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Did you get your Air Jordans?

3718 Views 44 Replies 30 Participants Last post by  Destro
Wait 'til these people have to stand in line for food.


Buyers line up at Seattle stores for Air Jordans
Associated Press

SEATTLE - Fights, vandalism and arrests marked the release of Nike's new Air Jordan basketball shoes as a shopping rush on stores across the country led to unrest that nearly turned into rioting.

The outbursts of chaos stretched from Washington state to Georgia as shoppers - often waiting for hours in lines - converged on stores Friday in pursuit of the shoes, a retro model of one of the most popular Air Jordans ever made.

In suburban Seattle, police used pepper spray on about 20 customers who started fighting at the Westfield Southcenter mall. The crowd started gathering at four stores in the mall around midnight and had grown to more than 1,000 people by 4 a.m., when the stores opened, Tukwila Officer Mike Murphy said. He said it started as fighting and pushing among people in line and escalated over the next hour.

Murphy said no injuries were reported, although some people suffered cuts or scrapes from fights. Shoppers also broke two doors, and 18-year-old man was arrested for assault after authorities say he punched an officer.

"He did not get his shoes; he went to jail," Murphy said.

The mayhem was reminiscent of the violence that broke out 20 years ago in many cities as the shoes became popular targets for thieves. It also had a decidedly Black Friday feel as huge crowds of shoppers overwhelmed stores for a must-have item.

In some areas, lines began forming several hours before businesses opened for the $180 shoes that were selling in a limited release.

As the crowds kept growing through the night, they became more unruly and ended in vandalism, violence and arrests.

A man was stabbed when a brawl broke out between several people waiting in line at a Jersey City, N.J., mall to buy the new shoes, authorities said. The 20-year-old man was expected to recover from his injuries.

In Richmond, Calif., police say crowds waiting to buy the Air Jordan 11 Retro Concords at the Hilltop Mall were turned away after a gunshot rang out around 7 a.m.

No injuries were reported, but police said a 24-year-old suspect was taken into custody. The gun apparently went off inadvertently, the Contra Costa Times reported.

Seventeen-year-old Dylan Pulver in Great Neck, N.Y., said he's been looking forward to the release of the shoes for several years, and he set out at 4:30 a.m. to get a pair. After the first store he tried was too crowded, he moved on to a second location and scored a pair.

"I probably could have used a half a size smaller, but I was just really happy to have the shoe," he said.

The frenzy over Air Jordans has been dangerous in the past. Some people were mugged or even killed for early versions of the shoe, created by Nike Inc. in 1984.

The Air Jordan has since been a consistent hit with sneaker fans, spawning a subculture of collectors willing to wait hours to buy the latest pair. Some collectors save the shoes for special occasions or never take them out of the box.

A new edition was launched each year, and release dates had to be moved to the weekends at some points to keep kids from skipping school to get a pair.

But the uproar over the shoe had died down in recent years. These latest incidents seem to be part of trend of increasing acts of violence at retailers this holiday shopping season, such as the shopper who pepper-sprayed others at a Wal-Mart in Los Angeles on Black Friday and crowds looting a clothing store in New York.

Nike issued a statement in response to the violence that said: "Consumer safety and security is of paramount importance. We encourage anyone wishing to purchase our product to do so in a respectful and safe manner."

The retro version of the Air Jordan 11 was a highly sought-after shoe because of the design and the fact that the original was released in 1996 when Jordan and the Bulls were at the height of their dominance.

Pulver said they were a "defining shoe in Jordan's career."

Other disturbances reported at stores in places like Kentucky and Nebraska ranged from shoving and threats to property damage.

In Taylor, Mich., about 100 people forced their way into a shopping center around 5:30 a.m., damaging decorations and overturning benches. Police say a 21-year-old man was arrested.

In Toledo, Ohio, police said they arrested three people after a crowd surged into a mall.

In Lithonia, Ga., at least four people were apparently arrested after customers broke down a door at a store selling the shoes. DeKalb County police said up to 20 squad cars responded.

