Recently released surveillance footage captures the last moments of a hotel cocktail sever who died helplessly on the streets of Chicago last year — as well as the heartless people who watched him die and did nothing.
On Feb. 7, 2015, Marques Gaines went into a 7-Eleven store on North State Street to buy a packet of chips. The CCTV video (posted above) shows him exiting the store and walking into an ongoing argument between two men and a security guard. Though it is unclear what the argument was about, the 35-year-old victim evidently tried to talk to the group before making his way toward the street.
Gaines had just reached the crosswalk when an unnamed man assaulted him, knocking him unconscious. Immediately after Gaines fell on the street, several muggers approached his unmoving body to steal his belongings, while nearly half a dozen bystanders just stay back and watch the unconscious man being robbed.
A 7-Eleven employee, who witnessed the entire scene, called 911 to report the crime. However, no one moved Gaines out of the street and two minute later a cab driver turned the corner and ran over his body.
Gaines later died at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
“We as people, as humans, we should care for one another,” victim’s cousin Drexina Nelson told the Chicago Tribune. “Who leaves a person in the street for that long? That’s devastating to me — the fact that he could have been saved. He could still be here with us.”
The Gaines family initially filed a lawsuit against Chicago Taxi and the cab driver who killed the man, but they have now decided to sue 7-Eleven as well, for failing to intervene. Meanwhile, the assailants seen in the surveillance footage remain at large.
“The security guard they had on duty, you can see in the video, is doing absolutely nothing to dissipate the situation or help Marques even after he’s been hit,” Chris Hurley, attorney for the Gaines’ family, told WGNTV. “He’s remarkably unqualified for the job that he’s in. And he’s been placed there by a corporation who can afford somebody’s who’s properly trained.”
If someone had only dragged Gaines’ body off the road and onto the pavement, he might have survived — or at least a vehicle would not have run him over. The situation could have been handled only if a single bystander had felt some empathy.