Jamel Dunn, the disabled Florida man who drowned as nearby teenagers mocked him and filmed him on their cell phones, was laid to rest Saturday at an Orlando-area church, The Independent is reporting. Hundreds of people filled the church for the man’s funeral.
Friends and relatives of Mr. Dunn had asked that mourners wear red to the funeral. Some mourners wore red T-shirts depicting Dunn’s face. He was laid to rest in a red casket.
Last month, Dunn’s death drew international attention after it was revealed that as he was drowning in a pond near the town of Cocoa, five teens, ages 14 to 18, recorded him drowning on their cell phones. Even as Dunn was taking his last breaths, the teenagers, rather than helping him or calling for help, mocked him and cursed at him. The teens later posted videos of the man drowning on social media.
His body was found five days later on July 14.
As calls for justice for Dunn echoed throughout the world, prosecutors in Florida found their hands tied as there is no Florida law on the books that requires you to give aid when someone is in danger. As CNN reported last week, however, Cocoa police finally asked prosecutors to charge the teens with failure to report a death, which is only a misdemeanor. The State’s Attorney can either assign a prosecutor to pursue the case or dismiss it entirely. As of this writing, it is not clear if a decision has been made regarding those charges.
Friends and family describe Dunn as a family-oriented person who loved to “clown” and “crack jokes.”
“He had a strong desire for success, and was always willing to undertake new and daring enterprises.”
Pastor Jarvis Wash, who officiated the funeral, encouraged those present to “get a relationship with God.”
“We’re moving too fast. We need to slow down and listen.”
Mourners gather at funeral service for drowning victim Jamel Dunn https://t.co/43BjGoyPBx
— Florida Today (@Florida_Today) July 29, 2017
Meanwhile, Cocoa Police Chief Mike Cantaloupe is hoping the Florida legislature will update the state’s laws to include a law that compels people to give aid if they can, according to Florida Today.
“There is no criminal statute that covers somebody not rendering aid in the state of Florida. I think it’s something that definitely needs to be looked at.”
Dunn is survived by two children, Jamyah Dunn and Zaharah Brookens; his mother, Gloria Dunn; his father, Maurice Bush; two sisters, Simone McIntosh and Cierra McIntosh; two brothers, Martell Dunn and Rafeal Dunn; his fiancee, RonDanelle Williams; nine aunts; and eight uncles.
[Featured Image by Robert Hoetink/Thinkstock]