posts 31 - 45 of 45
epicgamer_xx
Posts: 2
We can all agree that the situation in itself was incredibly twisted, and Sherrice Iverson's death was the consequence of a variety of factors that surprisingly, all acted against her favor. of a While many of us may agree that we would like to be the upstander, it's not an easy as it sounds like.I do believe Cash should have acted upon moral responsibility and interfered by attempting to stop his friend, physically or verbally, before anything got worse. When all the other people were missing at such a crucial time, such as his father, the security camera people, and Iverson's brother and father, he was there, and he could have saved Iverson from being assaulted and ultimately, killed. Although, I do recognize that it's not always so easy to be an upstander, and Cash would have had to be an upstander against his best friend. For the majority of us, it might not seem so difficult given the gravity of the situation and knowing now about what happened, but we don't know anything else about their relationship. This may seem to be a bit of a stretch, but Cash's inaction could have been triggered by a variety of reasons, such as by toxic masculinity, the fear of losing a friend, stuck in a toxic friendship, confusion, etc. I also agree with @moioma that shock was probably a major reason why Cash was unable to act. He has mentioned in his interview that he saw a lot of potential in Strohmeyer and they were good friends. Seeing him to be a "bad person" can be triggering and traumatizing, especially in the moment, and especially with someone you've built trust with over the years.


Therefore, I believe that a person who witnesses another wrong does not have an obligation to help, but it should be highly encouraged. We never know the situation of the bystander---some may have their lives jeopardized, other may have trauma that prevents them from acting out, but at the end of the day, helping out is a choice, not a law. There should not be any legal obligation for witnesses to help out in difficult situations.

Much of the bystander energy also stems from societal norms and societal issues that has more to do with society than the individual themselves. In Judy Harris's "The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age," watchers of a fire decided to record fires blazing on a 3-story building rather than check to see if anybody was still in the building. Passengers on the 36 bus in a Boston Globe article by Brian McGrory ignored the assault of an 8 year-old boy by a much older man. We cannot always blame the witnesses, but instead the system in which society raises them to ignore. For example, our phones have been an easy way for us to escape unwanted situations, and can sometimes even act as a distraction. Now that we're becoming more technology-driven, we're relying on these devices more to help us cope with stress. In America, we also have a strong mind-your-own-business vibe, and it's really not easy to break out of routine to help someone.

Lastly, I agree with @deviouseggplant24 in that I think that I would be the person standing up in a situation like this, but it's incredibly scary to witness and I'm not too sure I would have acted heroically and stood up. Formerly, I've always been afraid to challenge anybody, even the people I was close to, in fear of rejection. I hope my post reveals a couple insights into the possible arguments in defense of the witness.

swiss cheese yeezys
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 1

Bystander to perpetrator

Bystanders to a crime or dangerous activity almost always have some kind of responsibility to act. David Cash saw his friend putting his hands on a little girl, and his immediate reaction should have been to stop it. Though he had no legal responsibility to act, morally he should have reacted against his friend to stop him from harming a child. A person witnessing a crime like that should always act in a way to help the victim, either directly by stopping the perpetrator, or if they feel they may be placed in significant danger should they act, by alerting the proper authorities. However, this does depend on the action being committed and if there is a human victim. For example, if someone is seen shoplifting some food, I believe that no action is the right course of action for a witness, as that is a victimless crime and no human being is being harmed. There are no rules dictating how a person must act if they are put into a situation where they are forced to choose between action and inaction are, but there are basic morals that would point many people in a certain direction. For example, in “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age” by Judy Harris, a man running towards a fire trying to help people evacuate the building safely passes a man who stood saying ““Wow, look, a fire!” the man said, walking around to get a good angle for his shots.”(Harris) Neither of these men broke any rules or laws, one acted to help those he judged to be in danger, while the other stood and watched making no attempt to act. One acted instinctively, going to help them.Erez Yoell suggests that most people act instinctively to help others “...we found almost no examples of heroes whose first impulse was for self preservation but who overcame that impulse with a conscious, rational decision to help.” People instinctively will go to help those in need, often without regard to their own safety in the heat of the moment. However, that is not to say that a direct action is always the wisest choice. If a person deems their safety too at risk to intervene, no one could blame them for not rushing headfirst into a dangerous situation. However should they fail to take any action to help, that is where they go from bystander to perpetrator by allowing the harm of another person to continue. The question is not whether or not a bystander should intervene, but whether as to what extent they should intervene.
chinchillaboard
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 2

