Psychology professor: Mob mentality rampant in riot

Photo: KGMI

Psychology professor: Mob mentality rampant in riot

KGMI News Reporting
By Karen Taylor

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – A Western Washington University psychology professor says those involved in the recent riot near the campus exhibited all the traits of the “mob mentality.”

Dr. David Sattler says if a crowd cheers on someone throwing a beer bottle, it can positively reinforce that bad behavior and lead to more of it.

Play Dr. David Sattler on mob mentality

A block party at a Jersey Street apartment complex raged out of control after police tried to disperse it.

Bellingham Police say as many as 500 people were gathered in Laurel Park at the peak of the violence.

Sattler says the mob mentality flourished in this situation because people felt they could use the crowd as a cover and not get caught.

Bellingham Police have arrested four people and are hoping photos will help identify 11 more.