It has become tragically common to see in the media incidents in which people, including teens, stand by and film while their friends and acquaintances are brutally beaten, sexually abused, or killed due to a drug overdose. Not only are teens failing to intervene, but they are also posting these disturbing videos to social media to entertain their peers.
In one such case in Chicago, a mentally disabled 15-year-old girl was attacked while others filmed. Days before the attack, she had been reported missing. Her father found her, took her to a hospital and spoke to the police. The people she had spent that time with claimed to be her friends. They taught her how to flash gang signs and some reports indicated that they tried to pressure her into performing sexual acts. After finding out that she and her father had spoken to the police, the group attacked her. The people involved in the attack were 4 girls ages 13,14 and two 15 year olds. Some other bystanders were just watching the whole scene and laughing at her. One member of the group who attacked her filmed it. Others can be seen in the video walking by. The video was later obtained by a friend of the victim and posted on Twitter.
Another incident resulted in the death of a 16-year-old boy named Khaseen Morris. He was in his senior year in Oceanside High School. The previous day before he was seen walking with a girl, whose ex-boyfriend was looking for a fight. He was invited to a confrontation in a strip mall parking lot after the last bell. 50 teenagers were there to watch the fight. About seven males participated in the attack on Morris and there were many other bystanders watching and or filming the scene. He was badly stabbed in the chest and was later brought to the hospital, where he died shortly after arrival. 18-year-old Tyler Flach was charged with second-degree murder, five other teenagers were also arrested.
“He was in so much pain,” said Morris’s older sister, Keyanna, as she watched the video. She stated that he just moved to this school, for a fresh new start to get him away from bullies. “He told my mom, this is the first time in so long that he’s been so happy. They finally found a school that he could be himself with nobody judging him. He found new friends. He was so happy,” Keyanna told ABC7. “He was a person that would help anyone, and no one helped him,” she said with tears rolling down her face.
Another incident in which bystanders filmed rather than helped occurred in a skatepark in British Columbia when a 14-year-old boy named Carson Crimeni died from a drug overdose. His family may believe that someone may have given him the drugs. The suspects of the boy stood by laughing, and taking videos of the boy overdosing, and posted this on social media. His grandfather found him face down, still breathing at that time but unconscious on the pavement of the skate park. Crimeni later died in the hospital.
Similarly, another young person who overdosed was also filmed by his friends: Josh Chouinard, who was described by an acquaintance as a “troubled” teen who “felt like nobody in the world had cared for him.” Josh’s peers recorded his overdose and posted it on Snapchat.
These cases are becoming increasingly more common and don’t just stop at those few.
The Nassau County Police detective who investigated Khaseen Morris’s death, Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick expressed shock and outrage at what appears to be a habit of young people filming tragedies rather than intervening.
“I don’t know what to make of it, my generation versus this generation,” he said. “This can’t go on. Your friends are dying while you stand there and video it. That’s egregious.”
Image Credits: Akira Fox