In Northern California, two men were arrested at a Fairfield mall after crowds shoved each other to get in position for the Nikes, police said.

In Stockton, Detective Joe Silva said a person was taken into custody at Weberstown Mall on suspicion of making criminal threats involving the shoes. Police also were investigating an attempted robbery in the mall's parking lot. The victim was wrongly believed to have just purchased Air Jordans.

In Tukwila, Officer Murphy said the crowd was on the verge of a riot and would have gotten even more out of hand if the police hadn't intervened.

About 25 officers from Tukwila and surrounding areas responded. Murphy said police smelled marijuana and found alcohol containers at the scene.

"It was not a nice, orderly group of shoppers," Murphy said. "There were a lot of hostile and disorderly people."

The Southcenter mall's stores sold out of the Air Jordans, and all but about 50 people got a pair, Murphy said.

Shoppers described the scene as chaotic and at times dangerous.

Carlisa Williams said she joined the crowd at the Southcenter for the experience and ended up buying two pairs of shoes, one for her and one for her brother. But she said she'll never do anything like it again.

"I don't understand why they're so important to people," Williams told KING-TV. "They're just shoes at the end of the day. It's not worth risking your life over."


AP Business Reporter Sarah Skidmore contributed to this report from Portland, Ore. AP Writer Michelle Price contributed from Phoenix.
-Copyright 2011 Associated Press
1 - 20 of 45 Posts
Us taxpayers paid for most of those sneakers, I'm glad our money went to a good cause :busted
Those ARE the people that stand in line for food.. food stamps that is.. along with welfare, section 8 housing, unemployment and anything else they might be eligible for. How else do you think they are able to afford a $180 pair of sneakers?
I got invited to the launch of the Wii a couple of years ago and was standing inside Toys 'R Us in Manhattan at midnight when they opened the doors and the 10,000+ people came inside. Lucky there was no actual stampede, but seeing a wall of people coming at you is disconcerting, no matter what they want. And in my case, all they wanted was a toy.

I think about some of the cops who are facing these rioters with molotov cocktails and the like, that has got to be scary when you realize it's like 100:1 and you have maybe 20 bullets. And the people are coming for something like overthrowing the government, or food, or something of greater importance than some designer shoes (Please don't tell my wife I suggested there is anything more important than that!)
What is wrong with those people?
I wonder how many used their EBT Cards to pay for the sneakers..... 8)
BTW, does anyone remember the thread with the video of the woman explaining how to game the system for EBT Cards?

$180 - that's about 3,000 rounds of CCI Mini Mag 22lr 40 gr Solid
Sounds like Jets fans. I bet that half the people on line were resellers, or paid by resellers. Exact same thing that happens with tickets.

Nice return and totally legal.

They should have built this store at the bottom of a cliff.......   and had the line start at the top .
I don't understand it.  I really don't!!!
Its sick I need to make a pair of sneakers that are $200 dollars that people beat the shit out each other for. Also just so you know it was not just there it got crazy like this here at green acres mall also.
These are sneakers for $180/pair that people are stampeding and fighting each other for. Can you say "value system"? Just think what its going to be like when there is a shortage of food and water, guys. 'Nuff said.

Wait, maybe there should be a ban of all in-store sales and you have to apply for a permit to buy from the website.....But there's a 6-month wait for the permit....and you can only buy one pair a month....yeah.
Thats why I shop now mostly online never had to deal with a crowd of people.
Are blood Jordans worth more ?
Was just in Sports Authority. No lines, no Jordans, no sneaks >$130.
Anyone hear of online shopping ?? Or you cant use your EBT on there ?? Wow.
Their value system is so far f*cked, no amount of government intervention ie: welfare, free college, affirmative action, etc can help.
They should announce the sale of these shoes, form an orderly system for people to line up and wait. Then when there is a crowd of thousands of people, have people go out and get the name of every person waiting for these shoes. Once you have all the names, revoke any and all welfare privileges being offered to those people.
I was partial to the Marty McFly special edition...

1 - 20 of 45 Posts
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