Scuffles are already breaking out betweenÂ shoppers desperate to get their hands on Black Friday deals as a record numberÂ of stores open on Thanksgiving.
With 41 million people expected to shop onÂ what has been dubbed ‘Gray Thursday’, police have responded to fights andÂ threats between bargain-hungry customers, some of whom have camped outsideÂ stores for days.
Outside a Kmart in Indianapolis, which openedÂ at 6am on Thursday, officers responded toÂ a brawl between shoppers as someÂ attempted to sell vouchers the store had handed out for limitedÂ items.
‘Everybody started going crazy about it, andÂ then the cops got called in and it just became a madhouse,’ oneÂ shopper toldÂ News 8.
Police arrived at the scene shortly after theÂ threat – made after shop staff came outside to hand out ‘doorbuster deal’Â vouchers to the first in the line – to help control the crowds.
In a bid to minimize trouble, the Los AngelesÂ Police Department will deploy helicopters over some malls, while a cavalry ofÂ police officers on bikes and horses will monitor from streets below.
According to the L.A.Â Times, others will scour crowds fromÂ rooftops and signs will warn shoppers against becoming victims ofÂ theft.
It comes after a series of previous BlackÂ Friday incidents; at a Wal-Mart in the city last year, scores of people wereÂ injured when a woman pepper sprayed her competition in a bid for discountedÂ video games. Two years ago, gunfire broke out at a Toys R’ Us, killing twoÂ people.
Source: The Daily Mail