Police Seek Charges Against Teens Who Allegedly Taunted Man on Video as He Drowned
Cocoa, Fla., police want misdemeanor charges pursued against the kids.
Police in Florida intend to pursue criminal charges against a group of teens who allegedly taunted a man on video as he died.
Cocoa police want the teenage boys to be charged despite a statement from the state attorney's office that the case lacks sufficient evidence to support criminal charges in the death of 32-year-old Jamel Dunn.
"We are deeply saddened and shocked at both the manner in which Mr. Dunn lost his life and the actions of the witnesses to this tragedy," the state attorney's office said in a statement. "While the incident depicted on the recording does not give rise to sufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution under Florida statutes, we can find no moral justification for either the behavior of persons heard on the recording or the deliberate decision not to render aid to Mr. Dunn."
When police hand over their recommendation, it will be up to the state attorney to assign it to a prosecutor or to dismiss it.
Outrage over the case first began last week when the video that cops called "extremely disturbing" made the rounds on social media. It depicted a drowning man's final moments as recorded by several teens who allegedly did nothing to help.
The minute-long video depicts Dunn as he died in a retention pond in Cocoa on July 9.
According to police, five teens ages 14 to 16, watched and recorded the incident without so much as an offer of help.
Yet authorities initially deemed the teens broke no laws.
"The video was brought to our attention this past weekend," Cocoa police said in a statement. "Our detectives reviewed the video. The five juveniles who recorded the incident were identified and interviewed. The State Attorney’s Office was consulted regarding what, if any criminal charges could be applied in this incident."
However, police appear to have changed their mind amid public outcry.
On Wednesday, the Cocoa Police Department will hand over a recommendation to charge the teens with misdemeanor counts of failure to report a death to the state attorney's office.
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