Capital job, citizens of Hartford!

By now I’m sure most have seen the video…Here it is, in case you haven’t.

A 78 year old man gets run down like a dog in the street and a crowd of worthless shitbags gawk, point, or just walk or drive by, not bothering to stop and help this poor man.

This may be RO, but it’s no less real. How do these worthless shitholes sleep at night? Another HUMAN BEING HAS BEEN STRUCK BY A CAR! HE NEEDS YOUR HELP! GO HELP HIM! Stop traffic. Call 911. DO something! Even if it’s only to comfort him and let him know help is on the way, even if it isn’t, that man should not have been left in the street to die. Alone.

This video exemplifies everything that’s wrong with our country today. From the top to the bottom. There is no excuse, NONE WHAT-SO-EVER for not, at the very least, going to the man and standing or kneeling by his side and talking to him, whether or not he could hear you. I know not everybody’s cut out to deal with trauma, that’s why I have a job, but you can’t tell me that with everybody that gathered to take-in this mans’ suffering, that not ONE of them had it within to at least make sure that Mr. Torres didn’t die alone on that street.

Every one of you so-called bystanders who simply stood there and did nothing should be ashamed of yourselves. You’re not worthy of being called Americans, you’re barely worthy of being called human.

Let me make it clear. I’m not debating this. NO ONE HELPED HIM. THAT. IS. UNACCEPTABLE. It’s not who we are here, but it’s who we’ve become. There is no reason for this, NOT ONE GOOD, SOLID REASON that not one of the rubber-necked sacks of rotten meat that were standing around watching this man die, didn’t go to him. This wasn’t on an expressway where traffic was uncontrollable, this was on a downtown street an a day that wasn’t all that busy according to the footage.

This nation and its’ citizens have lost their will. No one has the courage to take the lead. No one stands up and says NO! THIS WILL NOT DO! I’LL HELP! We allow these, our baser instincts to rule us and when an innocent man gets run under by a couple of worthless shitbags (who when caught ought to be flung into a brick wall from a trebuchet repeatedly until dead) we turn from fellow citizens into worthless onlookers. The onlookers in turn become no better than the mutts who committed the original crime.
Years of this so-called “reality” TV and jackass-style videos has turned us into a nation of spectators. We see something horrible happen and instead of having the courage of our fathers and grandfathers and run TOWARD it to fix or help the problem, we pull up a chair, slap our fat asses in it, and wait to see what happens next.

The problem is, we already know what happens next.

Now that’s out of my system, I know how generous, helpful and good our nation has been and can be, I wish. No. I HOPE, that sometime in the next decade or so, we become worthy of the respect we demand, because this example is a shining one of just how low we’ve sunk.

P.S. Kudos to the four people of the dozen or better that saw this happen who called 911. You at least called somebody to help.

I don’t buy that ‘this is what we have become’. This incident is famous because it is so strange in our experience that nobody should help. Should it have happened? No. But it’s in no way indicative of a trend - our shock indicates quite the contrary.

The bystander effect is a longstanding problem, and it has less to do with whether people care or not than with whether people want to assume responsibility for something. If they think they can abdicate responsibility to somebody else they’ll go about their business, and the end result is that nobody does anything. Does that make them bad people? No, it makes them human. It’s just sad, really.

It’s a long known unfortunate aspect of human nature that when something bad like that happens in front of a group of people, sometimes nobody does anything because they expect somebody else to do something. It doesn’t excuse anybody, IMHO, but it’s got little or nothing to do with reality tv.

I watched the video, and it doesn’t seem that bad to me.

  1. The Police reversed themselves and said that they actually received four 911 calls, so it’s likely that some of the people who drove by or stood nearby were the ones who called.

  2. The video lasts for one minute before the police arrive, and people were moving out into the street to help right before then. I can see being outraged if the guy had laid there for ages, but one minute doesn’t seem excessive to me.

  3. I’ve heard many times over the years that if someone possibly has a neck or spinal injury, you shouldn’t move him cause you might just make things worse.
    If I had been there, my first instinct would have been to call 911. And I probably would have been just standing there talking to the 911 operator, which would take more than the one minute of the video. And depending on the angle of the security camera, it possibly would have looked like I was standing there doing nothing.

