Vancouver police investigate video showing homeless being kicked in groin for money

A video of a Vancouver man apparently paying two homeless people for the honour of kicking them in the groin has prompted a flurry of questions, including, "Why didn’t anyone stop him?"

The video, purportedly shot on Sunday, shows a large, burley man who can be heard shouting, "You want the money," before kicking a smaller man in the groin. The same man is later seen kicking another person, as a large group of passersby watches, groans and cheers.

The video of the incident was briefly posted on YouTube, before being removed by the user. Global News obtained a copy of the video, and was told by the person who shot it that the aggressor was too large for him to stop.

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“I thought someone should document it,” Riley Speers told the network. “Most people were saying stop, but I think most people were pretty scared because he was a pretty big guy.”

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Vancouver police confirmed on Twitter that they have seen the video and were reviewing the incident. It is not clear how much money was a stake – Global says it was $50 while the Vancouver Sun says it was $40.

But it does appear that aggressor took the money back from at least one of the victims, apparently because he failed to provide an easy target. The video ends with the man chasing the second homeless man down the street.

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It is hard to decipher a takeaway lesson from this bizarre incident. Sometimes a jackass is just a jackass. But why didn’t any of the numerous witnesses intervene?  Vancouver has a real issue with homelessness, and this incident would suggest that some city youths feel a disconnect from their plight.

Vancouver Mayor Greg Robertson played a key role at the National Conference on Ending Homelessness last year, calling it a national crisis and urging action. A 2013 count of homeless people suggested Vancouver's homeless population was 1,600 and that their general health was deteriorating.

Being paid to be assaulted surely doesn’t help that one bit.

Photo via Global News

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