13-Year-Old Beaten at L.A. McDonalds — and No One Intervened

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

On Sept. 6, Kassidy Jones got out of school. While walking home, she and her friends decided to stop at a McDonald’s in Harbor City in Los Angeles. According to Fox 11 out of Los Angeles, while Kassidy was at the restaurant, an adult woman approached her. For reasons evident only to herself, the woman backed Kassidy into a corner and shouted, “What the F are y’all looking at? I fight kids. I fight you.” The woman proceeded to beat Kassidy and pull her hair. The teen eventually ended up on the floor with the woman pummeling her. At some point, a man who may have accompanied the woman pulls her off. There was no motive for the attack, and Kassidy does not know her assailant. CBS Los Angeles reports that there was a protest outside of the McDonald’s over the weekend. Civil rights activist Najee Ali, who is the Director of Project Islamic Hope, was on hand and issued a statement:

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The family and community leaders are calling for the immediate arrest of this woman and criminal charges to be filed against adult McDonald’s employees who had an obligation under the law to intervene or call police to stop the beating. AB 1422, The Sherrice Iverson Law, makes it a crime for adults not to help or call police when a child is being brutally beaten or sexually assaulted. (sic)

Police have no leads, but if the woman is caught, she will be charged with abuse and battery.

Aside from Kassidy talking to the TV station and the police, there is plenty of cellphone footage of the attack. Because, as people are wont to do in this day and age, it is much more appealing to film a crime than to step in and stop one. Even if, in this case, it is being perpetrated against a helpless and innocent 13-year-old girl.

One might posit that the onlookers did not want to get involved for fear of being drawn into the violence. Or, as in the case of Daniel Penny, they find themselves facing prosecution for trying to do the right thing. Given the behavior of people, not to mention the crime situation in California, either of those reasons might be used as excuses for allowing Kassidy to be beaten. Weak, dishonorable excuses, but excuses, nonetheless.

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But Kassidy also told Fox 11 that the video was circulating around her school and that some of her fellow students were apparently enjoying it for its entertainment value.

Related: A Proponent of ‘Dismantling’ the Police Is Assaulted and Carjacked at Her Minneapolis Home

Yes, I know what people are tempted to say. “Californians are getting what they voted for,” or “This is the result of L.A.’s approach to crime,” or something about Soros prosecutors. But let us pause the rhetoric for a moment. There are some things to keep in mind. Kassidy was attacked for no reason whatsoever. This is not a pack of hoods cleaning out a Nordstrom’s. Also noteworthy, everyone seemed to be enjoying the attack, but no one felt the need to step in and defend her. They did not stop filming her. So this is what people have been reduced to: social media clicks.

On a related note, 8 News Now reports that the 17-year-old who ran over and killed an elderly man on a bike in Las Vegas will be charged as an adult with murder. Again, the video of the attack was posted on social media. Because the perpetrator was black and the victim was white, some outlets have commented that the murder was racially motivated and that the networks and mainstream outlets are downplaying the racial factor.

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That the media plays fast and loose with race and leverages it whenever possible is not in dispute. But consider the fact that the man who decided to blow past me and drive on top of the concrete medium and flip me off — all because he did not want to sit through a red light — was white. So was the twenty-something who challenged me to a fight at the grocery store because he was not watching where he was going and ran into me.

Society has never been perfect. Violence has always been with us, along with theft, rioting, and sexual assault. But not at this rate. Despite or perhaps because of the advances of AI, the development of smartphones, and increased communications, including podcasts, movies, sitcoms, and even cartoons, we are not evolving as a species but devolving. And this will continue until people decide that they have had enough. But that may be a long time coming, if it ever does. In the distant future, an alien archeologist may excavate our cities and remains, look at their findings, and wonder what went wrong.

We may feel powerless over bad laws and an agendized media that dominates not just the old-guard outlets but threatens to do the same to the new ones. We may be tempted to decide that we cannot defeat the Marble Mafia and the various activists that feast on its kills. But we can decide who we will be. That may seem futile or even comical, but it is up to us to retain or reject our humanity, even in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds.

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