CHICAGO (CBS) — The leader of the Guardian Angels has applauded an effort in Springfield to make it a crime to film violent incidents and post the video online.
Miguel Fuentes, national director of the Guardian Angels, said he tried four years ago to get lawmakers behind his push for such a law.
He said the genesis of his effort was “the unfortunate beating, robbery, and murder of Delfino Mora, an individual who was collecting cans, because he had lost his job, and three young teens decided they want to film a knockout.”
Prosecutors have said Nicholas Ayala, Anthony Malcolm, and Malik Jones were playing a game called “Pick ‘em out and knock ‘em out,” in which they someone picks out a random person and sucker punches him. Mora, 62, died after Jones allegedly punched him once, and Mora fell hard, hitting his head on the concrete. Jones then allegedly stole cash from Mora’s wallet.
Jones is awaiting trial for murder and robbery. Ayala pleaded guilty to murder and robbery two years ago. Malcolm was convicted of murder and robbery in 2013, and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Prosecutors said Malcolm and Jones recorded the attack after Jones handed him his phone and said he was going to punch Mora. The video was later posted on Facebook.
The American Civil Liberties Union noted there are free speech issues in enacting a ban on posting such videos online, but Fuentes said if a fight is staged, a crime already has been committed.
“There’s where you draw the line. Is it free speech, or are you committing a crime?” he said.