After reading “Nightmare on the 36 Bus” and “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age,” I can see why it is easier for people to stand and stare rather than step in and help. However, I don ´ t think that David cash should have stood there doing nothing. On the 36 bus in 2000, people weren't really sure what was going on because they did not know either the kid or the adult. It was easier to see how these things played out and by the time the man hit the kid, they didn't want to jump in since they probably thought they by themselves would win and they weren't sure if anyone else on the bus would jump in to help them. As for the fire in the cellphone age, people just assume there people living there can sense the fire or that the fire department has already been called. Making it, not their problem. Both of these events involved only strangers where bystanders thought they couldn't win. In the case of David Cash, he knew one of the parties involved and could have easily taken on one of his friends. He knew what his friend was about to do and let him. As funny as it sounds, I would understand more if there were anger or at least motive behind the kill, but that little girl did nothing to him and definitely not anything to lose her life. Rape and sexual assault are never justified in my eyes, and doing it to a minor that has not even seen double digits yet, makes it that much worse.

chinchillaboard
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 2

Originally posted by swiss cheese yeezys on September 23, 2022 07:38

Bystanders to a crime or dangerous activity almost always have some kind of responsibility to act. David Cash saw his friend putting his hands on a little girl, and his immediate reaction should have been to stop it. Though he had no legal responsibility to act, morally he should have reacted against his friend to stop him from harming a child. A person witnessing a crime like that should always act in a way to help the victim, either directly by stopping the perpetrator, or if they feel they may be placed in significant danger should they act, by alerting the proper authorities. However, this does depend on the action being committed and if there is a human victim. For example, if someone is seen shoplifting some food, I believe that no action is the right course of action for a witness, as that is a victimless crime and no human being is being harmed. There are no rules dictating how a person must act if they are put into a situation where they are forced to choose between action and inaction are, but there are basic morals that would point many people in a certain direction. For example, in “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age” by Judy Harris, a man running towards a fire trying to help people evacuate the building safely passes a man who stood saying ““Wow, look, a fire!” the man said, walking around to get a good angle for his shots.”(Harris) Neither of these men broke any rules or laws, one acted to help those he judged to be in danger, while the other stood and watched making no attempt to act. One acted instinctively, going to help them.Erez Yoell suggests that most people act instinctively to help others “...we found almost no examples of heroes whose first impulse was for self preservation but who overcame that impulse with a conscious, rational decision to help.” People instinctively will go to help those in need, often without regard to their own safety in the heat of the moment. However, that is not to say that a direct action is always the wisest choice. If a person deems their safety too at risk to intervene, no one could blame them for not rushing headfirst into a dangerous situation. However should they fail to take any action to help, that is where they go from bystander to perpetrator by allowing the harm of another person to continue. The question is not whether or not a bystander should intervene, but whether as to what extent they should intervene.

I agree that a bystander should intervene if they see something wrong, but I think this is much easier said than done. It's like when you tell a crowd for someone to call 911, likely everyone will think someone else in the crowd will do it, and so they don't try. I think a bystander is more likely to intervene when they know for sure they will win in the end, if there is a little bit of uncertainty, they will doubt themselves and fear failure.

JasonMomoasBeard
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 1

“Nightmare on the 36 Bus” and “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age”

