Stealing From Wal-Mart Is Not a Crime, UW Relations Director Declares

anthony.christopher | August 20, 2015

Everett D. Mitchell is the Director of Community Relations at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also an attorney, pastor, and community leader. 

At a recent panel discussing "Best Policing Practices," Mitchell said that police should stop prosecuting individuals who shoplift from Wal-Mart and Target.

His reasoning? He simply does not believe that police have any justification to engage in policing practices with thieves who steal from Wal-Mart or Target because they are big box stores with insurance:

"I just don’t think they should be prosecuting cases for people who steal from Wal-Mart. I don’t think that. I don’t think that Target, and all them other places – the big boxes that have insurance – they should be using the people that steal from there as justification to start engaging in aggressive police behavior."

He begins his speech by advocating legal relativism - the notion that communities should decide for themselves which laws be enforced and which laws are not in order to better recognize what safety means for the specific community.

Does Wal-Mart get a say in which laws are enforced, as well Mr. Mitchell? They are, after all, in the community as well. 

Watch the 1:18 minute video here (via



Where is the line drawn with these anti-police activists? 



Just a few weeks prior, fellow Wisconsin professors, Karma Chàvez and Sara L. McKinnon wrote a letter to the Capital Times (progressive Wisconsin news outlet) titled: Sara L. McKinnon and Karma Chàvez: Request for no police interaction is reasonable" In it, they argue that police are an occupying force and have no valid reason to patrol certain neighborhoods.