Good Samaritan Conduct
There are a few people who perform random acts of kindness in our society. One of the most publicized random acts of kindness in the recent past involved the New York Police officer who gave a pair of boots to a homeless man. This law enforcement officer, identified as DePrimo, saw a homeless man who was seated barefooted on a freezing pavement.
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The police officer approached the homeless man and engaged him in conversation. He asked the man for his shoe size and went to a nearby shoe store where he purchased a pair of boots. The shoes cost $100 but the store attendant offered Officer DePrimo a 25% discount since he was moved by his kind action.
The officer went on to give the boots to the homeless man who was very thankful for the kind act. This action was captured on camera by an employee of the Arizona County Sheriff’s Office and it was later posted online where it was viewed by millions of people. Officer DePrimo was recognized by the Mayor for his act and the entire nation applauded his kind act to the homeless man.
Another notable act of random kindness was carried out at a pizza place in Florissant, Missouri. A lady wanted to honor the memory of the children and adults who were killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shootings of December 14, 2012.
She therefore decided to buy dinner for a random couple at the pizza and pasta shop in memory of one of the children who died in the shooting. Instead of receiving a bill for their meal, the couple was given a note explaining that a stranger had covered their bill so that they would be reminded that in addition to the bad things going on, there are also good things.
The beneficiaries of this kind act were shocked and impressed by the action. The note requested the couple to do something kind for someone in the future so that this tradition could go on. The identity of the Good Samaritan woman is unknown but the owner of the food store hoped that she would go back to the store for dinner at in future so that people could thank her.
The final Good Samaritan conduct that I came across involved a highway accident in Chicago. A young man called Austin Ketelsen was driving home at night when he happened to witness an accident involving a woman whose vehicle lost control. The woman’s minivan ended up crashing into a light pole and the impact left her disoriented.
Instead of driving past the accident like the other motorists, Ketelsen decided to stop and see if he could offer assistance. He observed that the woman who had been driving the crashed car was bleeding. She also seemed dazed and was not getting out of the car. Ketelsen asked the woman to get out of the car and proceeded to help her out of the vehicle, which was at that time on fire.
The two walked away from the crushed vehicle just in time since it was soon completely covered in flames. If Ketelsen had not taken the time to assist the woman, she could have been killed in the fire that destroyed her car. Local officials expressed their thanks to the young Austin Ketelsen whose assistance saved the woman.
Acts of Vigilantism
There have been a number of notable acts of vigilantism by members of the public. One high profile vigilante is Patrick Drum from Washington who engaged in violent vigilantism. This individual carried out vigilantism to enforce punishment against men who had been found guilty of sexual offenses.
Drum felt that the sex offender system was unable to keep the society safe from sexual predators. He therefore made it his mission to track down convicted sex offenders and deal with them in his own way. Patrick Drum was arrested after he shot dead two registered sex offenders at different locations in Washington.
Drum fled from the scenes of his crimes and intended to keep up his fight against sex offenders. He stated that he planned to keep killing sex offenders for as long as he was a free man. The actions by this vigilante received varied reactions from the public. While some condemned the actions, others praised his vigilantism and felt that Drum was justified in violating the law in order to enforce it by ridding the society of child molesters and rapists.
Another instance of vigilante justice involved two parents in San Francisco. The parents attacked and killed a 22-year-old man who was allegedly pimping out their teenage daughter.
The victim, Calvin Snead, was a friend of the 17-year old daughter of the two attackers. He had been living with her in Los Angeles where she worked as his prostitute. Snead then returned the girl to her home in Bayview for a two-day break after which he intended to take her back to Los Angeles. The parents of the girl knew about this and they made plans to deal with Snead.
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They got into a car with a weapon and drove around looking for Snead who was on the road. When they found him, they shot him dead and then returned to their house. Authorities arrested the parents and arraigned them in court where they are to be tried for murder. The vigilante parents explained that they had gone to law enforcement agencies to report the issue of their daughter but they were turned away. They therefore decided to take action by killing the pimp.
The final instance of vigilantism that I identified involved the shooting of a man in the streets of New York. This man, identified as William, was physically abusing his 19-year-old girlfriend who was also the mother of his 3-year-old child. A passerby intervened and asked William to stop assaulting his girlfriend. However, William refused to cooperate and instead asked the vigilante passerby to mind his own business.
He then continued to beat the girl on the streets in full view of the vigilante. Instead of moving on, the vigilante withdrew a concealed weapon and shot William in the face. William was reported dead a few minutes after the shooting incident. The unidentified vigilante fled the scene before the police arrived.
The girl who was being assaulted by William was questioned by detectives following the incident. Police are looking for the shooter but they have not yet had any success. The victim of the vigilante assault is reported to have had a police record for multiple domestic violence arrests. This act of vigilantism was carried out since a bystander wanted to stop William from beating his girlfriend.