I wouldn’t have touched him, cause I wouldn’t want to make things worse. I would have stepped into the street to stop traffic, but I don’t know if I would have done this before or after finishing the 9-1-1 call.

As a similar point of reference that just happened recently I was at a busy interesection and there was a man in a powered wheelchair about to cross.
He went over the sloped curb the wrong way and his chair tipped and he fell out of it onto the ground.
As I crossed the intersection I immediately pulled over (not 10 seconds later) to get out and help him but was beaten to the punch by no less than 3 other cars that had stopped in traffic (stopping traffic) to help the guy back up.

I have no data to back it up the following statement, only experience, but I disagree. We don’t have the same pride, the same courage, the same convictions we once did. Yes, we’ve taken steps forward, however we’ve followed those up with the same number and one more step(s) back.
We’ve lost that thing that made us, us.
Rather, we’ve exchanged that thing for giant homes, expensive cars, and a whole host of nonsensical status symbols that we’re afraid to lose to a fractured legal system and some dopey prick with a scumbag for a lawyer who will successfully take ALL of those things away if we decide to help, or, god forbid, protect ourselves from those who seek to do us harm.

The trend part has come and gone. This is who we are, at least culturally, today. Perhaps we can do something about it. Perhaps common sense will, once again, prevail. The odds however, in my experience, are against it.

I just rewatched the video and I’m even less outraged than before. Let’s see:

The man is hit at the :22 second mark. Right after he’s hit, the SUV that was nearby pulls over immdiately, you can see the group on the left sidewalk have a shocked response.

One of the group pauses for a couple of seconds with her hands on her head, then walks out to the street to take a closer look at the man (:31 mark). She then walks back to her friends, saying something (telling them to call 911 maybe?)

At the :36 mark, a man walking up the sidewalk pulls out his phone and makes a call (911?).

At the :42 mark, the SUV pulls away (had the driver called 911?)

At the :49 mark, a pedestrian comes into the street and flags down a car and tells them something (does he tell them to call 911?)

At the 1:00 mark, people walk into the street and lean over the man to look at him (and, in my opinion, do the right thing by not trying to move him). At 1:09, one of the men steps closer and seems to say something to the victim (from his gesture, it looks as if he’s telling the guy to be still).

At 1:08, someone riding a moped circles around to see what’s going on, then pulls off in the opposite direction after about 10 seconds (going to get help?) Meanwhile, more people are running into the street.

Around 1:23, the police cruiser arrives.

Reports of Mr. Torres’ death have been greatly exaggerated.

Yeah, all in all, that’s a pretty rapid response.

As well, the two cars that hit him pull off onto the side street right away. It may be that they were just taking the next turn en route to their destination, but it also may be that they wanted to find a place to pull over so that they could get out and find out if the guy was OK. (Though last I heard, the drivers had not been identified.)

Well, I say “reality TV” because it’s an easy reference, but it IS about more than that. You can’t blame the medium per se, but you can blame the continuation and indeed the increase in the spectator (or bystander if you’d rather) mentality on shows that are the media equivalent of rubber necking at a car crash.

It’s a kind of offshoot (no pun intended) of the assassination of JFK on live TV. Denis Leary did a bit about this years ago, how no one wanted to turn off the TV ever again after seeing the president murdered on live TV. I don’t think he knew how right he was. Today, I think, is the natural outcropping of that gut level need to “watch” as long as we can.

I am on a treadmill every morning. In front of a TV. I watch VH1 most mornings because of their video show “Jump Start” (which is 1/2 video 1/2 ad for other shows on VH1, but I digress) and there I see ads for;

Rock of Love II, where slutty girls vie for the right to “be” with washed-up rocker Bret Michaels.

Flavor of Love III, where slutty girls vie for the right to “be” with washed-up rapper and current nutjob, Flavor Flav.

Celebracadabra, where washed up b,c and d list celebs try and do sleight of hand illusions and pull their non-existant careers out of a hat.

VH1 All Access: Where the cameras see everything that’s everything about how awesome it is to be a star.

That’s not a comprehensive list, but still.

Then, I switch to MTV where I see:

A shot at love II with Tila Tequila, where sluts of both male and female variety vie for the right to “be” with previously unknown web-temptress Tila Tequila.

