Mob mentality could play part in Winton Terrace beating video - WNEM TV 5

Mob mentality a factor in Winton Terrace beating video? Experts weigh in

Posted: Updated:
An image from the video of the incident. An image from the video of the incident.

Cell phone video recorded the stripping, beating and robbery of two women at Winton Terrace last week. After the incident, the video was posted on Facebook. 

Three women are in custody and another remains at large for the incident. 

FOX19 has learned that one of the suspects was involved in a similar attack before. Court records show Jakeda Phillips, who is still at large, was accused of stripping and beating another woman back in 2011.

An arrest warrant has been issued for 25-year-old Phillips. LaShawnda Jones and Geawnna Higgins turned themselves in on Sunday evening.

The fourth suspect, Kianna McMeans, was locked up on Friday with a 50-thousand dollar bond.

Police say the public helped identify the suspects in the cell phone video of the sisters' beating, but the incident begs the questions of how can violent attacks like this happen?

FOX19's Gordon Graham spoke with mental health experts for some insight.

It happens in school yards, sporting events and prisons when experts indicate that normally civilized people become swept up in a mob mentality that strips even nicest people of their humanity. Central Clinic Director, Dr. Walter Smitson says the mob sees the victims as less than human.

"When mob behavior begins there's a certain anonymity that occurs. In other words, the on lookers tend to abandon their own values, their own personalities even. They become mesmerized by what's happening,"  explained Dr. Smitson.

The video shows two victims being punched and kicked repeatedly by attackers, something  Dr. Stephen Strakowski with UC College of Medicine indicates can be associated with a sense of anonymity.

"The other thing about mobs is it gives you historically a chance to be anonymous and so you can behave in this affiliation without taking any personal responsibility,"  said Dr. Strakowski.

Dr. Smitson points out mob rule can be a double edged sword.

"Look at Martin Luther King and Ghandi the way they were able to influence huge numbers of people to be peaceful so the same dynamic occurs of course when somebody begins a violent act or violent behavior,"  she said.

The video also clearly shows several bystanders with some even taking pictures.

"Onlookers may have a lot of frustrations themselves about life, about their cultural issues and system issues so often times they're vicariously expressing some of their own frustrations by just watching it happen," Dr. Smitson said, explaining possibilities as to why no one intervened.

Videos of attacks are sometimes posted on social media, but Dr. Strakowski says that may have some benefits.

"The good news about the filming is maybe at some point the anonymity may no longer be present so maybe some of this will diminish. In fact in this particular incident you can see a lot of the other people involved in this because they're on video so now we can hold them  responsible."

The victim are sisters ages 20 and 21 and are recovering from their injuries. However, one of them is facing an assault charge herself from a separate incident.

Related Content: 

Beating caught on cell phone and posted to Facebook, one suspect arrested.

Copyright 2014 WXIX. All rights reserved.

 

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Report: 5 people injured in nightclub shooting

    Report: 5 people injured in nightclub shooting

    Sunday, May 28 2017 4:19 PM EDT2017-05-28 20:19:44 GMT
    WNEMWNEM
     Police are investigating a shooting that took place early Sunday morning at a nightclub in south Mississippi.    Five people sustained injuries that were not life-threatening.    WLOX quoted police as saying the shooting happened at Platinum Sports Bar & Lounge in Moss Point.    According to Moss Point Police Department, a fight started in the club, which spilled outside into the parking lot. Several people began shooting. Five people were ...More >
     Police are investigating a shooting that took place early Sunday morning at a nightclub in south Mississippi.    Five people sustained injuries that were not life-threatening.    WLOX quoted police as saying the shooting happened at Platinum Sports Bar & Lounge in Moss Point.    According to Moss Point Police Department, a fight started in the club, which spilled outside into the parking lot. Several people began shooting. Five people were ...More >
  • Woman charged in husband's hospital death dies

    Woman charged in husband's hospital death dies

    Sunday, May 28 2017 4:12 PM EDT2017-05-28 20:12:22 GMT
    nonenone
    A woman charged with killing her husband as he lay in a Florida hospital bed last year has died.    Jan Sochalski faced a murder charge for allegedly suffocating her husband last May after he suffered life-threatening complications following back surgery. Sixty-four-year-old Henry Sochalski was a retired Trenton, New Jersey, police officer.    The couple lived in Florida.    The Flagler County Sheriff's Office told The Daytona Beach News-Journal (http://b...More >
    A woman charged with killing her husband as he lay in a Florida hospital bed last year has died.    Jan Sochalski faced a murder charge for allegedly suffocating her husband last May after he suffered life-threatening complications following back surgery. Sixty-four-year-old Henry Sochalski was a retired Trenton, New Jersey, police officer.    The couple lived in Florida.    The Flagler County Sheriff's Office told The Daytona Beach News-Journal (http://b...More >
  • Tiger Woods arrested on suspicion of DUI

    Tiger Woods arrested on suspicion of DUI

    Golf legend Tiger Woods was arrested around 3 a.m. Monday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence in Jupiter, Florida.

    More >

    Golf legend Tiger Woods was arrested around 3 a.m. Monday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence in Jupiter, Florida.

    More >
Powered by Frankly
WNEM
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, WNEM; Saginaw, MI. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.