Jamel Dunn, 32, drowned in a lake July 9 as the group of teens reportedly watched and laughed in Cocoa, Florida
Jamel Dunn’s head can be seen just above the surface of the water in this screenshot from the disturbing video.
A GROUP of teenagers who filmed and mocked a disabled man as he drowned in a lake and then posted the horrible footage on Facebook look set to receive a slap on the wrist for their callous actions.
Jamel Dunn, 32, drowned in a lake in Cocoa, Florida as the five youths laughed, jeered and smoked weed while capturing the tragedy on their mobile phones.
Public outrage over the sick clip reached fever pitch on Friday after prosecutors revealed that under state law, people were not required to provide or seek aid for those in need, so the teens could not be charged for their failure to assist Dunn.
This did not sit well with Cocoa Police chief Michael Cantaloupe, who “looked long and hard” at Florida law to find a way to make the boys accountable for the “immorality of their actions”.
He found the answer in Florida Statute 406.12 which states: “It is the duty of any person in the district where a death occurs, who becomes aware of the death of any person occurring … must report such death and circumstances to the district medical examiner”.
However, the charge is a misdemeanour, which carries a paltry US$1000 fine (AUD 1262).
Chief Cantaloupe said a far as he was aware, it was the first time the law had been used in this way.
“We don’t want another family have to go through what the Dunn family has went through (sic),” he told reporters at the weekend.
“Building better laws, working with juveniles and establishing better family relationships may prevent another situation.”
Jamel Dunn, a 32-year-old father of two, drowned in a lake July 9 as the group of teens filmed and mocked him. They later posted the horrific footage to Facebook.Source:Supplied
It was not clear when the teens, who are aged between 14 and 16 and cannot be identified, would be charged but US media report that police are in the process of obtaining warrants for their arrests.
Police said that the teens told Mr Dunn, who walked with a cane and was father to two young girls, not to go into the water.
“The kids were at the park that day smoking marijuana and apparently saw him walk into the water. He walked in on his own. They were watching him,” police spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez said.
No one stopped filming to call 911 when he started having trouble staying above water.
The video, which has been viewed more than three million times on Facebook, shows Mr Dunn struggling in the murky water and screaming for help as the teens continue to make fun of him.
“Ain’t nobody going to help you, you dumb bitch,” one can be heard shouting to Mr Dunn.
“You shouldn’t have gone in there.”
Another can be heard yelling, “Ain’t nobody fixing to help you, you dumb (expletive).”
As Mr Dunn’s head disappears beneath the water’s surface, somebody says: “Oh, he just died.”
His badly decomposed body was not found until three days later. During that time, Mr Dunn’s family and fiancee, who had reported him missing, were beside themselves with worry.
Jamel Dunn’s head can be seen just above the surface of the water in this screenshot from the disturbing video.Source:Supplied
Incredibly, the teens then posted several clips of Mr Dunn drowning to Facebook, where they were circulated before coming to the attention of his family, who reported the footage to police.
Under questioning by police, the youths appeared to show no sadness for Mr Dunn’s death or any remorse for their behaviour.
According to Ms Martinez, one of the teens stared straight ahead during his interview “with a smirk on his face” while his distraught mother sat beside him and cried.
Mr Dunn’s sister Simone McIntosh said her family was struggling to understand how he died and how others could have watched him die and do nothing.
“(Okay), I agree they don’t have to help, but they should have called 9-1-1,” she said in a social media post.
“My brother is disabled and walks with a cane … please make it make sense to me.”
A GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Mr Dunn’s funeral and help support his daughters, aged 11 and six, has raised more than US$35,000 in six days.
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