No-one helps stabbed man

Cameras 'saw', people 'saw', no-one helped

The BBC is reporting that passers-by in New York failed to help a stabbed man who was bleeding to death on the sidewalk. Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax had reportedly tried to intervene to stop another man from attacking a woman and as knifed. That’s bad enough, but of course what the BBC don’t note is that although they state that this was all captured on CCTV, no-one stopped either the incident or saved Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax as a result of the cameras seeing the whole thing, either. There’s also a strong argument to be made that the presence of cameras may also be a contributory factor in explaining the reasons why passers-by don’t help: surveillance ‘deresponsibilizes’ them – they assume that someone behind the camera will intervene so they don’t have to. Of course, the predominant factor is more likely to be the simple, cruel prejudice that the man was clearly homeless and therefore not even of any interest to them. Contrary to what Bentham believed, being watched constantly clearly doesn’t make better people…

Author: David

I'm David Murakami Wood. I live on Wolfe Island, in Ontario, and am Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Surveillance Studies and an Associate Professor at Queen's University, Kingston.

2 thoughts on “No-one helps stabbed man”

  1. I think itn is really a shame that people have such a bad vibe about homeless people just because someone is homeless that does NOT mean that they are worse than us in a way. For all we know Hugo could have had a family and someone could have done something so he sees them again………….. it is just sad.

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