We’re the Florida reporters who found that cops showed up to Walmart more than anywhere else -- and taxpayers footed the bill. We packaged the story like a retro computer. Ask us anything!
Our short bio: We’re Zack Sampson, Laura Morel and Eli Murray, cops and data reporters at the Tampa Bay Times. We just published a story showing how Walmarts in Tampa Bay drew 16,800 police calls in a year. That’s two an hour, every hour, every day. A lot of it was for shoplifting, like the guy who drank a 98-cent iced tea without paying and spent 10 days in jail. But even more was for plain disorder, like the drunk guy screaming at the deli or the man who ripped open packages of diapers or the loudmouth teens cursing at the manager. Walmart wouldn’t let us inside their loss prevention office, so we got body camera footage of deputies going inside.
- /u/zacksampson - Cops reporter
- /u/lauracmorel - Cops reporter
- /u/elimurray - Data analyst/Web developer
Edit: Thank you to everyone that participated today and took the time to ask such awesome questions! We're going take a break to recoup and get some other work done but we'll be around into the night so if you have any other questions please, please keep them coming. And don't forget to check out the story at www.tampabay.com/walmartcops if you have yet to do so!
Edit 2: Just made tacos let's keep these great Q's coming, folks!
Edit 3: Alright folks, it's been fun and insightful but 9 hours of reddit is about all I can take. I'll swing by in the morning to answer some more questions.