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Mom involved in vicious Beech Grove Walmart fight says confrontation started over racist remark

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BEECH GROVE, Ind. (June 9, 2015) - The video has been everywhere--two women fight inside a Walmart store in Beech Grove. The video has racked up more than a million views since being posted on YouTube.

Both women have been banned from the store--now one of them is giving her side of the story.

A woman named Amber Stephenson called the Smiley Morning Show on WZPL to talk about the fight, which happened Thursday night at the store. Amber told the hosts she was in Walmart when she heard a woman in a motorized scooter--a woman she'd later fight--call an employee the "n-word."

"(The woman) was sitting there yelling at an employee at Walmart, and she was telling her that she was a (expletive) and that she was going to get out of the chair and whoop her (expletive)," the woman said.

"She used the 'n-word?'" the host asked.

"Yes, she used the 'n-word,'" the woman said. "So in my defense, I was standing up for the employee."

During the fight, she said no one stepped in, not Walmart employees, bystanders or security.

"I don't blame Walmart employees for not intervening. But as far as security, if you go to any other Walmart fight video, security is right there trying to break it up, help them."

By the time police arrived, Amber said the fight was already over. She also talked about the role her son played in the fight.

"My son takes martial arts classes. He's been going to the gym for several years with his father. I mean, he's been in the gym for a long time," she said. "He got a little crazy. I don't have to worry about him ever being bullied."

She described the boy as a straight-A, honor roll student and teacher's pet. She said his martial arts teachers have taught him not to back down.

"My son is raised perfectly right. My son is perfectly well taken care of."

After the fight, she said police laughed about the video, which she first saw after coworkers pointed it out to her on YouTube.

"The guy with the video was showing the video to the cops and they were all standing around laughing about it," she said.

After the fight, Amber said she paid for her things and left the store.

Walmart sent a statement saying both women were banned from the store:

“This type of behavior inside one of our stores is completely unacceptable and we are notifying the individuals involved that they are no longer welcome on Walmart property. Once we were aware of this situation, a member of our management immediately called the police and we are continuing to work with them on this matter.”

A Walmart spokesman also said company policy prohibits employees from intervening in a violent situation. The store does have security officers, but they were just coming on duty as the fight was happening.

Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley called the situation "embarrassing" and pointed the finger at Walmart.

"I think it's disgusting and it sure sheds a poor light on Walmart and I'm pretty disappointed in them," he told FOX59 over the phone.

Buckley said the store is a public nuisance that's draining the city's resources.

"I go over there a lot, plenty of times there's been cops with people standing there in handcuffs, bags full of stuff," said Jacqueline Abbott.

Abbott said seeing police at the Beech Grove Walmart is a given. In fact, a FOX59 crew spotted some around 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

But Abbott's eyes are opened for another reason. She lives next door to the store.

"It does worry me that somebody might jump the wall after doing something, and my house is right here," she said.

"I make no bones about it. I consider Walmart a public nuisance. And that's based on the number of times that we go down there every day. We're down there at least four to six times every single day on petty theft matters the police have to deal with," Buckley said.

City officials recently passed a nuisance ordinance, which police said would apply to the excessive police activity at Walmart.

Tuesday afternoon, Beech Grove police figures detailing their activity at the store:

  • 789 police runs from February of 2014 to December of 2014
  • 486 runs from January of 2015 to now
  • 472 arrests from February of 2014 to now

"Most of the people committing the crimes at Walmart are not Beech Grove residents. They're from outside, and they're coming in. And we're having to clean it up and to deal with it," said Deputy Chief Michael Maurice with the Beech Grove Police Department.

Maurice said Walmart runs typically require two officers, and sometimes that leaves the department short-staffed to cover other duties.

"It's very taxing on our police department," he said.

Abbott doesn't want to trouble showing up at her home.

"There has been cops through there a few times, and when we asked what the problem was, they told us they were looking for someone who was stealing," she said.

Beech Grove officials said they'll meet with Walmart to discuss these issues, as they've done in the past.

A Walmart spokesman told FOX59 the store is willing to work with the community to reduce the number of times officers have to come to the store, but acknowledged Walmart does have systems in place of catching shoplifters. The high call volume shows their internal systems are working, the spokesman said.

He went on to say the company does have a program allowing managers to deal with shoplifting at a store level without involving local law enforcement. He said the company would be happy to discuss the option with Beech Grove officials.

Here's the full interview courtesy of the Smiley Morning Show on WZPL:

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