A group of Florida teens who recorded themselves mocking a disabled man as he drowned may face criminal charges, reports the Washington Post.
Jamel Dunn, 32, drowned in a Cocoa, Florida pond on July 9. According to the outlet, as he was struggling to get out of the water and calling for help a group of teens whose ages ranged from 14 to 16 recorded and taunted him yelling things like “Get out the water, Yo,” and “You shouldn’t have gone in.”
According to Yvonne Martinez, a spokesperson for the Cocoa Police Department, the teens did nothing to help Dunn. A video of the encounter, which was approximately 2 minutes, was later posted on social media and discovered by authorities.
On Friday, Cocoa City Mayor Henry Parrish III shared that the teens may face first-degree misdemeanor charges for their failure to tell authorities about Dunn’s death, writes the outlet. “What we’ve all witnessed here does not represent the citizens of our community,” said Mayor Parrish in a statement, according to the source. “This is an isolated act of unspeakable inhumanity and in no way is a reflection of our community.”
Martinez says several concerned residents have contacted the police department about the incident demanding that the teens be held accountable, reports the outlet. Dunn’s death has prompted law enforcement officials to demand that state leaders revise a law related to the failure to render aid.
The Washington Post reports that Dunn was at the pond after he had a falling out with his fiancée. His fiancée reported him missing on July 12 and his body was discovered on July 14. A loved one later noticed that he was the person drowning in the video that the teens posted on social media.
His family is outraged over the incident. “They should have called 9-1-1,” wrote his sister Simone Scott in a Facebook post, according to the Washington Post. She also says that her family wasn’t immediately contacted to identify Dunn’s body.
There is an ongoing investigation surrounding Dunn’s death.
SOURCE: Washington Post