My Super Sweet 16, where moron parents of rich kids blow insanely huge amonts of money on their idiot kids’ 16th birthday parties, and the little bastards show their gratitude by picking the parents apart and dressing them down in front of the cameras.

Jackass, which, while it has it’s funny parts, is grossly overblown as entertainment.

And last but in no way least The Real World. Which resembles the actual world in no way shape fashion or form.

That’s two networks of hundreds that exist that are, IMHO, not the problem, but the biggest exacerbation of the problem, that I can think of.

I did not say he was dead, but he was an old man struck by a speeding car, a resonable bystander might assume that there’s a pretty good chance he was going to die after being hit like that. I would bet that even HE thought he was going to die. If you were in that situation, what would you think of those bearing witness?

Regardless of the outrage of the OP (in which I generally share - I would have dropped everything right then to help this guy)…

The “bystander effect” be damned - they are still bad people.

When my boyfriend and I rolled our car while driving through bad weather in Maine this winter, we were perfectly okay (if upside down). We climbed out of our car and right into the highway patrol truck that had been driving behind us and pulled over. While we waited in the truck for the state trooper to arrive and take a report, several cars pulled over to help and we had to climb out of the truck to reassure them that we were okay.

I don’t think we’re going to hell in a handbasket just yet.

“How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!
She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.
Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude: she dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest: all her persecutors overtook her between the straits.
The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts: all her gates are desolate: her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness.” - Lamentations 1:1-4, KJV.

I mentioned that. Last sentence of the post.

The cops didn’t arrive in one minute because they were called, the cruiser was on the way somewhere else and stopped. Let’s hope you never have to find out how long a minute can be.

And you’d be right, which is why I said "there is no excuse… for not, at the very least, going to the man and standing or kneeling by his side and talking to him. Nobody showed him simple human kindness or compassion, rather, they stood there, slack-jawed and staring at a man who, for all they knew was seconds from death. That’s bullshit.

Would you have been standing on the sidewalk, or by his side?

But you would have gone to him, no?

At what point in the past do you think American society had the perfect mix of “convictions”?

People have, quite literally for all of recorded history, said “back in the olden days, it was better than now.”

If I had any ire to spare as I thought I was dying, it would probably be reserved for…say…the person who killed me?

As already mentioned, barely a single minute goes by until the police arrive. Who knows what went thgrough the minds of the witnesses?

Paralysis from shock?
Fear of lawsuit for touching a guy they thought dying?
Fear of blood-borne pathogens?
Fear of being struck themselves after watching a guy thrown head over heels like that?
Reluctance to get involved, assumption someone else more qualified qould surely step forth or show up any second?
At least four of the ppl were busy calling 911, which if untrained- I would prefer they do before touching me.
One guy appears to approach him and seems to be gesturing, he may have been telling him help was on the way, or to lay still and that he’d be OK, etc. We don’t know.

I’m not sure physical proximity puts a moral obligation on a person to help. As I type this and munch a cookie, there are people all over the world hurt/starving/dying. Am I more obligated if I see an accident from the sidewalk then from my car? From the oncoming lane vs. the same direction? From within the ground floor shop window or from my second story balcony? Way down the road or through binoculars? From across the globe on TV/internet instead of word of mouth in adjacent country?

There’s always somebody closer, someone more obligated and better qualified to help, right? Until it’s you standing there. I like to think I ould leap in to action, but I’m not going to assume I wouldn’t panic/freeze for SIXTY SECONDS or less in denial.

I don’t think it ever did, have the perfect mix, because with those “olden” days ideals went discrimination and hatred along with a host of other backward ills, but I can tell you this much; My father and his father would have gone toward this man to render him aid. They were right bastards the both of them, and they lived between the 1900’s and 2008. The commitment to what is right, indeed, the principles of humanity are unchanging and belong not to a time in history, but to history itself. What is right is always right, what is wrong is always wrong. This does not apply to meaningless things like cultural rules and laws, but to those unseen, unspoken things that bind us as citizens of the earth and as human beings.

If I had any ire to spare as I thought I was dying, it would probably be reserved for…say…the person who killed me?


All things I addressed in the OP. You intimating those things serves to prove my point.

Really? You’re not sure?

Hopefully you never have to find out.
You can pick it apart as much as you want, that’s not going to change the fact that