Whole Foods security guard fired after 'beating up black customer trying to pay with benefits card'

The victim was allegedly slammed 'repeatedly against concrete pillars', put in a 'chokehold' and 'restrained and suffocated'

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The Independent US

A Whole Foods supermarket security guard has been fired following an alleged violent confrontation, a spokesperson for the store has said.

A person claiming to be a witness to the attack said on social media that the guard slammed a young black shopper "repeatedly against concrete pillars", put the him in a "chokehold" and "restrained and suffocated" him until throwing him "face down on the pavement unconscious".

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According to the witness the victom was locked out of the shop in Oakland, California by the guard, despite the fact that he was "immobile".

None of the employees present called the emergency services after the incident, according to the witness.

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Victim lying in a pool of blood following the alleged incident

 

In her account of the incident the witness shared images of the young man lying on the pavement in a pool of blood. Further images show him being treated by paramedics.

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Paramedics attending to victim attacked by Whole Foods security guard

 

The man was trying to purchase food with an electronic benefit transfer card, according to the witness, which provides people with food stamp benefits.

Whole Foods confirmed on Twitter that they had suspended a security guard following the incident.

In a statement to KPIX 5, Whole Foods spokeswoman, Beth Krauss said: “Last night at our Oakland store, there was an altercation that escalated to violence. The graphic images circulating on Facebook and Twitter are disturbing to say the least.”

“The security guard involved in the incident has been suspended, and we are actively investigating the details with our security firm.”

“While we move swiftly to gather the facts, we want to make it clear that Whole Foods Market takes a zero tolerance approach to violence.”

Krauss later confirmed that the security guard, who remains anonymous, had been “permanently removed” from Whole Foods Market.

It has not been confirmed whether the security guard will face any criminal charges.

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