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Posted on: July 21, 2017

Statement from Mayor Parrish on the recent drowning incident at Bracco Pond

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As mayor of this great city it saddens me to the core to watch video shot by a group of kids watching a man drown and doing nothing to help him.  There just are no words to describe the lack of conscience within these young people.

As of today, our police department, working in conjunction with the State Attorney’s Office, has decided to pursue the application of criminal charges against these individuals under a little known Florida Statute that in short requires a person to report a death (FS 406.12).  While this in no way will bring justice for what occurred, it is a start.  I know that everyone working on this investigation has been tireless in their efforts to find answers. Everyone has been affected by what we have seen.

In a case like this we struggle to understand how anyone could be so cold and heartless and then learn that there are no laws in Florida that obligate someone to render aid or call for someone to render aid for a person they see in distress.  Never in my life would I have ever thought we would need a law to make this happen.  I like to believe there is good in all people.  What we’ve all witnessed here does not represent the citizens of our community.  This is an isolated act of unspeakable inhumanity and in no way is a reflection of our community.   The people of this city are loving and caring and help each other.  We celebrate together, we grieve together and we make positive changes TOGETHER.  I want to encourage you to be part of the solutions for the problems we all face as a city and as a nation. If this case can be used as an example to draft new legislation, then I am committed to move forward to make that happen.  More so, may this tragic incident, which has shocked all of us, cause each of us to examine ourselves and our responsibility to one another.  I implore the State Attorney’s Office to follow through and file the charges presented by the Cocoa Police Department!

I also would like to extend my deepest condolences to Mr. Dunn’s family and friends. My hope is we all come together to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.

-Mayor Henry Parrish, III

City of Cocoa