Florida Teens Who Allegedly Laughed and Taunted Drowning Man Won't Face Criminal Charges
Police had previously said the teens should be charged for not helping the man, who drowned in pond.
No charges will be filed against five Florida teenagers who allegedly mocked and filmed a drowning man in his final moments, prosecutors said.
The decision was recently made after discussions with the family of Jamel Dunn, whose last minutes were recorded on a cellphone by one of the teens.
“I know that everyone was sickened by the callous disregard for human life exhibited by these young people," State Attorney Phil Archer said in a statement. "We can only hope that this was an isolated and rare circumstance that will never happen again.
"Unfortunately, Florida law does not address this behavior and we are ethically restrained from pursuing criminal charges without a reasonable belief of proving a crime beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt."
The disturbing video generated international attention and prompted state lawmakers to call for "good Samaritan" legislation that would require bystanders to offer their help or call authorities for someone in need.
The measure, however, never reached a vote in the legislature.
The state attorney's office reviewed the 2017 incident, but could not find an applicable law, Archer's office said.
Dunn had been reported missing by his fiancee after he failed to return to his Cocoa home. Friends and family posted on social media that Dunn had several tattoos and walked with a limp.
Family members were later alerted to a video posted on social media showing a man drowning while laughter and taunts can be heard.
Off camera, several voices are heard making fun of the man, who is screaming for help.
"Bruh's drowinng, what the heck," one teen is heard saying. "Ain't nobody gonna help you, you dumb (expletive)."
The video was given to investigators, who said the teens should be charged with wrongdoing. The case was then forwarded to prosecutors.
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