Although the bystander effect worked on everyone that night on the 36 bus when a little boy was being assaulted, the story of how a man warned everyone of the fire in JP proves that it is something a person can overcome. You just have to act on instinct, not question yourself, and have morals (like any at all). I think basic human decency should’ve governed Cash’s actions the night Sherrice died. You see your FRIEND assault a little girl you step in and then call the cops, it really should be as simple as that, but it wasn’t. The fact that Cash did nothing is what caused the situation to spiral out of control. I believe the response of the witness witnessing a wrong should vary. First off it depends on what the “wrong” is and if it’s a common belief whether or not the action is truly wrong. If it violations human rights it is truly wrong. That’s when you step in; When someone is getting hurt or if there is any opportunity for injury you step in, but not with complete disregard for your own safety. Now I’m not saying if someone were at gun point to jump in front of them, but to at least do SOMETHING or anything no within your power to minimize the damage or to get help. I feel that if someone is in danger, especially someone defenseless like a child, and you have a way to help then you should 100% be obligated to

bd1010
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 2

"The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age" and "The Samaritan’s Dilemma: Should the Government Help Your Neighbor"

I think that people's actions should be decided through multiple variables, but the one important to this situation is damage reduction. In almost every case, reducing the damage done to society is going to be the morally correct decision. Waying the options that David Cash had, he could either help Sherrice, potentially injuring Jermy, and maybe losing his friendship with him, or take the action that he did, leave, keep his friendship with Jeremy, and let a child be raped and murdered. Clearly here, the moral weight of a friendship is going to very clearly be much less than the weight of a human life, and the correct choice was to help Sherrice. However, in some cases, there are situations when personal responsibility should outway even saving a human life, such as running into a burning building. In most cases, while it would be good to run into that building, and save another's life, doing that act actively endangers your own life, and can lead to your own death. However, this is clearly not the case in the murder of Sherrice, as David could easily help Sharrice, who was actively being assaulted, without any direct threat to his own life or wellbeing.

I believe that law governing this kind of decision is very difficult, as most of this is a moral decision. It is very obvious that David Cash's actions are wrong, but most laws drafted around this event won't be correct in every scenario. In this case, it seems that David should be accused of being an accessory to murder, because he didn't actually kill Sherrice, but he helped Jeremy kill her by doing nothing.

With my articles, in "The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age", the author makes many good points, but goes somewhat overboard. It is very clear that simply standing outside of a building on fire and recording it without doing anything, is bad. However, setting to bar to literally run into the burning building to get people out is somewhat dangerous. I don't think that people should be required to risk their own life to help others, no matter how moral it might be. While it is an obviously moral good to go into the building, I don't believe that it is a moral bad to stay outside, as long as you do what you can while oustide the building, such as calling the fire department. In the other article, the quote from, "The Sameritan's Dilemma", I very much agree with the idea that being a bystander is much easier when there are more people around. When you see many people watching the same event as you, actually standing up and doing something is much more unlikely, as everyone believes that someone else will do it.

i_love_pink
US
Posts: 2

I think there are many factors that could have and should have governed David Cash’s actions, the most obvious one being for the safety of eight year old Sherrice Iverson. But Cash stated in an interview, “I do not know this little girl. I do not know starving children in Panama. I do not know people that die of diseases in Egypt.” This comparison he makes doesn't make sense to me, he’s comparing a little girl whose life he could have saved to children in other countries in different situations. Cash makes it clear that he felt no responsibility over Sherrice in that moment, so I thought, who could he have felt responsible for and Jeremy Stohmeyer came to mind. Cash and Stohmeyer were best friends and college students, at the time of the crime, Stohmeyer was of legal age, 18. So if not for the sake of Sherice, he could’ve stopped Stohmeyer from ruining his own future and getting charged as an adult. I think it depends on the wrongness of nature if people have some kind of obligation to act upon something they witness. With a case like Sherrice Iverson’s, where you might not be sure what's going to happen but you have a feeling something bad might happen, would be somewhere someone should decide to step in. I think it also depends on how much or badly it is negatively affecting others, for example, shoplifting. Like we talked about in class, shoplifting from a large company won't do any harm. But from smaller businesses that cannot support themselves like bigger companies, will be harmed if shoplifted from. Like I said before, I believe our obligation should be dependent on two things, how wrong the nature of the action is and if it impacts anyone involved negatively. "The Nightmare" on the 36 bus by Brian McGory describes a third person perspective of what happened the night of January 25 2000. That night an eight year old boy got onto the 36 here in Boston and was followed by a middle aged man. No one knew if he was the boy's father but the man hit the young boy twice in the face, making his nose bleed. Everyone had noticed what was happening except for the driver, but still, no one said anything. Daniel Auclair was on that bus that night and hesitated to intervene because he wasn't sure what the situation was and whether it was a family matter or not. He kept quiet and ever since that day he regretted only being a bystander. This short article taught me that if you're not sure about interfering in a serious situation like this, you probably should because you wouldn't be debating if someone in a situation like that needed help. This also taught me to really listen more to your gut feeling and be more attentive. In The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age by Judi Harris focuses on what happens with multiple bystanders. I learned that with many witnesses around something like a house on fire, everyone will assume that others have already called for help. But because they all assume this, no help is ever called. Every single one of the witnesses are depending on others to do probably the most basic thing when a house is on fire, which would have been calling the fire department.

