A disturbing video showing a couple overdosing on heroin on a Memphis, Tennessee sidewalk has gone viral, in part because of criticism that witnesses were recording the spectacle and laughing, rather than helping.
According to WREG Memphis, police said the married couple had snorted some heroin Monday afternoon in a bathroom at a Walgreens store.
As the drugged-up couple stumbled along a sidewalk just outside of the store, a Memphis resident decided to live stream the incident on social media as onlookers laugh and comment on the spectacle.
“They out here f***ed up!” Courtland Garner wrote as he went live on Facebook. “Damn they’re on some good dope,” Garner said.
According to WREG Memphis, someone called 911 after driving by and seeing the couple on the sidewalk.
The video shows a man unconscious as his body lays awkwardly over a seat at a bus stop. Several onlookers are seen in video as people are heard laughing at the couple.
Garner’s video has been viewed over 2 million times as of Thursday morning. The man spoke to the news station defending his decision to not help the couple and decided to live stream it instead.
“I thought about it but it wasn’t any of my business to help,” Garner told WREG Memphis. “What they were doing was children things. It was a spectacle. It made me laugh. They can help themselves.”
The man said he didn’t call 911 because someone already had.
“I know for a fact all the kids are on social media, and when kids see that video, you know what they are going to say? I don’t want to look stupid like that I don’t want to do those drugs,” Garner said in the interview.
Garner was heavily criticised on social media for live streaming the couple.
“The fact that you think this is entertaining is disgusting,” Jada Maria wrote on Facebook.
“Why are people filming instead of helping the human race is disgusting,” Deon Antonia Husbands chimed in.
Others defended Garner, saying it’s the couple’s problem.
“You get that high in public, you deserve to get ridiculed,” Tinisha Shána Harris said.
“They decided to use drugs can’t blame nobody but them,” Nessa Johnson said.
The couple were revived by first responders and the woman was arrested on an outstanding warrant.
WATCH: Pennsylvania police found two adults dead from a suspected drug overdose after a seven-year-old girl told school officials she was unable to wake her parents up. Courtney Brennan reports.
Heroin has plagued several states in recent weeks. Last month, an Ohio police department released photos showing a 4-year-old boy sitting in a vehicle behind two slumped-over adults who were later revived after overdosing on heroin.
“We feel it necessary to show the other side of this horrible drug. We feel we need to be a voice for the children caught up in this horrible mess,” East Liverpool police said.
As the Associated Press points out, seven people died of drug overdoses in the Cleveland area on Saturday alone adding to the 52 people who died from heroin or fentanyl in August.
Cuyahoga County, which has about 1.2 million residents, is on pace to record more than 500 overdose deaths from heroin or fentanyl this year.
Earlier this week, a 7-year-old girl told school officials in Pennsylvania she couldn’t wake up her parents. The parents were found dead after a suspected opiate overdose.
Meanwhile, Canadian health officials have been battling the ongoing opioid crisis that has stretched across the country.
B.C. has seen 371 drug deaths related to fentanyl between Jan. 1 and July 31 of this year, more than three times the 82 fentanyl-related deaths that occurred over the same period last year.
–with a file from Andrew Russell