“He was bum-rushed by 200 people,” co-worker Jimmy Overby, 43, told the Daily News. “They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me.”
Also, inspired, in an angry sort of way:
The nose of a mob is its imagination. By this, at any time, it can be quietly led. – Poe
Poe is not the only person who refers to mobs as an individual. Nobody is confused if I refer to ‘the mob’ as an entity. So, if mob behaviour leads to damage, injury or death, why not change and try the mob as a single individual?
i.e. If John Farkhwitt is caught on camera, jostling for position at the edge of a mob which tears the doors off a Walmart and crushes a hapless door-guy to death, then he can be charged with manslaughter, and so can everyone else present!
This might seem harsh, but only if it were retroactive: If Mr Farkhwitt knows that becoming part of a mob makes him liable for the actions of people he may never meet, on the far side of the throng, maybe he wouldn’t be so keen to jostle for position in the first place.
Obviously this needs a little fine-tuning; we don’t want to impact freedom of association, or the right to peaceful protest.
If you disagree with this idea, please try to suggest an alternative: If the guilty party in this story is the crowd, and not just the individuals in it who passed over the shop assistant, how else could they be held accountable as a group, for killing a man? If you don’t think the group are to blame, who is and why?