Four WalMart employees were fired a week after disarming a man who was attempting to smuggle a laptop computer out of the Utah store. WalMart says the employees were terminated because they violated company policy.
Shawn Ray and Lori Poulsen were two of the four employees who lost their jobs and they talk to American Morning's Kiran Chetry about the incident.
THey should have been terminated. I work in WalMart asset protection and there IS more to this story than you hear. These associates violated major policy which is zero tolerance.
I'll be joining in a walmart boycott also.
I even "liked" Walmart on my fb page at one point. But their anti-self defense stance and their position on limiting firearms sales is enough to make me decide never to shop there again, so today I "unliked" them, and now their ads are popping up everywhere. Too bad, because it was nice to take a late-night walk and pick up items on trips and to have a large store to walk around in to get some exercise on rainy days. No more. They spit in the eye of both the US and its citizens. Bye-bye, Walmart.
As a general policy its probably correct not to interfer. But all situations are not equal and there needs to be some latidude.
With that type of thinking Flight 92 would of been stuck in the
capital. They made the correct decision for the situation of risk that
they were in and there customers. I'm sure they did it at an opertune
time. I would like thank them for what they did. The managers that
fired them have no decision making ability and are not really managers because there decision is from a book and they have no
abilty to think or make a decision.
For starters, we need to get straight that Walmart does not hire security guards; they hire asset protection. As with every Walmart employee, including the cart pushers, they were trained from day one that they were not to engage an armed subject in the store.
How many of you have seen the damage that a bullet can do inside a building? Several years ago I made the worst mistake of my life and put a .45 caliber bullet through 6 layers of sheet rock, a half inch of glass and an interior door before coming to a stop in another wall. I have worked at Walmart and wanted to get into asset protection. While understanding the actions of these asset protection associates, I have to agree with Walmart that what they did was way too dangerous. Our vestibules were almost always crowded and a single bullet could easily have killed more than one person if it left the office. While working at Walmart I always felt they had the safety of myself and others as their main priority; we're not saying that Walmart never has anyone stray from policy - I myself have done so to deal with the problem at hand but there was never a firearm involved. I was reprimanded, though not terminated. There is no evidence in anything here supporting the idea that the thief meant harm to anyone. He did eventually have a weapon in his hand but had he intended on hurting anyone he likely would have done that in the office before he ran. Asset protection is only trained to detain a cooperative suspect until local PD arrives. At the point where it becomes a physical altercation they are supposed to withdraw according to policy and become a living video camera to report all events. I really do not like the fact that these employees were fired but even if they were my friends I would have fully supported my managers in their termination under these circumstances.
Walmart does specify that if the suspect is verbally threatening or physically engaging you that you have the right to defend yourself and you will not be terminated. However, this was not the case. The physical engagement here began with asset protection grabbing the gun and refusing to let go. While it may sound unsettling that this person would be running out of the store with a firearm, it is local law enforcement who has the training to deal with this situation. As a side note, at my store we discussed the situation of an active shooter on multiple occasions, where the protocol was to effect an immediate evacuation but to save ourselves first. We all understood that as human being we had the right to try and protect one another including our customers, but that doing so would mean an immediate termination, which all of us agreed was fair.
what these four brave souls did is what every human on the face of the earth has the right to do and that is to defend yourself they felt threatened and they actions against that threat I don`t care who you are or what company you work for no companies policy has the right to take away your human rights I urge everyone to stop and step back and try to remember what our forefathers died to in order to give us and this situation is a prime example of a company like walmart thinking they are so high and mighty that they can get away with stripping our rights away from us. Sam Walton would not agree with the termination of these four employees he is doing back flips in his grave. this means it is time for the giant to fall and fall hard i urge everyone please boycot walmart and please if you work for them and its possible find another job. it makes me sick to say i currently work for walmart and i see this kind of stuff happen everyday first hand they don`t respect their employees they treat them like crap what ever happened to sam waltons belief of respect of the indivdual its not there anymore and has not been for a long time this is why i am a walmart employee who is looking for another job because i cant keep work at a place that every time i walk through the doors it gives me a sickening taste in my mouth which is also why even as an employee i do not shop at walmart i go out of my way to go somewhere else!!
