Prod Bystanders to be 'Upstanders' like Darnella Frazier

Houston Chronicle, 2021

3 Pages Posted: 6 May 2021

See all articles by Zachary D. Kaufman

Zachary D. Kaufman

University of Houston Law Center; Boston University - School of Law; Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law; Stanford Law School; Yale University - Law School; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: 2021


The crucial — maybe even essential — role of an onlooker’s viral video in convicting George Floyd’s killer compels us to revisit an age-old question: In a time of crisis, what, if any, duties should we owe each other? Darnella Frazier is rightly receiving recognition as a “hero” for bearing witness to Derek Chauvin’s heinous offense. Other recent spectators to violent crimes have not been so helpful. Our laws should impose a duty to intervene in such serious misconduct when it would be safe and reasonable for a civilian witness to do so.

Keywords: Bystanders, Upstanders, Heroes, Darnella Frazier, George Floyd, Derek Chauvin, Police Brutality, Police Killing, Save, Rescue, Protect, Rape, Sexual Assault, Child Abuse, Murder, Criminal Law, Bad Samaritan Laws, Duty To Report

Suggested Citation

Kaufman, Zachary D., Prod Bystanders to be 'Upstanders' like Darnella Frazier (2021). Houston Chronicle, 2021, Available at SSRN:

Zachary D. Kaufman (Contact Author)

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