Originally published January 22 2015
Whole Foods employees caught on video beating veteran outside retail store
by Daniel Barker
(NaturalNews) A video that appears to show a man being beaten by several employees at Manhattan's Union Square Whole Foods Market has gone viral after being featured on the LiveLeak website.
In the five-minute video, a man identified only as "Adam" can be seen repeatedly trying to enter the Whole Foods Market on the night of Dec. 30, apparently after hours, while employees and security personnel forcibly prevent him from doing so. The employees can also be seen beating him up, even after he has been pushed to the pavement.
The video, which is not very clear, does not reveal why the man was trying to enter the store, or if he was actually drunk, as some reports have claimed.
What is clear, however, is that the employees used excessive force and were extremely abusive to the man, who can be heard pleading, "I'm a veteran. Don't do that," after being pushed to the pavement following his first attempt to enter the store.
The employees can be heard telling him: "You want to be a f**king tough guy? Get the f**k out of here."
When the man tries again to enter the store, he is treated even more roughly -- one of the employees can be seen dragging him across the pavement by his arm after appearing to punch and kick him. His belongings are then thrown at him and he is told to "Get your 'f**king jacket and go home."
The scene continues, with even more violence being directed towards the man, even after he is clearly no longer a threat (if he ever was in the first place) and is laying on the sidewalk several yards away from the store entrance.
Oddly enough, no police are called to the scene during the five minutes of video footage, in an area which is normally heavily policed.
Apparently, no charges have yet been filed against anyone involved in the brutal altercation, although Whole Foods has placed the participating employees on administrative leave, and a spokesman said to the Daily Mail:
Whole Foods Market is aware of the incident that took place in front of our Union Square store after hours on December 30th.
The team members identified so far in the video have been placed on administrative leave while we complete our internal investigation.
We take all incidents involving team members, customers and members of our community seriously and consider safety and security a top priority.
This incident is unlikely to help Whole Foods with its public image, which has been tarnished lately for several reasons.
The nationwide chain of markets, which specializes in organic and natural products, has come under fire recently for its high prices -- its nickname has become "Whole Paycheck" in response to its reputation for expensive products.
In fact, the company's shares dropped in value almost 20 percent virtually overnight after it announced its second quarter performance results in May 2014. The plunge in stock value was attributed to fears that the company no longer has the corner on the organic market, as competitors such as Walmart and others have begun to offer customers organic products as well -- and at lower prices.
The company's share prices have since rebounded somewhat, with what appears to be a recovery that is predicted to extend into 2015. At the end of 2014, however, stock shares were still down 15 percent overall for the year.
Part of the recovery seems to be due to the fact that Whole Foods has dropped some of its prices in response to the competition.
This latest controversy, however, could have a negative effect in terms of the public's confidence in the chain and its management policies.
It appears that Whole Foods needs to clean up its act beyond simply reducing prices.
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