Oakland: Whole Foods Security Guards Violently Detain a Woman, Have Her Arrested

Published On February 1, 2013 | By Matt Gratz | cop watch, direct action, Human Rights, OPD, police state

While sitting in my home reading the news, I heard a woman screaming for help, so I grabbed my broken monopod (kinda like a bat) and ran outside to see what I could do for her.

She was screaming because three Whole Foods security guards, two males in plain clothes and one female in uniform, had thrown her to the ground and placed her in handcuffs. One of them even punched her in the face. I asked if she wanted me to film, she said yes so I went live. During the live stream, people began to call the store to request that the woman be released. According to viewers in the social stream, the manager told callers that he felt the situation was being handled correctly.

I stayed with her for about two hours until the police arrived and arrested her, this being after she was assaulted by the whole foods security guards. The woman (I never caught her name) was coming out of surgery and was getting something to eat. She had the receipt for the items the security guards accused her of stealing in her possession, as you can see in the above video.

Before leaving, I gave her partner my information, and he said he will contact me soon to let me know how it all turns out. But man, watching those men in plain clothes restrain and hurt her made me really upset. All I could do was yell at him and tell him to let her go, and film. Is this really our reality? There are men posing as customers in grocery stores ready to attack anyone they think is stealing food or other products?

This video was posted (w/ her consent) so you can see how she was treated by our local whole foods, who believes that property is more important than people.

I’ll follow up with them asap and let you all know how it turned out. (This post will be updated with more information on what charges were filed, ect.) I also offered the help from the Occupy Oakland community, as far as legal and emotional support goes.

This is the Whole Foods on Harrison and Vernon in Oakland, CA. And Yes, the one that was ‘attacked’ during a general strike march last November.

*Also, thank you to the two people who heard about this happening on twitter and showed up to support her. :)

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About The Author

Matt Gratz
Matt Gratz founded Political Fail Blog in December of 2010. As a human rights activist, Matt has spent years in the bay area fighting for social justice in the streets. Follow PFB to keep up to date with his photos, videos & blogs! Follow me on twitter!

5 Responses to Oakland: Whole Foods Security Guards Violently Detain a Woman, Have Her Arrested

  1. zieglerj says:

    I just wrote to Whole Foods with a link to this telling them I wont shop there anymore and that I plan to tell everyone I know why. I would urge anyone watching this to do the same here: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/customer-service

  2. TragicGnome says:

    You Sir, have the patience of a Saint. I got angry just watching the video. I’m shocked and surprised that no one attacked the security guard. Keep up the good work and ill be sure to follow for more information.

  3. FatherRamon says:

    Looks like this incident has come to the attention of the Anonymous Hacker group. They posted a link to this on twitter with: “We don’t forgive, we don’t forget. Whole Foods, you’re on notice.”

  4. Turtlemilk says:

    Security has the right to detain someone *if* they have arrest authority. For example, most unarmed guards do *not* have this authority because their job is to observe and report. From what I can tell though, the lady guard was armed so in that case she would be able to (plus the fact they apparently carried handcuffs).

    Of course, the woman should have never been punched (although I did not see that happen).

  5. Pingback: Political Fail Blog | Oakland: Whole Foods Security Guards Violently Detain a Woman, Have Her Arrested « WHY I OCCUPY

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