Across the country, including here in Washington, teenagers are playing a dangerous game called “Knock-em-out” where a person is selected at random and a teenager tries to knock him or her out with one punch (often from behind). As the video shows, victims often hit their heads on the pavement and risk serious injury. One teenager, Marvell Weaver, in Lansing Michigan however picked the wrong guy. On this twitter, Weaver is shown holding a shotgun and saying he would “blow your mouth back.”
The game also called “pickem out, knockem out” or just “knockout” appears a modern manifestation of a Clockwork Orange mentality.
Weaver has played the game before and selected his new victim in a man waiting to pick up his six-year-old daughter from school. Weaver wanted to use a taser on the man to knock him out. He and his friends circled a couple of times and then Weaver jumped out and shoved something into his side. The man pulled a out a .40 caliber pistol and shot Weaver twice — once in the leg and once an inch away from his spine.
What is interesting is that there is no report of his friends being arrested, which would mean that Weaver did not give their names or prosecutors did not see the need to charge them for their crimes. It is equally important to punish the people in these groups if police are going to deter this game. Who was driving the van? Why would Weaver get a light sentence if he did not identify the other people in the van?
I am also surprised with the sentence — just one year for trying to knock out a stranger with a taser for fun. He was shot and that is obviously a serious repercussion for Weaver but the man could have been seriously injured from this random and despicable assault. Moreover, he has admitted that he and his friends have done this to a number of different people. This “game” seems to be to constitute a clear self-identification of depraved and dangerous individual without any sense of humanity. To play this game shows an obvious detachment from basic values governing civilized society. That makes them dangerous.
Weaver has admitted that he got a light sentence but says “it was just a lesson learned. I wish I hadn’t played the game at all.” I am less than impressed. Most human beings do not need to get shot to regret attacking people at random. This epiphany never came with the scene of people knocked unconscious on the street while Weaver and his friends laughed.
Do you feel one year in jail is sufficient punishment for these individuals?
You can see how teenagers play this “game” here and then laughed as people fall unconscious on the street.