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NYC Bodega Clerk Stabs Customer to Death, Claims Self-Defense

Video footage lends credence to the claim that a New York City bodega worker acted in self-defense when he stabbed an unruly customer who attacked him, reports Reason. Video obtained by the New York Post shows clerk Jose Alba trying to de-escalate the situation after a woman grew incensed that her payment was declined for a bag of chips. "There's money on [a card]," she says, following a tense back-and-forth. "It's not working now," replies Alba, after trying and re-trying the card several times. You fucking piece of shit," she screams. "I'm gonna bring my nigga down here, and he gonna fuck you up. My nigga is gonna come down here right now and fuck you up!"


"That's not my fault it not working, that's not my fault it not working," Alba says. "The machine not working, the card not working." Austin Simon, 35, is seen entering the store while yelling obscenities at Alba. "Papa, papa, I don't want no problem, papa," Alba replies. Surveillance video shows Simon pushing 61-year-old Alba, hovering over him, and trying to pull him out from his workstation. Alba then takes a knife and stabs Simon fatally. Alba was charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon. Simon's girlfriend has not been charged. The ordeal has served as a microcosm for societal disagreements around who qualifies as a victim or a perpetrator. "You are simply rewarding the guilty and punishing the innocent," wrote a bipartisan coalition of New York City lawmakers in a letter to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who ran for office promising to reform the justice system and end mass incarceration.