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In this case, the right set of circumstances has to do with the size of the group observing an attack.The larger the group, the less likely is it that anyone will take action.On October 24, 2009 ten to twenty High School students stood passively by as a 15 year old girl was repeatedly gang raped and beaten over a two hour period. While the newspaper and television accounts of the crime shocked the nation, it is not the first time a crime occurs while citizens do nothing to rescue a victim.In fact, the phenomenon has a term called "The Bystander Effect." The term was coined after the infamous and tragic Kitty Genovese case of 1965 that happened one late one night in Queens New York.One night, when approached by four youngsters whom he was convinced were about to attack him because they asked him for money, pulled out his gun and began firing.Ultimately, Getz was not held accountable even though it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon in the City unless one has a license.During these episodes, there were frequent circumstances in which bystanders took no action to protect the victim.All of this reached a crisis point under the New York City administration of Mayor Ed Koch, during the 1970's or 80's when subway rider Bernard Getz, having been victimized by these young criminal in the past, rode the trains armed with a gun.
What would you do if you found yourself witnessing these types of crimes?
I suspect that the public strongly identified with Getz and felt no sorrow about the young and African American victims who were permanently paralyzed by the shooting.
After World War II most of the Nazis convicted of war crimes claimed as their defense that they were just following orders.
Someone yelled out the window to the attacker to leave her alone or they would call the police.
The attacker ran off, the police were called, refused to believe anything serious happened and did not respond.
In this case, observing no one taking action is translated into something like, "It is not appropriate for me to take action." 5.