Hotel fires NYC doormen who watched attack on Asian senior

Originally published at: Hotel fires NYC doormen who watched attack on Asian senior | Boing Boing


I hope we’re finally learning, as a society at least, that it’s unacceptable to be a passive bystander when witnessing fascists and bigots victimising others.


Arsehole inception.


Why do New York real estate companies have names that sound like organised crime groups?


I’d be interested to know what would have happened to the doormen had they done something.

Just standing there obviously looks atrocious; but it’s very common indeed for there to be fairly explicit policies in place for public-facing employees about not engaging in potentially dangerous (and expensive for their employer) ways.

No surprise that they are getting fired, given how bad the tape looks; but would also be unsurprised if there’s a section in the employee manual all about the limits of what one is allowed to do when discouraging antisocial behavior in the vicinity of one’s door.


Presumably the employee manual says that if you see a crime being committed you should call the police.


Explicit policies don’t stop one from being a human being. Apathy does.


I briefly incorporated as Beschizza Heavy Industries and had a website with pictures of container ships, cooling towers and enormous presses and started getting exceptionally interesting inquiries. Honestly might bring it back because nowadays Softbank will just offer me billions in unsecured credit


During the attack, you could almost understand the possibility of company policy facilitating their common cowardice for preventing them from intervening. However, once the attacker left and they closed the door while the victim was lying beaten on the ground, a line was definitely crossed.


“A statement from the building’s owners to CNN said that after the suspect fled the scene, the doormen assisted the woman and flagged down a police vehicle.”

“However, it added that “required emergency and safety protocols were not followed”.

It appears that they took some action once it no longer involved a confrontation with the assailant(which is consistent with spinelessness; but also looks very much like a “don’t do anything that would leave us paying a wrongful death suit” policy being followed); I’ve been unable to turn up any details on what the ‘required emergency and safety protocols’ were.

Just in case this isn’t clear; I’m definitely not looking to praise the doormen(or doorman and concierge, exact job titles appear to differ between the BBC and CNN article), if they were shooting for ‘courage++ and doing the right thing’ they could have ignored whatever policy was in place and attempted to intervene anyway; and it is entirely possible that they in fact failed to intervene even as much as policy required.

I’m just a bit curious, given the policies commonly enforced on pretty much any non-cop employees, whether this situation actually had a solution where they didn’t end up getting terminated; whether quietly after the fact if they’d rushed out and gotten involved; or as soon as the tapes came out if they didn’t(as here).


Agreed. Many cases of employees being fired at retail jobs for intervening in criminal acts. Probably calling the cops would have been OK though. “It’s not my problem” is not an acceptable response ever.


But is panicking and watching in horror because you don’t know what to do an acceptable reaction? That’s how I was told to expect everyone else to react to a crisis when I took CPR training. I feel we are witnessing am employer discarding employees that they see as easily replaceable as a PR tactic without doing a thing to alter the problem.


Even if you don’t physically intervene, calling the cops is an action that would be acceptable. Yelling at the attacker would be OK. Yes, I am trained to act in stressful situations, and do not necessarily expect them to go all Jacky Chan on the guy, but calling for help should be a “normal” response.


i was outraged when i saw this video, for obvious reasons. but while i’d like to think of myself as someone who would swiftly step into action in such a situation, regardless of whether there were any official policies against it, or regardless of danger to myself in the face of a person who looks bigger than me and has demonstrated his willingness to hurt and kill others, i have to recognize that that may be at least partly a fantasy, and that freezing in terror or confusion must be a natural and acceptable human response. we don’t mock or condemn victims of similar trauma for not knowing what to do in those situations, in fact we try to comfort them.


That’s part of what’s driving the firings. The building owners don’t want it being the centre of another Kitty Genovese narrative about apathetic bystanders in NYC.

Of course, the actual events of the Genovese case weren’t just a clear-cut case of the “bystander effect” – some people did call the police. Still, the more simplistic narrative exists and no New Yorker (especially the landlord’s PR consultant) wants to be associated with it.


Yelling at people to knock it off in front of the building seems like a pretty big part of the job too. What is the point of having doormen if not for situations like these?


In my experience, they’re usually chasing off beggars, rowdy teenagers, and (in buildings with celebrity residents) paparazzi and reporters. If they don’t scoot they call the cops.

A doorman might hesitate to confront someone obviously deranged and violent, but what happened here took apathetic bystanding beyond that.


I don’t think doormen are for situations like these. If someone was walking down the street shooting people we would not expect the doormen to yell at them to knock it off. There is a spectrum of violence and disasters that can occur. At some point along that spectrum people are triggered into their fight/flight/freeze response.

If a person witnessing this situation is able to engage their rational mind, calling 911 is a pretty obvious thing to do at the very least. If they don’t do that, odds are it’s because they were not thinking rationally (I find it hard to believe actual callous people who want to stand and watch someone be beaten are more than 5% of the population).

I’m just always very skeptical that firing the nearest low-wage workers is a good solution to any problem.


I don’t want to discuss what form of argument is being used here. I may not have communicated well, but my intent was to place horrific things to witness on a spectrum and state my belief that all people are capable of being triggered at some point along that spectrum, not to draw an equivalence between anything.

Maybe a clearer way say what I mean is that I have watched the video and I find the events on it so horrific is is easy for me to believe a person could be frozen in confusion and helplessness while witnessing them.


We want to know more!!!