Earlier today we reported on a woman in an LA Walmart that used pepper spray to scatter fellow shoppers away from a deal she wanted.
This evening we have a second use of pepper spray at a Walmart, this one in Kinston, North Carolina, and the spray was directed at a crowd of shoppers by a policeman.
According to Kinston police, the policeman was an off-duty officer hired by Walmart to assist with security during their Black Friday sale today. A video of the incident uploaded to Youtube shows shoppers wiping their eyes and holding their noses, as a man is arrested, though the video appears to have been taken after the pepper spraying took place.
According to local station WNCT, the man arrested, Gordon Jackson, is a former Kinston police officer.
According to police, the off-duty policeman shot a ‘puff’ of pepper spray over an unruly crowd as they were grabbing at products while Walmart employees were trying to put them on display.
But Jackson describes it differently, telling WNCT that police overacted. Referring to the crowd, he told the station “They weren’t running. They were not creating a problem. They were just trying to get close to the displays. He (the police officer) was raining (pepper spray) over the whole crowd so that it would rain down on their heads. Some got on my granddaughter. When I was doing that kind of work, we would have never done that, not in a store like that.”
Jackson’s granddaughter added “I couldn’t breath and everything got dizzy and I was shaking.”
Kinston police say Jackson was arrested for disorderly conduct, though on the Youtube video he is seen, apparently calm, talking to a police officer, when another officer comes up behind him, grabs his arms, pushes him down on a counter and handcuffs him. According to Jackson, he was telling the off-duty officer that he should not have used the pepper spray, and was preparing to leave as he was asked, when tackled from behind.