ARE YOU ALL KIDDING ME?
These over aggressive employs directly violated store policy BEFORE they escorted the suspect to this tiny LP office. If companies rewarded behavior like this, retail stores would be dangerous. You can not behave as a manager or LP person like someone is stealing from your home. This was NOT an armed robbery, this was a desperate thief. Should he have tried to steal, NO, should he have taken out a weapon, No, but you are not in any way "defusing" a situation when you get 4 very large individuals to "question" a shoplifter. That is not good policy and not good customer service. What if it had not been an actual theft?
Do ANY OF YOU actual know how many people are mistaken when they think someone is stealing from their store. The best LP policy is always to DEFUSE a potential shoplifter, not to tackle & hope for the best.
I am VERY exhausted that CNN gave these people the kind of applause they did not deserve. Shame on you CNN!
I hope WalMart is sued over this by these employees and the rest of us BOYCOTT this DHS enterprise.
Seems DHS and WalMart both approve of criminals ruining our country!
Wallmart doesn't seem to know anything about neuroscience. If they did, they would know that regardless of training, when one has a gun at their back, survival is threatened. When survival is threatened, the amygdala in the brain overides 'training" and kicks the individual into action. Wallmart's lucky that, given the circumstances, these employees didn't just run and hide to protect ONLY themselves and leaving a gunman loose in the store with a gun at someone's back. When things go bad like this, there are no RULES that cover all bases. Thank goodness these people had the courage to save everyone not just themselves. Wallmart, where's your brain? I don't think I want to work in a place where you ask employees to confront shoplifters but fire them when they do what matters!
It doesn't matter what any of you say about not shopping at walmart. They offer the most affordable prices for nearly everything. You can get all of your shopping done in one trip. I don't care what you say, you'll be back.
There are many contradictions in their story here. Was the gun at the criminals side with the trigger cocked? In his pocket? Or poked in the back of one of the fellow security guards? All of these points were statements made here during the interview.
Let's get to the truth here. Let's see the security tape, the same security tape that the police have reviewed when they arrested the criminal. The truth undoubtedly is that a criminal pulled a gun on then and they defended themselves. Walmart assist in real criminal activity. Only those who give up are arrested. Those who resist and flee with the goods get off Scott free due to the policy of not forcefully stopping criminals. Walmart lost 2 BILLION last year due to thefts. It was written off on their taxes and we the honest taxpayers covered it. Thank you suckas! What wasn't covered was covered in higher prices, again, thank you suckas!
If I worked at walmart as security I would be paid just to walk around doing nothing! Nothing in walmart is worth losing my job over. Just tell them to put it back and stand aside as they leave with it or without it.
Hope these folks find work and appreciation for their skills and bravery elsewhere. Walmart neither deserves their service nor to succeed as a company.
Watch the The High Cost of Low Prices, and learn how they bully employees into overtime, send them to gov't social services to supplement their pitiful incomes, and donate less money to charity than their impoverished employees.
I've been in that store five times in twenty years, and felt contaminated each time. Hopefully public backlash will be harsh and long-lasting.
Whatever! Why don't you get the facts before stating what happened? I can certainly say that you are one of those people who play the whisper game and you are the last person in the group to hear what was started and you say what you THINK was said. Give me a break. What you heard after it has gone through a bunch of people isn't what was started. Get it right and then make your assumptions!
Regardless if the public know the whole story, the employees should not have been fired doing something that most employee would react to naturally. This is why America's social culture is wussy out...citizens watch while children get bullied ,beaten in the street, America needs to have a law that jailed citizens who don't help others in need...remember that last episode of Seinfield?
like any of you (or your families) wouldn't get on the litigation band wagon and sue WalMart for as many $'s as possible,if the gunman started firing, and seriously wounded or killed you, or your spouse or kids.....
