Kathy Posner

It is tragic that shoplifter Anthony Kyser died as a result of a choke hold by a CVS employee (not identified) after being apprehended stealing toothpaste; but the employee did not commit murder. Kyser's criminal background includes a 2005 drug conviction in Cook County and a 1999 burglary conviction in Lake County, Ind. The police have ruled, I think, correctly that it is an accidental death.Nothing can justify the death of Kyser, but I do not think the action to kill him was deliberate on the part of the employee. I doubt if the employee woke up that morning and decided that he would slaughter any shoplifters that he apprehended in the store. He was just over zealous in his manner of detention; and he should not be punished for that. It is proper that no charges are being pursued because there was no indication he intended to harm Kyser. Crime records show that there were 15 thefts reported from the CVS in the 2600 block of South Pulaski in the first four months of 2010. So one wonders how many shoplifting incidents there really were because of those “who got away”? Much is being made that the theft was ONLY toothpaste. Does that mean if Kyser had been apprehended fleeing Tiffany’s with a $100,000 necklace people would understand the physical force used to catch him? Stealing is stealing, no matter what the value of the products. According to the Sun Times, “Kyser's family said that though he had served prison time for drug convictions and had a drug problem and "his ups and downs," nothing he had done came close to justifying his death.” I am not justifying his death; but he was the one to put himself in a position that something like this could happen. Nobody forced him to shoplift. He solely was responsible for placing himself in a situation of potential tragedy. He was the root cause of his death. The community hue and cry over this incident will be forceful. Pressure will be brought to bear upon Police Superintendent Jody Weis to charge the CVS employee. I hope he does not succumb. It was an accidental death; unexpected, unintended and unforeseen and unpredicted. Since most insurance policies payout in accidental death; his family will profit monetarily if he had coverage. But if there were not enough, his ex-wife Anna Balboa says the family plans to sue. With his demise, Kyser might finally be providing financially for his family. Something a convicted drug dealer probably did not do while he was alive.

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