Hy-Vee shoppers who want to defund the police are upset that the popular Midwestern grocery chain has introduced armed security guards amidst rising crime.
Hy-Vee operates 285 stores in the Midwest, several of which are located in Minneapolis — where the City Council has allocated funds away from the police and into the Health Department to fund “civilian violence interrupters,” per MPR. However, Hy-Vee customers who support such efforts to defund the police are unhappy with how the grocery store has chosen to protect itself amidst a growing trend of mass thefts from big box retailers.
“As part of its ongoing efforts to ensure the health and safety of both its customers and employees, Hy-Vee is introducing its new Hy-Vee Retail Security team to retail stores across its eight-state region,” the company announced earlier this week.
A video distributed by the grocery store shows that their new security employees are armed and equipped with body cameras and utility belts. This video has generated a frenzy of former Hy-Vee shoppers saying they will buy their food somewhere else — many of whom ironically support the anti police policies that are well known to give rise to gun toting private security.
As law enforcement presence was stretched thin and officers were sparse in Minneapolis during the 2020 riots, armed private security became a not-uncommon sight in the city guarding places of business. The same occurred in other cities as well. Even the local and national politicians who spearheaded movements to neuter law enforcement spent big money on private security to protect them.
“You just lost a customer” anti-Second Ammemdenet activist Rebecca Truszkowski announced on her Twitter account, the same account she’s previously used to support defunding the police.
You just lost a customer, @HyVee.#GroceriesNotGuns @MomsDemand https://t.co/xZwlKUUHbf
— Rebecca Truszkowski (@RTruszkowski) December 30, 2021
“Defunding the police means shrinking the scope of police responsibilities and shifting most of what government does to keep us safe to entities that are better equipped to meet that.”https://t.co/uVXVq7BdHz
— Rebecca Truszkowski (@RTruszkowski) June 10, 2020
Truszkowski is joined by another member of her same organization who opposes private businesses taking armed security into their own hands, but has also defended those who advocate to “defund the police.”
.@HyVee refuses to prohibit open carry in its stores, which means armed customers in 21 states don’t have to have background checks or safety training. But don’t worry, the company is hiring armed guards to protect you.
Good luck, Hy-Vee customers.✌️ https://t.co/10UXTRtYwo
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) December 30, 2021
New poll: “Most Americans (77%) believe those who use the phrase ‘defund the police’ really just want to change the way police departments operate. Only 18% believe that people who use this phrase actually want to get rid of police departments.” https://t.co/89vI272bzL
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) July 8, 2020
Minneapolis-based “non-binary queer” author D.E. Anderson also criticized Hy-Vee’s new policy from the same account previously used to declare that “cops aren’t going to heaven” and support a bookstore specifically because it displays “a huge Abolish the Police banner.”
Moon Palace is great! They’re right by the third precinct, so they were smack in the middle of the protests last year, and they put a huge Abolish the Police banner in their windows and gave water to protesters. They’re also queer owned (I’m hoping to do my book launch there).
— Mx. D.E. Anderson (@diannaeanderson) November 13, 2021
“I’m done shopping here, Hyvee [sic] can fuck off,” wrote a St. Paul based activist who founded a small group that’s also aligned against law enforcement.
Why in the whole fuck do you need armed security with bulletproof vests in a fucking #hyvee?
I'm done shopping here. Hyvee can fuck off. https://t.co/X8iq2EdQGc
— Corey ↙️↙️↙️ 5️⃣🍦 (@OldAssCorey) December 30, 2021
“Armed security at HyVee? … I’ll now never be going there” another former Hy-Vee patron tweeted. Her account reveals that she’s also tweeted about abolishing the police and prisons. She even posted about how much she enjoys the scene from a horror movie during which a police officer is tortured and killed.
The best part of this movie is a cop being tortured, chased, and killed for zero benefit to the murderer. ACAB
— Anastasia (@AnesthesiaCG) December 13, 2021
“I’ve been a shopper there for years. But will absolutely stop shopping at HyVee if there are armed guards there,” echoes yet another ex-shopper who also hates cops: “fuck the police” they’ve said.