There is a new story emerging about the lengths police will go to investigate crimes. Two teenagers, 17- and 18-years-old, have recently been charged with first degree murder following the death of a 62-year-old man. In order to be charged with such a serious crime, police need to have substantial and credible evidence of these teenagers' involvement in the crime. What they actually have, however, calls into question whether prosecutors had sufficient evidence to charge the teens.
Police and prosecutors are using video evidence that had been posted to Facebook as the basis of their case. While video evidence could potentially be altered or unclear, this forms the cornerstone of officers' arrest of the teens. A video which purportedly shows a 16-year-old beating the 62-year-old was brought to police after a long line of people saw it and did nothing. From this video, which was allegedly shot by the 17- and 18-year-olds, police made their arrest.
It is unknown if the two teenagers actually appear in the video or if it is just the younger teen who is seen assaulting the man. If they do not appear, it is unclear how police determined that they were involved in the incident.
Another question that is raised by these charges is how the two men, supposing they were taping the assault, could be found guilty of murder. Police reports do not indicate that they physically touched the man or that they were encouraging the 16-year-old on. Though it is certainly tragic that this man has died, it does not appear that the two teenagers had a duty to step in and protect him from his assailant.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Cops: 2 more charged in deadly attack posted on Facebook," Jim Jaworski and Bridget Doyle, July 16, 2012
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