someepiphany
Posts: 4

Despite the fact that Cash had no legal obligation to help Sherrice Iverson and step in, I believe that empathy and humanity should have governed Cash’s actions. From a moral standpoint, one who witnesses another wrong should step up, should step in, should do whatever it takes to make the wrong right, even if it does not necessarily affect them. It seems that heroic actions are often governed by the individual’s first instinct, that there is often little time to fix, or debate whether or not it would cost you to help, if you want to act swiftly and helpfully (“The Trick to Acting Heroically,” Rand and Yoeli). It is clear that Cash’s first impulse was self preservation — that if Jeremy Strohmeyer would do that to a little girl, then why wouldn’t he do something just as bad to his friend? — yet that does not change the fact that by doing nothing, Cash aided the perpetrator with his inaction.

Many people do not have the instinct to help others immediately ingrained in their function, rationalizing their inaction with many explanations, including that of social media (as seen in “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age” by Judy Harris). But Cash did not express any form of remorse after the incident, no apology, no realization that his inaction is precisely what may have made all the difference in whether or not Sherrice Iverson would still be alive today. The fact is, if one sees something that horrific, the general instinct is to do something, if not immediate and helpful, at least afterwards. Cash did not report Strohmeyer to the police after he confessed, he didn’t do anything out of the ordinary after discovering what he’d done.

There is a concrete difference between the nature of the “wrong.” If it is a case in which a person’s life is in danger, that someone’s life is on the line, inaction will most likely result in devastation. Being in shock is understandable, and it is clear that only sometimes will a person be able to act heroically on impulse. But to not have any remorse, to never once debate that you may have been in the wrong, is where an individual can make character judgements. Cash did not seem to care about being a bystander in the murder of Sherrice Iverson, seeming flippant when confronted with the question, saying he didn’t know her and that he didn’t know a lot of people in suffering. In saying this, he doesn’t acknowledge his presence in the tragedy, and doesn't seem to realize how he impacted the situation as a bystander. In general, I believe that we as people have a moral obligation to do what we can in a situation, to do anything to help, and to do our best to act rather than stand to the sidelines, silent.

someepiphany
Posts: 4

Originally posted by tiktok1234 on September 22, 2022 16:18

  • Articles Read: “The Trick to Acting Heroically,” New York Times, “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age”, WBUR Cognoscenti

I think that a person who witnesses another wrong has the obligation to do something about it. There is a common slogan seen on highways and major roads that says "If you see something, say something". However, it really depends on the circumstance. In Cash's case, it was truly life or death. If he would've done something, the little girl might've been alive today. Just because "he didn't know her" doesn't mean he shouldn't have interfered. The definition of a good samaritan is helping a community with problems, even those you aren't familiar with. If you are threatened by the situation, and it seems like it's being handled, sometimes it's ok not to interfere. However, you could also just call 911 instead of personally interfering. In "The Trick to Acting Heroically", we can see how people are influenced to help situations. Usually, when the situation poses a low threat to the bystander, he most likely jumps in to help. However, if they are being threatened themselves, or there isn't a big reward for helping, they don't do it. In the WBUR article, it was talking about how people were just posting pictures of the fire on social media. I think that if there is a large threat that people would find astonishing, the bystander just records the situation, instead of helping, which is very insensitive.

