Chaos, Violence in Malls Over New Air Jordans -- Police Respond with Pepper Spray

 Late Thursday night and early Friday morning, police were called to shopping malls across the country to control rowdy crowds dedicated to picking up the newly released Nike Air Jordans, Concords. Police reportedly used pepper spray on shoppers at malls near Seattle and Austin. In other locations, chemical agents were not deployed, but violence and consumerism-induced mayhem erupted. 

"People started pushing like crazy and they started spraying mace on us for no reason," Austin pepper spray victim Jalen Hall told KVUE, "Like nobody was doing anything bad. We were just getting close to [the store] and they started spraying mace, and [I] got mace all over my eyes," he said. "I was pretty angry."

Seattle police also used pepper spray to control shoppers. According to the Associated Press, police said more than 1,000 people lined up, at 4 a.m., to get their hands on a pair of the sneakers, but the stores sold out and "all but about 50 people got their Air Jordans," apparently causing chaos only pepper spray could calm. 

From the AP:

Officer Mike Murphy says about 20 people were sprayed in a group. One man was arrested for assault after police say he pushed an officer. No one was injured.

In Indianapolis, crazed (driven?) shoppers tore a door off its hinges, and some stores "were forced to close their doors shortly after opening at 7 a.m., because of mayhem created by hundreds of shoppers vying to get to the shoes, according to communication on police radio this morning," according to the Indystar.

Balint Nagy told Indystar, "There were gloves, hats and pieces of clothing everywhere. One guy lost both shoes and went in anyway."

Meanwhile, in North Carolina,

"People were falling, I had to jump over a girl, it was crazy," Dominique Brewer said.

Two women were even spotted throwing punches. The incident was caught on camera by WBTV Photojournalist Corey Schmidt. Neither woman was arrested.

Happy holidays. 

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at December 23, 2011, 5:43am