Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Drowning Stream

Is being a heartless bystander a crime?
Authorities originally indicated the teens — who range in age from 14 to 18 — couldn’t be charged since they weren’t directly involved in the July 9 death of 31-year-old Jamel Dunn, and state law doesn’t require bystanders to intervene when someone is in distress.

“I want to think that’s a natural instinct for any of us, that if we saw somebody in trouble or somebody having an issue, that we would at least try to get them help,” Cantaloupe added.

But police said they’ll pursue a misdemeanor charge of failure to report a death under Florida Statute 406.12 — and whether the charges stick or not will be up to the State Attorney’s Office.

“It’s our belief that this law has never been enforced in a scenario like this, but we feel it could be applicable,” Cantaloupe said, adding that “what it comes down to is it’s a moral issue.”

“There is absolutely no justification for what the teens did,” he added. “Pursuing criminal charges is a way to hold them accountable for their own actions.”
There's no law that says you have to help someone. But acting like an idiot while watching it happen doesn't exactly help your case, either.

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