Cell-phone video captures violent mob attack in Kalamazoo

Updated: Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Cell-phone video captures violent mob attack in Kalamazoo  story image

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – In August woman on Kalamazoo’s northside was viciously attacked by a mob of woman and it was all caught on camera.

Newschannel 3 has been told that police were never called after the attack occurred and the video, later found circulating on Facebook, was eventually brought to the attention of Kalamazoo Public Safety by a concerned citizen.

Sources tell Newschannel 3 that the woman who was attacked did not want to prosecute.

Newschannel 3 spoke to a city leader and a psychotherapist about the growing impact of videos like this. The psychotherapist says victims in these so called mob beatings suffer not only physical harm, but intense emotional trauma as well.

Such attacks can lead to anxiety, depression and substance abuse. If video of the attack is then posted on social media it only escalates those feelings as it is shared over and over again. The sad part is that police say it happens all the time.

It was the middle of August, the video posted on Facebook shows a young woman walking down the street on Kalamazoo’s northside. People are screaming out and then the woman is attacked by at least a dozen other women.

The punching, hair pulling and kicking were all caught on a cell phone camera by an unknown man, cheering the fight on.

Kalamazoo City Commissioner Stephanie Moore tells Newschannel 3 that she’s disgusted every time she sees fights like this and says they are becoming a fad.

“This sad part about this is a lot of those attacks that are being videotaped are going unclaimed to public safety,” said Moore. “People aren’t calling police, they’re not calling for help, they just think it’s a joke, they put it on social media and it continues to spiral out of control.”

Moore says many times the victims who see themselves beaten on social media want to defend their honor by showing further aggression and the cycle of violence continues.

Newschannel 3 asked psychotherapist Tien Sydnor-Campbell what went wrong. She said she believes that a mob mentality took over.

“You don’t even think for yourself when that kind of stuff takes over,” said Sydnor-Campbell, “because the energy of the moment literally takes you with it, you have to have a strong constitution and be someone who is not a follower, the person who says ‘I’m not going to do it,’ can get chased away from the group and be victimized as well.”

Now, city officials are asking parents to tell their kids that this sort of behavior is not acceptable and to think twice before posting video of fights online.

Commissioner Moore also says she’s working to bring back a psychologist to the northside to help victims of violent crime. Before the Douglas Community Center cut funding and cut their counselor, Moore says there was a waiting list for people seeking help.

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