Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tragedy Begets Tragedy: NYC's Controversial Subway Death

This New York Post cover from Tuesday, December 4, 2012, has spawned enormous controversy.

Is there any news value to showing a moment in time depicting the final seconds in the life of a man who is about to die? I think that the answer is yes in light of the story of how he came to be on the tracks in front of a rapidly approaching subway train. The victim was pushed by another customer after an argument. CNN posted a video of the two men arguing in the minutes before the victim, Ki-Suck-Han, was pushed onto the tracks. The man who pushed him fled into the train station at Times Square.

The photographer who snapped the picture, Umar Abbasi, has come under heavy criticism for taking pictures rather than helping the man off the tracks. From the looks of the cover photo, either there were not many people around or they had also backed away from the man who was about to be struck. It is an absolute certainty that the NY subway system ill be sued. It remains to be seen whether any charges--criminal or civil-- will be filed against anyone involved in this horrifically sad event.


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