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Black Friday: A History of Crime and Death in Holiday Season

As the holiday season comes closer, the first sign is not snow, but a frantic shopping spree. Black Friday is a store’s best friend in which much of the holiday season savings can clean out anyone’s wallet.

The chance of getting a fancy, wide-screen TV for the price of a toaster is just some of the drive that brings people to line up outside several shops every holiday season. Black Friday has been so much of a holiday season tradition that it appears even earlier with “Black Thursday.”

Black Friday as a Wal-Mart employee. Part 1

Consumerism at its worst, it has also encouraged a subculture of crime. Fights over limited supplies or people literally trampled by mobs have now become a dangerous norm. But to what extent?

Black Friday: Holiday Season Misgivings

Since 2006, Black Friday Death Count has kept a record of acts of violence or death on the infamous holiday season bonanza. Starting in 2006 with 11 reported injuries.

Looking at last year’s count, the reports totaled 7 injuries, but three deaths. As far as the biggest years of Black Friday injuries and deaths reported, 2011 and 2013 appeared to have the most cases. But his data cannot fully demonstrate the amount of crime that happens on that day. For instance, how frequent are traffic accidents?

Black Friday Fender Bender

In historical context, Black Friday always had a negative connotation since it was coined by Philadelphia Police because of the massive traffic jams it usually caused. In fact, Progressive Insurance found that there were 34 percent more car accidents during Black Friday. That’s a huge spike in comparison to Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving only has 20 percent more car accidents happening during the holiday season.

Aftermath of Black Friday

Much of this information only scratches the surface of the Walmart fights and TV tug-of-wars, and there are likely dozens of criminal cases unreported by the media. Taking a quick look at Reddit posts on the subject shows even more holiday horror stories of assault, attacks or other crime from would-be shoppers that were likely never reported to police.

What is your WORST Black Friday experience? from AskReddit

Black Friday Crime on the Rise?

Its popularity on social media, YouTube videos, and coverage on mainstream outlets have only made the holiday event much more condemning. But many are only seeing the violence and crime on Black Friday at its peak.

How bad? Well bad enough to warrant more precautions year after year, with an increase of police forces at store parking lots, more security in outlet malls and more tips from local authorities on having a safe shopping day.

With the interest increasing every year around the world, more crime is likely inevitable. Yet, as long as companies keep pushing savings, it is not likely to cease. Even a Boycott Black Friday Facebook Page of more than 4,000 followers could not compare to the thousands more that Walmart or Target has.

Retail workers of reddit, what’s your Black Friday horror story? from AskReddit

One could suggest waiting for the deals on Cyber Monday, which get increasingly profitable for sites like Amazon. At least then, everyone would be in the safety of their own home.

About Jarek Martinez

Born in Chicago, Illinois, a journalism major with plenty of hope for his future and career. Reporting and photography are improving every day, but writing is the passion. The drive. Avid movie watcher and media guy. Also minoring in legal studies and applying for paralegal certification. A big dog person as well.

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