Mulvey: Charges in trample death difficult

December 1, 2008 3:50:20 PM PST
Nassau County's police commissioner on Monday acknowledged it will be "very difficult" to bring criminal charges against the Black Friday shoppers who trampled a Wal-Mart worker in Valley Stream. "This will be a very difficult case for us to make," Nassau County Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey said on Fox News Channel.

Mulvey said police are currently reviewing surveillance videos of the post-Thanksgiving shopper stampede, in an attempt to file criminal charges.

But he said the video does not make it clear who in the large crowd was specifically responsible for the death.

"It is difficult because a lot of the people in the front of the line were pushing forward," he said. "Right now we are reviewing all film" of the incident.

Mulvey revealed that his department had proactively met with Wal-Mart and with other stores holding Black Friday events, warning of large crowds.

He said police officials instructed Wal-Mart they "had to provide for adequate security," but left it up to the company to determine the amount of security necessary.

"Only they would be able to anticipate how large the crowd would get," he said.

He said it was not the police department's responsibility to provide security.

"This is really not a police responsibility," he said.

The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday because it has traditionally marked the point when a throng of shoppers pushes stores into profitability for the year.

The victim, 34-year-old Jdimytai Damour, came from a temporary agency and was doing maintenance work at the store, Wal-Mart said.

Items on sale at the Valley Stream Wal-Mart included a Samsung 50-inch Plasma HDTV for $798, a Bissel Compact Upright Vacuum for $28, a Samsung 10.2 megapixel digital camera for $69 and DVDs such as "The Incredible Hulk" for $9.

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