Walmart is hiding behind the fact that they would rather believe their policy is right when its written by people who just read books on how to handle situations they have never been a part of. Corperate Walmart is a bunch of cowards and dont care about anything but the almighty dollar of profit. Its easier to fire someone than actually do what is right.
It's ironic if any of these (former) workers were in the military, they would have received medals for this.
Perhaps Brooke, the proud Walmart manager, should put her ducks in a ROW before publicly boasting of Walmart policy. While I may agree that policy was in effect, the suspect had a weapon in hand, charged into the security personnel with the intention of going out to where crowds of innocent people were shopping. Any one of whom may have seen said weapon and tried to interfere with the suspect. Do we get the picture?
Everyone seems to forget the almost every major corporation has a policy like this in place, be the convenient store clerk who fight back, to the pizza delivery guy who defends himself and gets fired. This has become a fact of life, mainly because laws vary from state to state, and we have become a sue happy country. Had someone gotten hurt or killed, then there would have been a lawsuit. I'm not saying it's right, but that is the policy. It is not just Walmart that is to blame, it is the direction that the country is going in general that is the problem
This is once again another "sickening" that we now all observe in our society! One gentleman stated that "Walmart has a non-confrontational policy" & that their policies are very well thought out...ARE YOU KIDDING ME OR YOURSELF! I've worked for Walmart in the past, as I was putting myself through 4 years of college and their attitudes towards their employees were appauling then as it is now! To release these four employees whom put their lives on the line in order to possiably prevent MANY others from not being able to even breath, all because of Walmart's so called policies? Come on people get a clue. We witteness every single day these needless acts of violence on law abiding citizens, just going about their daily business. So I take my hat off to these four ex-employees and hopefully they will continue to speak out. Trust me people, these four WERE NOT BEING PAID ENOUGH to do what they did in order to protect you & I!
You can't just have a blanket policy about everything. There are no absolutes in life. Oh, wait... there is. I absolutely will not shop at Wal-Mart again. (They're really not all that inexpensive... just cheap.)
No "policy" is going to be able to dictate how someone will react when a gun is pressed into his/her back and their life is threatened. Again, Walmart is outta line here...
As a former Walmart associate, I used to witness the lack of common sense from management on a daily basis. This is another fine example of company policy gone too far. There is a chance that the local store manager didn't want to fire these people, but had to due to corporate policy. Walmart is controlled by a bunch of morons.
Oh... one more thing...
Before you judge Walmart as the bad guy, do remember that bullets can pierce trough plaster, studs, aluminum shelves and merchandise without loosing much speed; before hitting an innocent customer on the store or even on the street. After putting benefits and risks on the balance, Walmart was unfair, but right. Customers´ and employees´ lives are too valuable to let this one pass with a slap on the shoulder, much less with any kind of reward.
Laws are laws. Policies are policies. Walmart did what it HAD to do. Don´t get me wrong, I celebrate the employees actions and I´m glad they did what they did, and that nobody got hurt. Unfortunately this is one of those situations in which what is right is also unfair. Now, Walmart would do wrong if it did does not re-writes it´s policies considering the right of an employee to self-defense in extreme situations. Remember what airline´s policies on hijackers were before 2001? They were very similar to those currently held by Walmart. But sometimes criminals don´t just want to walk away. I mean, it´s not about being a hero; it´s about making it alive, if possible, when all odds are against.
Walmart is out of the line here. I understand there are rules and I agree their heoric actions should not be encouraged. However, u can't fire a person just for defending themselves. Yes. The suspect did not seem to have intention to shoot anyone , but when a person shows a gun to threaten u, who know in advance that he won't use it? And most importantly, the police stated that they did the right thing. What's wrong with those Walmart Mgmt? This is non-sense.
