Saturday, April 19, 2008

Copycat Attack: 12-Year-Old Beaten Video Posted on Youtube

Something has to be done about the plague of violence glorified by a Youtube culture:

A group of middle school girls videotaped the beating of a 12-year-old schoolmate and posted it on the Internet in an attack that authorities believe was inspired by a similar one in Florida, police said.

No charges have been filed and police said they have not yet interviewed all the girls, ages 12-14, who are students at Clarksville Middle School in Indiana. The girls' identities were not released because they are juveniles.

The victim, who was treated for cuts and bruises at a hospital, was the daughter of a police officer, said Police Chief Dwight Ingle.

Police said the girls lured the victim to a parking lot near a warehouse in the town just north of Louisville, Kentucky, on April 12 and beat her up. The violence was videotaped and later posted on the video-sharing Web site PhotoBucket, Ingle said. It has since been removed.

The video begins with one girl arguing with the victim and escalates into a fight during which the 12-year-old is repeatedly hit in the head as other girls watch and laugh, police said.

Detective Darrell Rayborn said Thursday that police believe the plot was inspired by a similar scheme in which a group of teenage girls in central Florida posted the videotaped beating of a 16-year-old victim online. Parts of that video have been widely seen on TV and Youtube.

It wasn't just Youtube in general that glamorized the beating of that girl which led to the copycat incident. People, especially the young, imitate what they see, especially if it is sensationlized:
The Florida cheerleader whose brutal 30-minute beating last week became one of the most-watched video clips on has spoken publicly for the first time about her ordeal.

"Your No. 1 friend is your family. Don't trust anybody," warns Victoria Lindsay, 16, in an interview with People magazine during an "Inside Edition" preview.

The Lakeland, Fl, teen, who is now being home schooled, suffered concussion, bruising and damage to her left eye and ear during the beating, which took place on March 30 at a friend's home and caused a media storm after appearing online.

In a 911 call requesting an ambulance after the viscous attack and released by police on Tuesday, Lindsay sobbed to the dispatcher, "I just got jumped", while a woman identified as a friend's mother described her injuries as "blood in her mouth, a big old knot on her left eye, and we think she's got a tooth broke."

Commenting on the public nature of the assault, Lindsay's father, Patrick Lindsay, told People magazine that he feels "bitter" about the viral nature of the videotaped beating for which eight of her classmates, six girls and two boys aged between 14 and 18, face charges including battery and false imprisonment.

"You put it on the Internet, it will live in infamy," he explained.

There was another recent incident:
Video of a northwest Missouri boy beating a smaller youth has been removed from YouTube.

The tape shows a Savannah High School student pummeling another boy in the face and head in the school's gym locker room. YouTube removed the 30-second video Tuesday afternoon after the tape was viewed 1,042 times.

The larger of the teens knocked the other down into the fetal position with about a dozen punches, then slugged him another 13 times until the boy's face bled.

The mother of the larger teen defended her son Tuesday, telling the St. Joseph News-Press that the smaller boy was a bully, and that her son "had had enough of it." The smaller boy's mother said the incident is personal business.

School officials said district policy dictated discipline for the March 18 incident but declined to elaborate.

Economy in Crisis: Largest U.S. Bank Reports $5 Billion in Losses

How is this not bad for the economy:

Citigroup Inc (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research) posted its second straight quarterly loss on Friday, hurt by more than $16 billion of write-downs and costs related to credit losses, and said it will cut another 9,000 jobs.

Though the $5.11 billion first-quarter loss was larger than expected, analysts and investors expressed optimism that the largest U.S. bank and its new chief executive, Vikram Pandit, were taking necessary steps to move past credit problems and drive down costs.

Citigroup shares rose $2.22, or 9.2 percent, to $26.25 in premarket electronic trading.

"It's a cathartic quarter," said Arthur Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co in Boston. "Vikram Pandit is coming in and making pretty big changes."

Citigroup's net loss totaled $1.02 per share, and compared with a year-earlier profit of $5.01 billion, or $1.01 per share. Revenue fell 48 percent to $13.22 billion.

Analysts, on average, expected a loss of 96 cents per share on revenue of $14.35 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

"We're not happy with our financial results this quarter," Pandit said on a conference call. Nevertheless, he said his confidence in Citigroup's future is "extremely high."

The job cuts are in addition to 4,200 announced in the previous quarter. Citigroup said it ended March with about 369,000 employees.

[...]Citigroup has lost close to $15 billion in the last two quarters, and has suffered more than $46 billion in write-downs and increased credit costs since the middle of 2007.

The bank has also slashed its dividend and raised more than $30 billion in capital. It ended March with a Tier-1 capital ratio of 7.7 percent, up from 7.12 percent at year-end, and above the 6 percent that regulators deem "well-capitalized." The ratio measures the ability to cover losses.

Book value per share, which measures assets minus liabilities, fell to $20.73 from $22.74 at year end. Return on equity was negative 18.6 percent in the quarter.

Write-downs in the latest quarter included $6 billion tied to subprime mortgages, $3.1 billion for loans to fund corporate buyouts, $1.5 billion for bond insurer exposure, $1.5 billion for auction-rate securities, $1 billion for below-prime "Alt-A" mortgages, and $600 million for commercial real estate.