To what extent do bystanders have a responsibility to intervene in the case of Marques Gaines?
Victim Marques Gaines,32, a hotel bartender in River North, Chicago got punched twice, and robbers mugged his items, then in the busy intersection lying unconscious surrounded by a dozen bystanders. The incident began around 4:20 am the 7th of February 2016. Security guards witnessed the situation but did not perform their responsibility, instead, they were watching in the 7-Eleven store. No one attempted to lift him off from the street. Careless actions led to the preventable fatality of Gaines being driven over by a taxi, and he passed away after finally being taken to a hospital. Two men were arguing; one whom identified as Gaines. Only one person in the busy street has called 911, who was the security guard, while he was lying face down motionless.
What if only one has encountered a person in need of emergency help? Would they have helped?
According to research, only 1 in 55 of us would have in Gaines case.
While the event was heartbreaking and devastating for Gaines' family, experts say that the bystanders' reactions that night was not surprising. Social psychologists and researchers have studied this event for decades, naming it the "bystander effect." The bystander effect is a situation where people do not offer help in emergency situations if other people are near, even when one is capable of doing so. To date no arrests have been made, the family of the victim filed a lawsuit, claiming that this was not an accident, how could the taxi driver over without noticing the person? Why did the robbers steal his personal belongings without pushing him to the side? Relatives of Gaines complain that this was a homicide, not an accident. Close friends and relatives were shocked by the news, mentioning that he was always a positive and hard working person that never caused any trouble.