I have worked at Wal-mart for 7 years. Wal-mart was right in their decision. Wal-mart does more then you will ever know to protect customers and associates!!! There is always more to every story then we all know!! But I promise you cameras don't lie!! THERE IS MORE TO THIS STORY THEN ANY OF YOU TRULY KNOW!! Why does everybody always believe what they hear or see on TV what people say what happen....Wal-mart isn't stupid come on people they make sure all their ducks are in a role before taking action it goes through more channels then you will ever know!! Proud Wal-mart Manger!!
I've worked at Walmart for nearly 4 years now and I couldnt DISAGREE more. Walmart is the worst place to work for. They do not care about customers and they do not care about their associates. They were completely in the wrong here and are constantly in the wrong with every decision they make. After Sam Walton passed away, it was only inevitable that this company would get away from the standards and values he used to build this company and worry strictly about the almighty dollar. That policy they refer to in there retort as to why they fired them was in place to save Walmart money due to wrongful accusations toward shoppers who are believed to be stealing. It isn't to protect anyone, just protect their wallets. Now tell me I'm wrong.
The management of Wal-Mart have obviously loss, if they ever had any, common sense. I will never again feel safe in or near one of their stores again if this is their policy and how they treat loyal employees. It is 'by by' shopping at Wal-Mart. You just loss another shopper. I would have felt safer w/ the security people you fired than w/ what you will now have in the future.
Wal-Mart had better start a new more people & employee oriented management team down there in AR that knows where policy should stop and sanity w/ common sense kicks in. Your company sounds like the lot we have In DC. Also, I was unimpressed & totally turned off by your new promotion w/ Michele & you all trying to dictate health for the rest of us. But, hey, you got to see the White House.
Since there are cameras in the office where all this took place, seems to me maybe the stories might not line up with what they are saying. Without knowing the entire storie we are jumping to the conclusion that this story is unbiased. Maybe, just maybe walmart was in the right. I am sure it was not as easy decision by their management, especially knowing the negitive feedback that should have been expected. Maybe CNN should try harder to get the entire story. Even though I am also sure no one who really knows what happened will make any comments.
There are two sides to every story and I am sure Walmart wouldn't have fired these employees if they didn't have just cause. I think Walmart has been around long enough to know what they are doing. If you read the police report, the statetments that the employees made while the incident was fresh on their minds, you will see that their story has been fabricated. If they would have followed policy, the incident wouldn't have escalated to this extent. The shoplifter would have left without the employees even knowing he had a gun.
Shame on Walmart. What a deplorable decision on their part. Even the law is tempered with principles of equity, that is that equity seeks a remedy that is fair and reasonable under the circumstances at issue. Walmart's sense of what is equitable here, quite frankly,stinks . The consuming public should refrain from patronizing this retailer that does not stand behind it's employees who were well meaning and did their best to protect Walmart's customers.
I am ashamed to own shares of Walmart stock. I will dump them forthwith.
Walmart was well within their right in the firing of the employees. Nothing in that store of monetary value is worth what the company would be liable for if their employee or customer gets hurt or killed. That policy is put into effect to protect not only the employees and customers but also theirselves. At the end of the day what is your life worth trying to be a hero. Should have just contacted the police and let the experience of the police deal with the situation. Loss prevention is mostly in charge of preventing theft amongst their own employees.
Let's look at this situation within a different approach. Let's rewind where the thief takes out the gun in the office and charges towards the employees before they could close the door. Now, assuming the employees follows company policy, they were to not engage and withdraw from disarming him. While doing so quickly they were suppose to do (according to the stupid policy) throw their hands up and say," Hey, we don't want anyone to get hurt please don't shoot us. Just put the gun away and walk out the store and I promise no one will chase after you." "We have the merchandise so no harm done and we all can go home safe and nothing will be reported. You can try again another day." and another employee would say, "We don't want to lose our jobs because we will be violating company policy, so please you can keep your gun. we are not allowed to disarm you. All with the 'hopes of 'believing the suspect would agree.