I agree with your point that Cash's actions likely directly decided the fate of Sherrice Iverson, and that in a life-or-death situation you should act to help, even if it is calling for help rather than personally interfering if you can see that it's being handled. As you illustrated in your post, it is incredibly important to both distinguish between the level of intensity and danger of the situation and also acknowledging that to not act often harms the victim.

someepiphany
Posts: 4

Originally posted by JasonMomoasBeard on September 23, 2022 08:49

Although the bystander effect worked on everyone that night on the 36 bus when a little boy was being assaulted, the story of how a man warned everyone of the fire in JP proves that it is something a person can overcome. You just have to act on instinct, not question yourself, and have morals (like any at all). I think basic human decency should’ve governed Cash’s actions the night Sherrice died. You see your FRIEND assault a little girl you step in and then call the cops, it really should be as simple as that, but it wasn’t. The fact that Cash did nothing is what caused the situation to spiral out of control. I believe the response of the witness witnessing a wrong should vary. First off it depends on what the “wrong” is and if it’s a common belief whether or not the action is truly wrong. If it violations human rights it is truly wrong. That’s when you step in; When someone is getting hurt or if there is any opportunity for injury you step in, but not with complete disregard for your own safety. Now I’m not saying if someone were at gun point to jump in front of them, but to at least do SOMETHING or anything no within your power to minimize the damage or to get help. I feel that if someone is in danger, especially someone defenseless like a child, and you have a way to help then you should 100% be obligated to

I agree with your point on our moral obligation to help others, especially those who cannot help themselves (especially children). There's definitely a difference between levels of "wrongs," but to do nothing, not even call someone to help, when someone is in danger inevitably harms the victim.

NorthernLights
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 1

Despite David Cash having every legal right not to intervene, I'm sure most of us agree that what he did was not morally right in any way. As soon as he saw his best friend, Jeremy Strohmeyer, enter the women's bathroom he should have stopped him, but he didn't. He didn't stop him when Strohmeyer dragged Sherrice Iverson into a stall, he didn't stop him when he saw with his own eyes Strohmeyer covering the struggling girl's mouth and touching her inappropriately.

Sure, Jeremy was his best friend and it would be emotionally difficult to report your closest ally to the police, but if any normal person witnessed their best friend rape someone and then openly admit to killing them, any normal person would not continue to call that person their best friend. Any normal person would not continue gambling at casinos having the time of their life like nothing was wrong. Quoting from his CBSs 60 Minutes interview, Cash did not "know this little girl", but that little girl was a human just like him with a life of her own and he let his best friend kill her. If he had any empathy, he would've stepped in instead of showing it through his poor excuse of "body language" that Strohmeyer could not see at all from the other stall.

Now, we do not know these people personally. We don't know their thinking process or their personality. We have only seen them through cameras and recordings. However, I truly believe from his actions that if Cash was given the chance, he would've done something as bad as his best friend's crime; that he's a bad person himself. It wouldn't have cost Cash anything to act; in fact, he would've saved a life. Quoting The Trick To Acting Heroically by the New York Times, "heroes don’t just do good — they do good instinctively." Sometimes, people freeze up in the heat of the moment (and that part's okay, we're human), but he had 22 minutes to think about his decision of whether to help or not and in the end, he chose to do nothing. Unlike the people in The Bystander Effect In The Cellphone Age, there was no "passerby taking pictures" looking for good shots. There was no heroic husband nearby who would charge into the bathroom without thinking and save Iverson from danger himself. He was the only one there in the casino who knew, and he couldn't have hidden under the thought that someone might save Iverson instead. In the end, he didn't step in when he should've.

In situations like these, a witness should intervene when something's clearly wrong. Whether it's something small as informing the security team or stopping the perpetrator yourself, if you are in a position where you can do something, you should.

hollyfawn
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 4

Bad Samaritan Response

While Cash wasn't legally required to help Sherrice, I believe he was obligated to do so morally. Despite his defenses, it was cruel and unjust to leave Sherrice like that and it shows that he clearly didn't think of her as a person. It is his fault as well as his friend's fault that she is dead. Depending on the nature of the wrong there are different rules, yes, and it isn't a black-and-white situation. Of course, every person has the ability to reason out the consequences of their actions. Obviously, a little girl's life is more important than almost anything else.

