UPDATE: Police have found an obscure law with which to charge the teens. Read more here.
A group of teenagers who watched and laughed as a man drowned in Florida last week, won’t face any criminal charges.
Jamel Dunn, 31, drowned in a retention pond in the city of Cocoa, Fla., July 12. His body was recovered July 14, two days after his fiancée reported him missing.
Cocoa police said they later discovered a group of teens recorded his drowning on video. The video was released by the state attorney’s office Thursday and audio was published by Florida Today.
The teens can be heard laughing at Dunn, telling him he’s going die and they weren’t going to help him.
“Get out the water, you gonna die,” one of the teenagers in the video yelled. “Ain’t nobody fixing to help you,” another one yelled. As Dunn disappears under the water, one of the teenagers is heard saying “Oh, he just died.”
The teenagers did not call 911, according to police.
Dunn’s body was found near the pond days later.
Police identified and interviewed the five teens involved.
WATCH: 3 Good Samaritans rescue man who fell into Lake Ontario
Cocoa Police Chief Mike Cataloupe calls their actions “utterly inhumane and cruel,” but says criminal charges won’t be filed because state law doesn’t require people to give or call for help when someone’s in distress.
The Brevard County State Attorney’s office called the incident a “tragedy” and said the teens’ lack of action had “no moral justification,” USA Today reported.
A GoFundMe page has been set up, asking donors to help defray the cost of the funeral.
Duty to rescue?
Under a duty to rescue law, a party can be held liable for failing to help another person in danger. At a minimum, bystanders are required to call emergency officials when they witness a person in distress.
A majority of the states in America do not have a duty to rescue law — but 10 do, including Florida. The laws are limited rules that may require a citizen to help a crime victim without danger or peril to yourself or to others.
The law in Florida only covers reporting a sexual battery if witnessed or suspected, according to The Volokh Conspiracy, a blog written mainly by law professors.
Quebec is the only province in Canada to have the duty to protect in its Charter of Rights. It states that “Every person must come to the aid of anyone whose life is in peril.”
The duty to rescue law is different from the good Samaritan law, which protects those who try to help in an emergency situation from being sued. In Canada, each province has its own act. Every state in the U.S. also has a good Samaritan law, which differs in every jurisdiction.
WATCH: Good Samaritan stops man assaulting EPS officer