Therefore, if thats the hypothetical case, Wal-Mart allows any armed robbers to come into the Wal-marts & take what they want as long as they let the Asset Protection team know they have a gun so that they would decide if they want to be a hero and lose their ($7-8) jobs or keep their job and allow them to take whatever they want and hopefully they don't get caught once they're out the door.. Sounds good to me (sarcastically)..
I as a walmart employee....for 3 years have heard of people walking out the store with items stolen but our managment does say to let them go,they are concerened with safety,as for what happened the employee should be a hero since WALMART is supposed to be a family store....as for the one I work at we are in the bad part of town a.k.a the ghetto WALMART.....
I am a pharmacist for WalMart and the company wants an employee to adopt an "It's not my money, it's WalMart's money". So following corporate policy is very important. A customer that discontiues shopping at WalMart can potentially lose the company $30k or more in sales over the customer's lifetime. It is our job to make the customers happy.
What would Wal-mart's policy be if those employee didn't do anything and all got shot and/or killed? Better to be fired than be dead.
Wal-Mart does not give 2 hoots about their employees. I hope these 4 sue Wal-Mart. those 4 disarmed a potentially deadly situation.
Wow! How did this happen? Sam Walton would not have let this go down like this. I know rules are good and all but these people did a good thing. I would want people like that at my WalMart. After what happened in Az. I cannot understand why there isn't more of an outcry on this. These folks are hero's that's what I say!
I've been around for 3/4 of a century and seen and met a lot of hero's
but the managers from Walmart security that was fired for taking action to dis-arm a shop lifter,would be seen as hero's. I know they wouldn't agree about being hero's, but they were just reacting naturally and appropriately as would be expected.
Being fired is not appropriate, I buy a lot of product from Walmart and they violated my policy, so should I fire Walmart from my shopping list????
Suggest they be re-hired, be decorated.
One thing I'll say: Wallmart consistently does the wrong thing when it comes to their employees. This story is unbelievable. Surely the person or persons who made the decision to terminate the four loss prevention employees didn't know the whole story. Because any idiot with a 4th grade education could figure out that there are situations, such as this one, where adherence to company policy may be violated.
What would they do if they were locked in a room with a felon, who has an extensive criminal history and warrants out for his arrest, is pointing a loaded and cocked handgun at you? The police report states that the employees did the right thing by forcing the assailant to the ground and disarming.
If I were those employees, I'd retain an attorney and go after Wallmart for wrongful termination. I hope this story goes viral on the internet and causes Wallmart to re-think their decision and vindicate those four employees. It's the right thing to do.
SHAME ON WALMART IVE WORKED FOR NUMEROUS SECURITY COMPANIES FOR OVER 7 YEARS AND IN ALOT OF THERE HANDBOOKS IT SAYS YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO UTILIZE YOUR OWN COMMON SENSE AT ANYTIME A SITUATION SHOULD ARISE THAT WOULD ENDANGER ANY PATRONS OR OURSELF,FAILURE TO EXERCISE YOUR COMMON SENSE MAY RESULT IN IMMEDIATE TERMINATION!!!!WALMART PLEASE ADD THIS TO YOUR SERCURITY POLICY!!!!THESE FOUR FORMER EMPLOYEES ARE HEROS IN MY EYES THANK YOU FOR PROTECTING CITIZENS LIKE MYSELF!!
So you stop the criminal and lose your job??? If you just stand by and watch then you are suspected by police officials as a conspirator???? Explain how you can win in a situation like this......
Very interesting that my comment is the only one awaiting moderation. I suppose the new definition of journalistic objectivity leaves zero room for public advocacy. (You will shout that's not your job of course – better do it loudly so we can hear it over the low hum of a skeleton-sized gyroscope coming from Murrow's grave). It speaks volumes that the end product, and I do mean to use the word "product", consists of introducing the story, saying how bad that this happened, and then shuffling them off to Kyra Phillips on-air CNN job-placement extravaganza. Bravo on filling another couple of minutes in the 24hr news cycle.