We always have a responsibility to act when someone's life is threatened. Throughout history, if so many people hadn't been bystanders, millions who died may have instead lived. We have the responsibility to save lives, sometimes even at the expense of our own. Think of the Trolley problem - save 5 people and kill one, or be a bystander and let 5 people die? What if you were on the tracks and had to pull the lever to save the 5 people only for the trolley to hit you? In both situations, we have a responsibility to save the most lives possible.

I read "Brian McGrory, “Nightmare on the 36 Bus” Boston Globe, January 25, 2000." and "Judy Harris, “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age,” WBUR Cognoscenti, June 5, 2015" which were both about the bystander effects and its consequences. One story had a happy ending and the other did not. I thought it was terrible that nobody helped that little boy, even if it was in their power to do so. If only one person had stood up, maybe others would have as well. In the case of the fire in JP in the other article, imagine if nobody at all had decided to help. Nobody had called the fire department or warned the residents. Would they have died in that fire? If there were more people in the building, very quickly dozens could have died.

hollyfawn
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 4

Response 1

Originally posted by StaphInfarction on September 21, 2022 09:55

After reading "Nightmare on the 36 bus" and "The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Era", it got me thinking a lot. I was reminded of the second part of The US and the Holocaust. For those of you who did not see it, it mentioned that many Americans expressed sympathy for European refugees but did not want to increase immigration quotas. What's especially scary about the readings is that while you could argue that increasing immigration quotas is "sacrificing" something (I would disagree), both of the mentioned stories could have had very quick resolutions. Simply calling 911 would have prevented the tragedies.

While I agree with the sentiment that the solution to Cash's problem was simple, I think the circumstances he was in were different than the one in "Nightmare on the 36 bus". That story involved an older man beating a young boy, presumed to be his son, on a MBTA bus. The perpetrator in Cash's story is his best friend. I'm not arguing that Cash didn't do anything wrong, his "body language" excuse is pretty weak, and sounds like something his lawyer told him to say, but when you put someone in a spur of the moment decision, they're very rarely going to act rationally. We like to think of ourselves as different from everyone else, and that we absolutely would instantly help Sherrice in the same position as Cash, but that's very likely not the case. I'm not sure if I even would.

It's for that kind of reason that I don't think Cash should have been prosecuted in any criminal court. It is impossible for the justice system to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that David was acting out of malice. Even if they could absolutely be sure that he was, not reporting a crime is not a crime, and it shouldn't be. I think the best way to think about it is that while David was a direct witness, who let Sherrice into a casino in the first place? Who was watching the cameras? Who was the one who brought her there? Who was the one that let her out of sight? Would you want to prosecute all of these people? On what grounds?

I agree that it must have been a difficult situation for David. However, I disagree with the last paragraph.

Cash should absolutely have been prosecuted. If there was no bystander law, what about child negligence? Being an accomplice to murder? These are both charges that might be applicable to Cash. While I understand that he didn't want to betray his friend, if he had, Sherrice would not be dead now. Her young life would not have been cut short. She could have had her own family and career. Her family probably thinks about her every day. And she died alone and in pain, probably praying that Cash had gone to find help - but nobody was coming. Cash was there, directly, and one action could have saved Sherrice. Instead of thinking "What if it was your friend", think, what if it was your child in that bathroom stall?

And not to be harsh, but yes, I do think all of these people should be punished. Their actions - or lack thereof - led to the death of a little girl, which is unforgivable in every case. If they got away with it this time, whats to stop them from being just as irresponsible in the future?

hollyfawn
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 4

Originally posted by deviouseggplant24 on September 22, 2022 21:59

Although we would all like to say we would've stepped in if we were David Cash, our decision-making skills are much different when in shock, just as David Cash probably was. Countless times have I seen uncomfortable situations in public (often on public transportation), where I look back and wish I had said/done something. It is normally along the lines as "Nightmare on the 36 Bus", where a parent is being too aggressive with their child. Of course, I feel bad and wish for the parent to stop, but in the moment I think of the best-case scenario which makes me feel better about not wanting to take action. "Maybe I'm overreacting", or "It's not my place to step in". Just like on the 36 bus, Auclair, a PhD said, "So I said to myself, `Maybe I'm out of place. Maybe it's just a family thing and I shouldn't intervene.' So I sat back down."

