Nikole Hannah-Jones scolds Al Sharpton for covering Trader Joe’s shoplifter: ‘There have always been thefts’

Left-wing New York Times Magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones scolded MSNBC’s Al Sharpton Wednesday after he shared the network’s discussion of New York’s struggles to stop petty theft.

The creator of the controversial 1619 Project took to Twitter to criticize MSNBC spending air time discussing the shoplifter who was captured on video stealing steaks from a New York City Trader Joe’s.

“This drumbeat for continued mass incarceration is really horrific to watch. A person stealing steak is not national news, and there have always been thefts from stores. This is how you legitimize the carceral state,” Hannah-Jones wrote in response to a tweet from Sharpton, which included a video clip of the Wednesday “Morning Joe” segment.

DEMOCRATS TREAT CRIMINALS AS VICTIMS AND IT’S KILLING OUR CITIES

“An alleged shoplifter has been caught on tape appearing to steal 10 steaks from NYC Trader Joe’s. I joined MSNBC to speak on the need for public safety and to address criminal justice concerns,” Sharpton wrote.

During his discussion with MSNBC’s Willie Geist, Sharpton expressed bewilderment at going to a local New York pharmacy and needing assistance to get toothpaste that’s been locked up.

“What did I miss that we now have to lock up toothpaste?” Sharpton asked. 

The brazen theft became tabloid fodder and national news. Frustrated workers told the New York Post they were prevented from stopping him. 

STORES DEPLOYING UNIQUE METHODS TO COMBAT RETAIL THEFT

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, noting New York City Mayor Eric Adams, D., was elected in part on a law-and-order message, appeared “surrounded by elected officials who want New York to remain chaotic.” Sharpton said he shared concerns of overloading jails with petty criminals, but he added there couldn’t be a “culture where people are just at random robbing and stealing.”

Hannah-Jones’ response to Sharpton appeared out-of-touch with what Americans living in cities have been increasingly experiencing as crime rates have continued to rise and theft has become a progressively worse issue, especially for business owners. The crime wave has the added effect of generating hiked prices for law-abiding citizens to make up for the stolen goods.

Last November, California was forced to form a task force to combat retail theft following an alarming number of smash and grab robberies at stores across multiple cities. 

Two Atlanta boutique operators lost more than $100,000 in merchandise during similar large-scale retail thefts in Georgia.

Al Sharpton and Nikole Hannah-Jones

Al Sharpton and Nikole Hannah-Jones
(Reuters/Getty Images)

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The National Retail Foundation (NRF) said last year that “organized retail crime [ORC] now costs retailers an average of $700,000 per $1 billion in sales, and three-fourths of retailers saw an increase in ORC in 2020, according to NRF’s 2020 Organized Retail Crime Survey,” giving perspective on just how much businesses were losing to shoplifters. 

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