A group of Florida teenagers who filmed, mocked and laughed at a drowning man without helping him will face charges for not reporting his death, officials said.
Authorities initially announced there were no grounds to change the teenagers, none of whom called 911 to help 32-year-old Jamel Dunn as he drowned in Cocoa, Florida on 9 July.
According to the New York Post, Florida law does not require a witness to help a person in need. However, Cocoa Police Chief Mike Cantaloupe announced on Friday (21 July) that he will seek misdemeanour charges under a statute related to not reporting a death.
WPLG reported that the recommended charges will be brought to the Florida State Attorney's Office, which will determine whether to pursue them.
Cantaloupe's decision to seek charges came as a disturbing video showing the group laughing during Dunn's dying moments grabbed international headlines. The video was shot by one of the teenagers, who are heard mocking Dunn and telling him they will not help him.
Yvonne Martinez, spokesperson for the Cocoa Police Department, said the teenagers, ranging in age from 14 to 16, had allegedly told Dunn, who is disabled, not to go into the water. "He started to struggle and scream for help and they just laughed," she said.
"They didn't call the police. They just laughed the whole time. He was just screaming...for someone to help him."
When Dunn failed to come to the surface, one teenager simply said, "Oh, he just died."
The group then left the park and failed to notify anyone about his death. Dunn's body was discovered three days later.
"We are deeply saddened and shocked at both the manner in which Mr Dunn lost his life and the actions of the witnesses to this tragedy," state attorney, Phil Archer, said in a statement, according to NBC News.
Simone McIntosh, Dunn's sister, launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for her brother's funeral and to help her two nieces. The fundraising page has raised more than $34,000 (£26,000) in six days as of Sunday (23 July) afternoon.