Note: This article contains coarse language that may offend some readers.
“I don’t even know if I can think of words to describe it."
Police Chief Mike Cantaloupe of Cocoa, Florida seemed to be at a loss for words following the surfacing of a disturbing video that showed teenagers mocking a drowning man.
The video soon made national news, due in part to its heinous nature. The disabled man who drowned in the video was 31-year-old Jamel Dunn.
The teenagers shouted filthy epithets at the dying man:
- “We not gonna help your ass!”
- “You a f****n’ junkie!”
- “Get out the water, you gonna die!”
- “Ain’t nobody’s gonna to help you, you dumb b***h! You shouldn’t of got in there!”
Reports surfaced that the teenagers would not be charged, after officials' initial statements on the case. NBC News, for example:
Five Florida teenagers who mocked a drowning man, and filmed his final moments, won't face criminal charges, authorities said.
The alleged culprits range from ages 14 to 18 years old. Florida law does not require intervention to save a citizen in mortal danger. But the teens have made an enemy of Police Chief Cantaloupe, who is spearheading an effort to make sure they receive justice for their behavior.
He's charging them with violating Florida Statute 406.12: Failure to report a death.
The teens admitted they knew the man was dead after he drowned:
- “He just died!” one teen exclaimed and laughed.
- “This man ain’t getting back up,” another said.
- “Yeah, he dead, but he gone,” one teen said. “RIP.”
“It’s our belief that this law has never been enforced in a scenario like this, but we feel it could be applicable,” the police chief said. “What it comes down to is it’s a moral issue.”
“There is absolutely no justification for what the teens did,” he continued. “Pursuing criminal charges is a way to hold them accountable for their own actions.”
“I think that would be the huge win, I think that would be justice,” he told News 6. “We don’t want another family to go through what the Dunn family has gone through.”