The ‘bystander effect’ is real
The most powerful evidence for the prosecution at the trial of Derek Chauvin was a video showing the then-Minneapolis police officer pinning a pleading George Floyd to the ground by kneeling on his neck until he grew silent and then died.
On the witness stand, the teenager who captured the incident on her smartphone, 17-year-old Darnella Frazier, expressed regret for not doing more on the day of the crime. Following professor Frazier’s regret about not physically intervening illuminates two major points: First, a witness to a troubling situation who is in a group may feel a lesser sense of personal responsibility than a single individual. Second, someone in a group of people who can see one another may nonetheless feel responsible to act.