-sex state and federal rulings via the Supreme Court. There are two sides to every story, but from this side, this is unacceptable. Those children have endured enough trauma in their life before they found lifetime parents. Contact the organizations I listed above, as well. They can aid you in what is the best method to approach this. Always take the high road…and be professional, even when it is difficult.
God Bless!

goblinbox
February 28th, 2010 | LINK

Not only is Walmart a community-killing behemoth, but clearly they’re total creeps as well.

I shall endeavor to keep my money away from them.

erleclaire
February 28th, 2010 | LINK

Please don’t get me started! It is slavery in the USA. It is evil, and it is the Chinese Mafia at work. They return thawed out meats back to the frozen food section hours after it has been sitting in the returns department. They repackage product that people have eaten from and they do not wash hands before handling food items. I won’t even go into their placing used items out on the floor and selling them as if they were new…..

[/b] Bottom line? If you are stupid enough to go to Walmart then they have every right to rip you off, strip you and do cavity searches, and bar you from reentry for gross imbecility! [b]

wade
February 28th, 2010 | LINK

This is very odd to me. I live less than a mile from Wal Mart world headquarters and I can tell you for a fact there are a lot of openly gay corporate workers with good high paying jobs and lots of influence. The corporate culture in Bentonville is gay friendly.

Lilah Gael
March 3rd, 2010 | LINK

While I am surprised at the police officers behavior, I am not surprised at Wal~Mart. Time after time, I have seen the worst employees I have ever seen treat customers poorly or provide disdain for customers rather than assistance or customer service, managers that aren’t qualified for the lowliest job shirk responsibility when confronted with problems or issues that need to be addressed, and unacceptable corporate responses. In the Lakewood, WA store, I, several other customers, and several other employees witnessed a mother publicly (and severely) abusing her children – one of which was autistic, and the store refused to call the police when asked or get involved in anyway. When I personally followed up with the corporate office about the matter, they refused to return my telephone call, and referred the matter back to the store manager that refused to call the police when asked or get involved in any way. I will NEVER shop at Wal~Mart again, and will instead pay extra and shop at Target and Costco. Both their staff and their products are much better quality anyway.

Joe
March 22nd, 2010 | LINK

Why boycott them? If they’re this bad, and they are, shoplift from them for real.

Stephanie
March 22nd, 2010 | LINK

I am currently investagating a shoplifting incident at our local Wal-Mart supercenter. All of the previous comments are very helpful and interesting. I have a past experience with Wal-Mart in which I was accused of shoplifting by a Wal-Mart employee. I had been given cd’s purchased for me by a friend and put them in my purse. They were purchased by mail and given to me when my friend and I met up. I ran into Wal-Mart for no longer than 15 minutes total. I was able to verify the time. Remember, I went into the store with no problem being stopped , but was stopped when I left the store. I told the lady who stopped me that my personal stuff had probably set off the alarm. Short story, the employee at the front desk, refused to look at survellence, call a manager, or even look in their dept. to prove that they didnt even carry the paticular music I had. She insisted that I leave the cd’s and come back later to get them after a manager could review the situation. When I made her give me a signed reciept for the cd’s she got very angry. Happy ending, I got a 750 dollar settlement from Wal-Mart. I believe that the employee would have stolen my stuff if I hadnt been on the alert.

tomas
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Just stumbled onto this story. Was this ever featured on the local news? WALMART is a low life company. They have no respect for their employees or customers.

Why shop with them just to save a couple of bucks?

They’re helping America fail.

Yeppers
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Walmart is awful. However, Niles is the armpit of Michigan. Never go there.

Russell
September 2nd, 2010 | LINK

Blame Palin.

Yessy
September 29th, 2010 | LINK

Walmart was build by Sam Walton to help America, it has 3 beliefs.\\
1. Respect the individual
2. Strive for excellence
3. Customer Satisfaction
well, I wish Sam was alive right now, because those 3 beliefs are not being followed.
Sam always said associates don’t work for management, management works for the associates, that also is not being practice. Wal-Mart is loosing the heart and integrity that Sam build. Not all Store managers are bad but their some out there that they hide their evil beliefs with good profit numbers, but those numbers come with the price of the associates sweat, overworked, understaffed and some times verbally, mentally abused. Don’t judge An American institution because some really bad apples. Maybe Wal-Mart CEO or Sams Children should go or send some one under cover like the show UNDERCOVER BOSS and their will really know the truth that goes on in their stores. I should know I was a Manager for Wal-Mart one of the few good ones left. I still love Wal-Mart. Just had to express my opinion. Hope WalMart is reading this.

LO
January 4th, 2011 | LINK

Doesn’t the ACLU take on cases like this? If they want to overwhelm the Walmart lawyers, maybe they should start there.

What my blog would look like if all my interests were in one place… | Leeses Peeces
January 10th, 2011 | LINK

[…] (Source) […]

maria
January 16th, 2011 | LINK

the walmart director instead of worrying about others’ private life, he should worry about him and his family. He is not god, to start judging others and saying that gay couples shouldnt adopt. He should care about walmart until he has that job, because he is not the one who is going to feed the kids.

karolyn
February 22nd, 2011 | LINK

that was not right at all and i think that there should be some kind of punishment for the employees and the cops that where there.. that is to bad that people are like that it is sad.. to bad people cant just except life and deal with it but we all have our aholes.. i’m sorry for what they did to the twins that was not right at all they are kids and inocent ones too.. the parents are inocent also so man it just wrong all the way around

steve
July 22nd, 2011 | LINK

[comment removed due to violation of the comments policy]

cowboy
July 22nd, 2011 | LINK

And we give Steve a whole lot of credibility since he uses the “f” word so effectively. /not

überRegenbogen
July 27th, 2011 | LINK

Having presented the receipt, if they weren’t satisfied, i’d’ve told them “Sorry. That’s not my problem. I’ve done my part.” and left. They really don’t have the right to detain us. If they try, it’s time to get out the lawyer.

Anthenadora
December 26th, 2013 | LINK

I have done some reseach on this and have not been able to find any hard evidence on this story. The link at the top of the page takes you to South Bend Tribune but it takes me to a page that says the link can not be found.

Timothy Kincaid
December 26th, 2013 | LINK

Anthenadora,

Here is a link to the archived story. Please keep in mind that the story is now over four years old.

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