This is so typical of the il-logic used by people who have no balls to keep people and property safe. Such cowards need to be fired and replaced by former Marines or law enforcement. Having been both I can say I'm so tired of reading things like this in our "safe and wonderful" country. Also having been a teacher, I blame the educational system for letting children get away with so much. In my day kids were punished. I also have been there and done that and it made me into the AMERICAN I now am. This country has gotten soft and Walmart seems to be at the head of the line. Yes I see the big picture of keeping people safe but no one was hurt thanks to these brave employees. Walmart needs to rehire these employees and give them a huge bonus for a job well done.
It is sound company policy. Shoplifters with guns who havn't fired are less of a threat than those who are confronted. By confronting this man, they increased the risk of everyone around them getting shot. They got away with one here. Had they done nothing no one would get shot... by doing what they did, many could have been killed. Just because they won the day doesn't make it the right choice,
Security guards are not law enforcement.
Yeah. Now, not only did the store fire 4 people who used their heads and did the right thing, but the store is down four security guards. Does it really matter anyway? They're not allowed to keep the place secure – they're only there to cut losses in theft. Good luck to the Security Four – you may have lost your jobs but you know you did the right thing. I'll bet security companies will be offering you jobs in the future.
No company policy should dictate whether an employee has the right to fight for their own life. If the gunman had a customer held hostage then I can see protocol having to be followed. It is human instinct to protected your self and thats what these 4 hero's did. I hope Walmart CEO's recognize how dishonorable they are making their company look.
You're going to to give them 30 seconds on air to beg for new jobs. That's you're solution? One of the main news organizations in the country AND THAT'S YOUR SOLUTION? Walmart arbitrarily fires 4 workers for doing their jobs and protecting the public and clients AND THAT'S CNN'S SOLUTION? You have the power to raise holy hell on their behalf, but instead you're opting to suck another 2 minutes of airtime out of them and pretend that's journalism? I guess after the LA Times blasted Anderson for "picking a side" on behalf of the people of Egypt, liberty, and democracy, you guys certainly don't want to be accused of "bias" siding against Walmart's ridiculous terminations policies.
My cable fee for Al Jazeera is the best money I ever spent...
Walmart you screwed up big time on this one! Makes me wonder that your solution was to let some idiot, with a violent record, walk around
your stores with a gun while shoplifting. Yes, rules are rules, but they do not cover EVERYTHING. These employees should have received special recognition, bonus's, for ending a situation in a room instead of out on the floor.
I am not sure that the way this story is being presented on the air is necessarily the fairest. The Walmart policy of non-confrontation in the presence of a firearm is very well known and very well trained, and Walmart's instantaneous and absolute response to an observed abridgement of this policy is well established. It is hard to understand why the employees expected anything other than a more or less automatic termination.
That it took a couple of days to happen is probably because the unit manager was resisting the district, but resistance is futile. This is *all* over Walmart training material, and they should have expected this to happen.
We will have to leave it up to a judge who can command evidence to decide if the termination needs to be undone or if compensation should be provided. Those of us looking at this from out here, including CNN newscasters and reporters, cannot command the evidence to ascertain the absolute truth, so we should probably relax any perceived attack on Walmart policy until we understand things more thoroughly.
THIS IS MORE OF THE WALMART WAY, THEY DON"T GIVE A CRAP ABOUT PEOPLE OR THEIR EMPLOYEE'S. I HAVE BOYCOTTED WALMART FOR 20 YRS. AND PROUD OF IT.
Obviously Walmart management is the poor judge here. I'll never shop at Walmart again.
I will no longer be shopping at Walmart due to the firing of the security guards at the Utah store. I find it deplorable to treat people like that. Those people did the job that you paid them to do and instead of honoring them as the heros they are, you fired them. It could have been a blood bath. Walmart has lost a customer.
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