‘Handcuffed by policy,’ fire and police crews watch man drown in San Francisco. Did they do the right thing?
An apparently suicidal man waded into San Francisco Bay on Monday, stood up to his neck, and waited. As the man drowned, police, fire crews, and others watched idly from the shore.
Why? Officials blamed a departmental policy, stemming from budget cuts, that prevented them from jumping in to save him.
Fifty-year-old Raymond Zack spent nearly an hour in the water before drowning. A crowd of about 75 people, in addition to first responders, watched from the beach in Alameda across the bay from San Francisco as Zack inched farther and farther away, sometimes glancing back, a witness told the San Jose Mercury News. "The next thing he was floating face down."
A volunteer eventually pulled Zack's lifeless body from the Bay.
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