Image source: New York Post video screenshot
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After a man was caught on video Tuesday morning walking out of a New York City Trader Joe's with an armful of steaks — 10 to be exact — and then admitting he stole the items, the Rev. Al Sharpton called it out, along with the ever-increasing wave of similar crimes.
"You cannot have a culture where people are just ... robbing and stealing and it's out of control," Sharpton said Wednesday on MSNBC.
An alleged shoplifter has been caught on tape appearing to steal 10 steaks from NYC Trader Joe\u2019s. I joined MSNBC to speak on the need for public safety and to address criminal justice concerns.\n\n#MorningJoepic.twitter.com/bWrNC8d8rQ— Reverend Al Sharpton (@Reverend Al Sharpton) 1644415833
But a fellow leftist — Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of the controversial 1619 Project — didn't like Sharpton's take, telling the reverend on Twitter that "a person stealing steak is not national news, and there have always been thefts from stores."
This drumbeat for continued mass incarceration is really horrific to watch. A person stealing steak is not national news, and there have always been thefts from stores. This is how you legitimize the carceral state.— Ida Bae Wells (@Ida Bae Wells) 1644460773
How did folks react?
As you might expect, some Twitter users weren't sympathetic with Hannah-Jones' decidedly light-on-crime philosophy:
- "There’s no drumbeat for mass incarceration," one commenter stated. "There is a drumbeat for criminal behavior to stop, but that theme can’t seem to gain traction within certain agendas."
- "Thieves should always be prosecuted," another user declared. "In cities like SF where theft has been essentially legalized, it has led to more violent crime and hurt the poor."
- "A person who feels SO comfortable to walk in a store and have the balls to walk out and not even have the thought to hide what he’s stealing IS national news," another commenter said. "It means the criminals are feeling they are untouchable."
Here's video of the the man walking out of the store. At first he claimed that he paid for the steaks, but when confronted again and asked why he stole the food, he told the person recording the video that he did it because he's homeless:
The suspect is now wanted by police, the New York Post reported, adding that the incident took place at around 8:30 a.m. at the popular grocery store chain's East 14th Street location.
Two Trader Joe’s employees followed the man up an escalator that leads to the store's exit but only stopped him from taking a shopping basket, the Post said.
“They basically just tell us not to do anything, just let them go,” a Trader Joe’s worker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the paper. “We get in trouble if we do anything. ... It don’t bother me. I’ve been working here for two years, I see it happen every day. After a while, you just don’t care.”
The Post said Trader Joe’s didn't respond to its request for comment.
Retail theft complaints citywide have jumped 36% from 2020 to 2021, the NYPD added to the paper.
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Sr. Editor, News
Dave Urbanski is a senior editor for Blaze News.