A security guard at Pittsburgh's fancy Ross Park Mall was fired this week after bringing a gun to work, fooling around with it in the security office, and accidentally shooting a colleague in the arse.
The guard was in the mall's security office at the end of his shift at 11 p.m. and was loading a personal firearm when the gun discharged, Ross police said.
The bullet went through a wooden stand and struck another guard, who was treated and released from a local hospital.
The mall was closed when the incident occurred.
The guards there don't carry firearms. I live in the region and the most threatening things in Ross Park Mall are the tween shoplifters lurking around Claires. That and the inexplicable sense of coldness and despair that envelops oneself as one approaches Sears.
Previously: The Legend of Mall Ninja Read the rest
A group of steampunk cosplayers arranged to meet up at Westfield Plaza Camino Real near San Diego to ride the mall's Victorian carousel. But Westfield's mall cops were terrified of the cosplayers and evicted them all, escorting them to the door, calling the cops, and making them wait until the police arrived (the police basically shrugged and said, "Look, it's stupid, but it's their mall").
The mall cops -- and their corporate overlords -- cited a variety of dumb policies in support of the action, including a ban on wearing costumes that obscured the wearer's face (which didn't describe the cosplayers' outfits), a ban on gathering in groups larger than three (ORLY), a ban on photography without the subjects' permission (the steampunks, having gathered to have their photos taken, can be presumed to have consented to the pictures). Basically, it's a case of mall cop authoritarianism followed by the usual bland corporate doubling-down.
Of course, kids -- especially kids who happen to be brown -- already know that malls are capricious and fraught replacements for the public square. Mall cops basically hate anything that doesn't accord with their view of what a shopper should be and relentlessly discriminate against anyone they don't like. Back when I was in high school, more than half of my school had been banned from College Park, the mall in Toronto that was across the street from the school, by sneering jerks from Intercon security, who had the full backing of their management and the mall management. Read the rest