Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Duty to Rescue?

"...A Queens judge has thrown out a suit against the MTA and two of its employees filed by a woman who was raped on the platform of the G train's 21st Street stop and accused onlooking transit workers of not doing enough to help her.

Subway conductor Harmodio Cruz and station agent John Koort both called the command center to alert authorities of the assault in progress, but Cruz allowed his train to leave the station and Koort did not call cops directly..." (Read the entire story)

Maria Besedina was a 21 year old art, NYU student at the time of the attack and rape. She made eye contact with the ticket booth guy AND the conductor while the attack was going on. LEGALLY we have no "duty to rescue" but what about morally? Or SHOULD we have a duty to rescue? How can the wives/daughters of Harmodio Cruz and John Koort ever look at these men in their lives again without being totally disgusted by them --imagine knowing your father/brother/husband could stand by and do nothing as a woman/young girl was raped?!

We talk a lot about frivolous lawsuits, but I think this woman was perfectly justified in filing this --if not to condemn these men, then to bring public attention and outrage about the case. This isn't an isolated instance...

What should public obligation be in instances such as this?

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