Community calls for nationwide boycott of Stop & Shop after workers kill alleged Brooklyn shoplifter
Residents of Flatbush and the family of a man who was killed by three Stop & Shop employees who reportedly caught him shoplifting rallied outside the Flatbush Avenue grocer on Thursday to call for a nationwide boycott of the chain — and to demand that the Brooklyn District Attorney charge the man’s killers.
“Don’t shop at Stop & Shop!” protesters yelled, protesting the death of Ralph Nimmons last Saturday inside the store.
Family members shared their grief, hoping to use it for change.
“It was wrong what happened to my nephew,” yelled Nimmons’s uncle, Bonezelee Nimmons. “I’m fed up with it! I want justice!”
Nimmons, 51, was stealing food inside the store when three workers threw him to the ground and pushed on his head, chest and legs even as he yelled out he couldn’t breath, witnesses said. Nimmons died later at Kings County Hospital.
Family members met with Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez on Wednesday to demand charges against the employees — reportedly the manager, assistant manager and a produce worker. A spokesman for Gonzalez said the case remains under investigation.
“I want them to pay for what they did, whether it’s jail, more jail or more jail,” the uncle added.
If the witnesses’ stories check out, the workers could be charged with criminally negligent homicide, which carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison, or even manslaughter, yielding a maximum 15-year prison term, the family’s lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, said.
During the protest, one would-be shopper said he was ignorant about what happened in the store, which he called a community staple. Once told what had happened, he vowed to stop shopping there.
“They won’t get any more
of my money,” said Walter McQueen, 65. “There should be an apology to the family.”
There has not been one. A Stop & Shop manger declined to comment, referring back to a statement made by a spokesman that said the store was “saddened by the death.”
The store said it will “continue to cooperate with law enforcement officials to ensure that the facts pertaining to this incident are fully and accurately determined,” but the spokesman repeatedly declined to say whether the workers involved in the death had been disciplined.
There are roughly 420 Stop and Shop locations nationwide.
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