Southern California breaking news and trends

Black Friday roundup of door-busting, mayhem, and gunplay

Lauren Osen / KPCC

Photographers follow protesters marching in front of the Walmart in Paramount on Black Friday.

Late Thursday night a man was waiting in line at a Sears store in San Antonio for an early Black Friday sale when somebody punched him in the face. The San Antonio Express-News reports that he pulled his 9 mm semi-automatic handgun on his alleged assailant and caused a bit of panic at the South Park Mall. But police say the gun owner was within his rights because he had a concealed handgun license and was defending himself.

A Walmart in Florida shut down for more than two hours Friday after two people were shot outside a store in Tallahassee. WCTV reports that witnesses say two couples were arguing when a shopping cart hit the side of the car; that prompted a man get out of his car and start shooting. The two victims went to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Just after midnight on Friday, shoppers literally busted down the door at the Urban Outfitters in Santa Monica.  Only five people were injured, none seriously, says the Los Angeles Times. "They just shattered the glass doors at this Urban Outfitters! Haha," tweeted Adan Cabrales after he took this picture of the scene.

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9 protesters arrested outside Walmart in Paramount on 'Black Friday' [UPDATE]

Lauren Osen / KPCC

Nine protesters were arrested outside Walmart in Paramount on 'Black Friday'.

Lauren Osen / KPCC

Nine people who refused to leave the street were arrested at the Walmart in Parmount on Black Friday.

Lauren Osen / KPCC

A protester is arrested outside the Walmart in Paramount on Black Friday.

Lauren Osen / KPCC

Photographers follow protesters marching in front of the Walmart in Paramount on Black Friday.

Lauren Osen / KPCC

Walmart workers from across SoCal march in front of the Walmart in Paramount, CA.

Lauren Osen / KPCC

Workers protest outside of the the Walmart in Paramount, CA.

Lauren Osen / KPCC

Cars waiting for marchers to pass at the Walmart in Paramount, CA.

Lauren Osen / KPCC

Several workers protesting outside the Duarte Walmart on Black Friday.

Lauren Osen / KPCC

Richard Reynoso, 19, an overnight freezer stocker, walked off the job this morning at the Duarte Walmart.

Lauren Osen / KPCC

Shoppers inside Walmart on Black Friday.


Update 12:46 p.m.:   Officials say that a large group of protesters walked out into the street at the intersection of Lakewood Blvd. and Century Blvd. in front of the Walmart in Paramount and when they were told to disperse they did so. However nine protesters, who planned on being arrested, were arrested by sheriff's deputies.

Of those arrested, three are current Walmart employees, one is a former employee, one is a family member of an employee, and the rest are clergy members there to support the protest.

"Before noon today over 1,000 people were protesting at the Walmart in Paramount. They protested peacefully but at one point over 1,000 people went out into the street and began to block traffic," L.A. County Sheriffs Dept. Captain Mike Parker told NBCLA.

"So sheriffs deputies issued an order to disperse at about a quarter to noon and most of the people left right away - got out of the street so that traffic could return to normal. But nine people had pre-planned to be arrested. They were arrested peacefully. There was no use of force necessary. And essentially, this was about people exercising their First Amendment rights," Capt. Parker said adding that things are now back to normal.

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Judge: Construction on Chinatown Walmart can continue for now (UPDATED)

Kylie Reynolds

Walmart is building a neighborhood market at the corner of Cesar Chavez and Grand avenues.

Two labor groups that want to block a Walmart grocery store from opening in the Chinatown area cannot stop construction at this time, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday.

The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and United Food and Commercial Workers sought injunctive relief to stop construction on the 33,000-square-foot store at Cesar Chavez and Grand avenues while they appealed their case to City Hall.

Judge James C. Chalfant, however, determined irreparable harm would not be done to the environment if Walmart continued work on the interior of its proposed store. He also found there was no evidence of adverse impacts from parking or traffic.

After the hearing, attorney Gideon Kracov told reporters his two clients would seek relief from the city’s zoning administrator, who is expected to rule any day on whether permits were properly issued to Walmart. The plaintiffs will appeal their case to the Planning Commission and Los Angeles City Council if necessary, though that process could last well into the middle of next year.

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Ordinance blocking big retailers in Chinatown fails

Kylie Reynolds

Walmart is building a "neighborhood market" on the ground floor of this building at Cesar Chavez and Grand avenues on the outskirts of Chinatown.

A proposal to ban major retailers from opening in the Chinatown area failed Tuesday on a vote of the Los Angeles City Council.

The emergency ordinance fell one short vote of the 12 needed to pass. The measure will be back on the agenda Wednesday for a second vote, though it is unlikely any of the dissenters — council members Jan Perry, Bernard Parks, Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino — will change sides. 

The ordinance was proposed last spring when it was announced that Walmart would open a neighborhood market on Cesar Chavez at Grand Avenue in a vacant building that was constructed more than 20 years ago to be a grocery store.

Walmart received its final permit before the emergency ordinance was introduced, but the permit has been challenged by a Chinatown resident. A decision on whether the permit is valid is expected in the next 30-60 days. If the city council passes the ban, and the Walmart permit is determined to be invalid, then the store would not be allowed to open. Walmart anticipates finishing construction in December. 

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Judge: Construction can continue on Walmart neighborhood market in Chinatown

Kylie Reynolds

Walmart is building what it calls a "neighborhood market" at the corner of Cesar Chavez and Grand avenues on the outskirts of Chinatown.

Construction on a Walmart grocery store in the Chinatown area will continue for now, a Los Angeles judge ruled Friday.

Judge James C. Chalfant denied a request from the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance for a temporary restraining order to halt work on the store at Cesar Chavez and Grand avenues. The Alliance's request was related to a lawsuit it has filed, alleging the City of Los Angeles failed to adequately study and mitigate the impacts of the new store. At Friday's hearing, Judge Chalfant ruled that because Walmart is only altering the interior of the building, there would not be irreparable harm to the environment.

Attorneys for the APALA, Walmart and the city will be back in court on Nov. 13 for a trial on the lawsuit. If the Alliance is able to prove its allegations, the judge said he would order Walmart to stop construction and rip out the store.

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