Being a bystander in one situation compared to another can bring very different results. As we talked about in class, allowing your friend to steal earrings from Claires isn't going to matter much. Worst-case scenario they have to give them back and you move on with your day. For David Cash, although we want to talk about how disgusting he is for letting Jeremy Strohmeyer kill Sherrice Iverson, I think we would have acted much more similar to him as we think. To see your best friend unexpectedly do such horrible things, will certainly put you in shock, possibly leaving you speechless, just as David was.

As seen in "The Bystander Effect in The Cellphone Era", bystanders sat back and recorded a 3 story apartment engulfed in flames. They chose not to save anyone in potential danger, knowing that there are people employed to do just that, but if they decided to take action they are also putting themselves in danger. Just being there was enough for David to be somewhat involved in Sherrice's murder. By not saying anything, even though it backfired, he was attempting to remove himself from the situation even more than he already was.

I do not think David should have been charged as a criminal, as we can never truly know the intentions behind his actions. Even if his decisions were as sick and twisted as people say, it's not a crime to not report a crime. I would like to think I would've said something if I were David, but with all the possible things going through my mind, I can't be 100% sure I would have made the right decision.

I understand David was in shock, as many of us would have been.

But where does the shock end? When he's sitting outside, waiting for Sherrice to take her last breath? On the car ride home? The next day when they find her body? Why did he never say anything after the fact? Why did he express no empathy for Sherrice?

At least Auclair felt remorse for his inaction. In both cases, a child was harmed. A child's life matters infinitely more than a fully capable adult's because the child is defenseless. Assault is a crime. Murder and rape are crimes. While it isn't a crime to not report them, would you want to associate with someone who would let that kind of thing happen? What's stopping them from letting it happen to you, or to your younger sibling, or maybe even your future child?

It is impossible to comprehend the weight of what was lost that night in the casino. However, I don't think it is irrational or harsh to be unforgiving and unsympathetic toward Cash and to expect him to be reprimanded in some way. It still disgusts me that he showed no remorse. Imagine someone watches your child die and they are indifferent to it. What if the whole world thought this way? We can't expect others to be heroes when we would not do the same ourselves.


kantianorgan
brighton, ma, US
Posts: 3

Cash’s actions should have been governed by a social responsibility to Sherrice, a young girl he saw being restrained by his friend. Cash admitted that the situation did not look good, and could infer the sexually violent nature of what Strohmeyer was planning. Despite his claims of giving nonverbal cues to Strohmeter, Cash could have intervened, physically, and then calling for help. Witnesses have the obligation to step in or report crimes and other instances of harm, however there is nuance and complication. Trespassing private property, vandalism, and other crimes of that nature are only crimes to protect private property. However, other crimes like assault, rape, and others that cause real harm to people–not property should face consequence. This brings the complication of what is that consequence is because the productivity of police and prisons in preventing and punishing crime is questionable. When somebody witnesses a crime and calls the police, the risk of police violence and misconduct is high, especially if any of the parties are Black or exhibiting symptons of mental illness. Witnesses should intervene personally, or preferably with a group if one is availible, in cases where harm is being done.


My readings of “Bystander Effect In The Cellphone Age” and "Nightmare on the 36 Bus” offered some interesting insight on the actions of bystanders. While “Bystander Effect In The Cellphone Age” had someone actually call for help when the building was burning, the amount of people who stopped to stare or capture footage of it made me think about the spectacle, in its social relation through media (rather than helping stop the fire, they immortalize it through their phone. Interestingly, “Nightmare on the 36 Bus” contradicts this in how it is described people looked away, as if to ignore or try forgetting what was going on. These instances say about the bystander effect that a refusal to get involved is often a refusal to acknowledge what is going on (the desensitization of the tragedy of the fire into a photo/video, looking away from a boy being beaten by a man). It could be proposed that Cash refused to report the incident or intervene in denial of what Strohmeyer was doing, but the more likely case is that he was trying to protect him, as is the case in many instances of sexual violence.

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