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Proposed Arizona law could help save lives during emergencies

Posted at 9:10 PM, Jan 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-19 00:23:27-05

"All it takes is one second, one call to save someone's life and you were in a situation where you could have done that but yet you didn't."

Simone Mcintosh says the death of her brother Jamel Dunn has torn her family apart.

"It was very disturbing to watch someone take their last breath and not do anything," said Mcintosh.

Back in July, a video surfaced on social media. In it, Jamel Dunn desperately cries out for help from the middle of a South Florida retention pond. At the same time, five teens taunt him from the banks during his final moments.

No one calls 911; no attempts are made to save his life. The only thing heard is the teenagers' laughter before Dunn goes under.

"You could have helped him, why didn't you," Mcintosh said.

It would be five days before his body was discovered.

As unthinkable as these actions may seem, the teens have yet to face any punishment. But here in Arizona, that may not be the case for long.

"Like millions of other news viewers I was shocked when I saw a videotape of a man drowning and learned that it was taken by two young people who decided to use their phone to videotape the death instead of calling for help," said State Senator John Kavanagh.

Kavanagh proposed a bill that would make failing to report such an incident or at minimum not dialing 911, a misdemeanor that could land you up to six months in jail.  

"The requirement to make the call only applies when it seems unlikely that other people have called already," said Kavanagh.

Opponents of the law contend it would be difficult to enforce.

Dunn's family, however, give it their full support.

"I think that's an amazing idea, It will save more lives and prevent situations like this from happening again," said Mcintosh.