Police pursue misdemeanor charges against teens who they say recorded man's drowning

Violet Powell
July 23, 2017

The disturbing video went viral this week, showing the group laughing and taunting 32-year-old Jamel Dunn as he struggled in a pond in Cocoa, a coastal city near Orlando. She later reported him missing when he didn't return home.

After the video went viral on social media, family of the deceased shared it with the police.

Dunn's sister said she could understand not wanting to dive into the water - Florida is an alligator-infested state - but she lamented the fact that none of teens called 9-1-1, instead choosing to mock the drowning man.

"Ain't nobody fixing to help you, you dumb [expletive]", one of the teens shouted as Dunn sank into the murky water.

When Dunn finally disappeared under water, one of the teens said flatly, "Oh, he just died".

The teens can be heard warning the man that he was "going to die" and they were not going to help him.

"I think there should be some type of laws put in place that if someone's asking for help that you should be obligated to at least call 911", she said. "(The teens) were telling him they weren't going in after him and that 'you shouldn't have gone in there". Martinez continued, "Anyone who could just watch a man die like that is beyond heartless".

Although it may not have been seen as a possible outcome, given Florida state law, that charges would be handed down to the five teens who recorded and mocked a drowning disabled man, it seems authorities viewed their inaction as an egregious enough offense to change the law.

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He reportedly walked to the pond after an argument with his fiancee.

According to the police, Dunn was last seen in a red hat reading "Only God can judge me".

On the video, Jamel Dunn's head is barely visible in a pond, actively drowning.

'They didn't call the police.

'The family is frustrated ... the detectives are frustrated, that we can not hold anyone accountable for this, ' reiterated Martinez. The video was released by the state attorney's office Thursday and audio was published by Florida Today. "They were watching him", Martinez said.

The teens will not likely face charges because there wasn't enough evidence to justify they were involved in the incident, The Brevard County State Attorney's Office said in a statement.

"We are a law enforcement agency that is here to enforce the laws, but if there isn't a law that applies to this kind of behavior then there probably should be", she said. The ages 14 to 16-year-olds watch him struggle and ultimately fall under the water.

The family and friends of Dunn have set up a GoFund Me page to ask for help in funding his funeral.

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