The following article discusses in detail the events surrounding the drowning death of Florida resident, Jamel Dunn, on July 9th. It will be disturbing to pretty much everyone. We have also included the video at the end of the article.
MIAMI (AP) — It may be reprehensible and morally outrageous, but legal experts say a group of Florida teens had no obligation to rescue a drowning disabled man they instead mocked, laughed at and recorded on a video that was later posted online.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in a 2012 legal argument, summarized that across the U.S. there's no general duty to render aid to someone in distress. "You don't have the duty to rescue someone if that person is in danger."
The case in central Florida's Brevard County involves the July 12th drowning of Jamel Dunn, 31, in a retention pond. Police in the city of Cocoa discovered later that five teenagers, ages 14 to 16, had made a video of the drowning. The teens can be heard laughing at Dunn, telling him he's going die and that they weren't going to help him as he struggled and screamed.
Police identified and interviewed the five teens involved. The office of State Attorney Phil Archer initially determined there was no immediate indication that a crime was committed because state law does not require people to give or call for help when someone is in distress.
Many countries, including Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy and Russia, do have laws requiring people to render aid, even if it means only summoning authorities. And violations in some countries can result in prison time.
But Florida's law is hardly unique across the U.S., legal experts said. "Generally, throughout the U.S., there is no duty to rescue," said David Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor now in private practice.
There are some differences in various states, but Weinstein said exceptions typically include required assistance in car crashes; for people in special relationships with others such as police officers, firefighters, teachers, married couples, common carriers such as bus drivers and employers; and if you yourself put the other person in danger in the first place.
Some states, such as Nebraska, require most people — especially professionals — to report suspected child abuse or face possible misdemeanor charges, said attorney Jeffrey Lapin in Lincoln, Nebraska. He agreed the Florida teenagers committed no crime. "While it is morally and ethically wrong, it is not illegal to not render aid or make extremely despicable comments," Lapin said in an email Friday.
The Cocoa mayor, Parrish, was even more blunt: "Never in my life would I have ever thought we would need a law to make this happen," he said.
Article Originally Published by the Associated Press - Edited by the Omaha Liberty Herald
Youtube Video by RawLeaks
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