RT – July 22, 2017
A group of teenagers who filmed and taunted a drowning man in a lake are now facing criminal charges for not reporting his death. Authorities are also pushing for legislation that would allow them to prosecute similar cases in the future.
On Friday, the Cocoa Police Department (CPD), in conjunction with the Florida State Attorney’s Office, announced they are pursuing criminal charges against the five teens under a little known Florida Statute that in short requires a person to report a death.
CPD Chief Mike Cantaloupe said the day after the police found that the teens had not broken any laws, they conducted further research with the state attorney’s office, which “yielded the decision to move forward with charges under this statute.”
“It’s our belief that this law has never been enforced in a scenario like this, but we feel it could be applicable,” Cantaloupe said in a statement.
Under Florida Statute 406.12, any person who “becomes aware of the death of any person” is required to “report such death and circumstances forthwith to the district medical examiner.” Anyone who fails to report a death can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.