Why Would Someone Break Windows, Loot?

Why Peaceful Protesting Turns To Looting

While looking at video and images of the unrest in Charlotte, you might be asking yourself “why would someone break windows and steal from stores?” It certainly takes away from the real message of the demonstrators.

2 Wants to Know brought that question to an expert at UNC-Greensboro.

"When we have anger and fear and anxiety and frustration, we manifest it in different ways depending on who you are,” said Dr. Stephanie Irby Coard, Human Development and Family Studies Professor at UNC-Greensboro. “So we don't know necessarily the histories of those individuals. They may be individuals who have mental health problems, they may be individuals where they just hit a limit and just lost it."

Dr. Irby Coard said it's important not to lump the peaceful protesters in with those smashing windows and looting businesses. She said it's really individuals who are starting the violent acts, not the groups.

Oftentimes, the feeling of not being heard escalates the problem and the reaction. "If you feel like you're not even being attended to in any way and just dismissed, it's like a child who will say 'you know what, I'm not being given any attention, I'm going to do something, at least I'm going to get attention, at least they'll look at me and see me, maybe hear me," said Irby Coard.

The big takeaway here: Dr. Irby Coard said don't assume everyone who's protesting is a looter. The looters are a smaller group but attract more attention.

Copyright 2016 WFMY


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