Social Question

ucme's avatar

If you suspect vigilantism,do you report it to the police?

Asked by ucme (46215points) February 6th, 2010

eg.You spot 2 men running past your house late at night,looking anxiously behind them.You discover the next day that a convicted paedophile was viciously attacked in your neighbourhood.Do you report your sighting of the 2 men to the police?

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17 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Yes,I would report it.

laureth's avatar

Personally, I do not believe that two wrongs make a right. You say he’s convicted, which to me means that he has already done the time. I do not know if the paedophile has been reformed, or was on the way to attack another child. It could be that he’s put it behind himself and straightened up, and the attack could be a misguided reactionary crime based on some ignorant assumptions – and worth hoping that the attackers have their own time to serve.

phoebusg's avatar

Yes, there are proper channels to dealing with any offenders. as per laureth’s response – it could be a misunderstanding. That aside, it could be the wrong person.

chaostheory's avatar

Yes I would report it. Firstly you don’t know why the men were running, they may have been connected with a different incident than the attack on the paedophile. Secondly, in a civilised society in should not be tolerated that vigilante groups take the law into their own hands and mete out punishments. That is up to the law and the courts. Violence is seldom the best way to deal with people who act wrongly.

Spinel's avatar

Is this a trick question?

Of course I’ll just smile as the possibility of a man who loves ten year old’s in the wrong way runs by free. Not. I would report, and let the police do their work to see if it’s the right man.

This is situation where, in my mind, the philosophy of it takes back seat. I would be more concerned for the safety of the young children in my neighborhood. They’re safety first, and all the if’s about the man later.

DrBill's avatar

I would have reported it when it happened.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Absolutely – I very rarely allow for people to provide their own version of justice and those two people don’t have the right.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I would report it. What if they were being chased by velociraptors?

Bluefreedom's avatar

As a person who has been in a law enforcement career field for 22 years now, my immediate action would be to report the individuals to the local police department. The two individuals, if they are the guilty party, have committed either assault or aggravated assault which are felony crimes that shouldn’t go unpunished.

No, two wrongs don’t make a right and the process of vigilantism, while it may seemingly appear appropriate or necessary to some, isn’t the correct way to have the justice system work in the way it is currently intended to.

Just for the record, I think Pedophilia is a disgusting and abhorrent crime to the nth degree but I’m not comfortable and wouldn’t ever be comfortable taking the law into my own hands and engaging in behavior that would put me on the same level as criminals already out there. (i.e. – vigilantism)

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

A convicted pedophile is no longer a pedophile, they’re a convicted molester, they have gone beyond their attraction and acted out on it against innocents. There is no successful reformation/rehabilitation for a pedophile or molester and I wouldn’t want them to feel safe and comfortable in any neighborhood where there are children they can access. I’d report the assailants but I wouldn’t be sorry at all for the ex con.

Cruiser's avatar

Hell yes I would report it. There is no room for vigilante justice in my neighborhood.

12_func_multi_tool's avatar

No, not really, sorry everyone

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. If the convicted pedophile was convicted why was he out and free? If he was a pedophile as oppose to someone who lust had sex with a minor and it was not serial I would wonder why no one was watching becaise he would have had to have a GPS ankle think on him. If he was attacking another child and the men twarted that, they had no reason to run or they should have had the child with them. I would have got as much info on them, even tracked them to a house or vehicle if I could and called it in.

girlofscience's avatar

Fuck no. I don’t report anything to the police.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I would report what I saw to aid the authorities in their investigation, it’s not up to me to decide on the case.

Vigilantism, to me, is taking some act of revenge after the fact ,as opposed to forcefully intervening to stop a violent attack. Regardless of the law, I will always intervene if I see someone attacked, unless the police are already present and dealing with it. I consider this to be a natural moral obligation and not vigilantism.

Private acts of revenge are what the criminal justice system is set up to prevent. If we engage in such acts, we are no longer civilsed people, but have reduced ourselves to the level of primitive tribalism.

Nullo's avatar

Eh, maybe, though I generally mind my own business. I live in Mayberry and tend to keep to myself, so I’ve never really had the chance to test myself in that kind of situation.

Now, if I were certain (or at least reasonably certain) of vigilantism, I’d alert the police.

healingvision09's avatar

It depends on the situation really. If this were a town or city where cops were notorious for not really doing their job and I knew the two guys were a couple of wannabe super heros then no i wouldnt report them. Maybe I’d call the police and say “hey assholes theres citizens out here doing your job and making you look even worse than you already are”. I strongly believe that child molestation is a horrible thing. The fact that child molesters and rapists are even allowed to see the light of day is a failed act of justice in my opinion. Dont get me wrong while im thankful for the justice system we have I’m not 100 percent happy with it. Also Im honestly suprised that majority of people seem to be against vigilantism.

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