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NYC Bodega Worker Tried Desperately to Avoid Violence Before Being Forced to Arm Himself: ‘I Don’t Want a Problem, Papa’

A New York City bodega clerk who has been accused of murder in a scuffle started by the boyfriend of an irate customer tried to avoid a confrontation with the man he killed, according to a new video. Bodega workers Jose Alba killed Austin Simon during a July 1 scuffle that took place behind the counter of the bodega when Simon instigated the incident. Video showed Alba being pushed, then recovering to stab Simon. New video obtained by the New York Post showed what took place before the final act of the drama. “Papa, I don’t want a problem, papa,” Alba, said as Simon walked behind the counter. Simon was there because his girlfriend had an argument with Alba after trying to buy a bag of chips for her 10-year-old daughter. Her electronic benefits card was declined, which the woman claims was followed by Alba grabbing the bag from the child. The video shows Alba as the woman asked, “Did you put food?” when he rang up the sale. “OK, mama, let me do it another time. My God,” Alba said. “There’s money on there,” the woman said. The edited footage then incuded the woman cursing at Alba. “You can’t touch my daughter. Don’t snatch that out of my daughter, you f****** piece of s***!” she said. The video does not show if Alba took the bag from the girl. It does, however, record the threats that flow from the woman’s mouth. “I’m gonna bring my n***** down here, and he gonna f*** you up. My n***** is gonna come down here right now and f*** you up!” “That’s not my fault, it’s not working,” Alba replied and went on serving other customers. When asked if the woman and girl took something, he said he took it back. Simon then storms in behind the counter. “What’s up with you? N***** what is wrong with you?” he said. Francisco Marte, the founder of the Bodega and Small Business Group, said Alba was “very sorry for what happened.” “He knew that his life was threatened. He was protecting himself … or we would be looking to bury him today,” Marte said. Alba was originally jailed on $250,000 bail. That was lowered to $50,000 on Thursday, and Alba was back home, according to the New York Post. In an Op-Ed in the New York Post, Adam B. Coleman summed up why the Alba incident has resonated across New York City. “Alba understood the reality: No one was coming to save him. He needed police protection, but there was none in sight at that moment,” Coleman wrote. “Americans used to take solace, perhaps naively, in the knowledge that their right to protect their personhood would always be respected by our justice system, but New York is rapidly proving that presumption false. Jose Alba now must face an uphill battle, fighting to save his good name after being tarred as a murderer and for his freedom, his most cherished asset,” he wrote. “If Alba is somehow found guilty for fighting back against criminal tyranny, then New Yorkers should understand this new reality: When you’re in danger, no one is coming to save you, and if you try to save yourself, you’re likely to be condemned for it.” This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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