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Dr. Judy Ho Comments on Ferguson Riots | CBS Los Angeles

November 25, 2014  | 1 min read

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Despite the distance, many in Los Angeles say the decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in connection with the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager is “personal.”

“We can’t rely on the police to keep us safe when they kill us, and it’s wrong. I’m scared myself,” one protester in South L.A. told CBS2’s Laurie Perez on Tuesday.

As Perez reports, those protesting a grand jury’s decision a day earlier in the Michael Brown case say tension between police and people of color is a conflict without boundaries.

“What happened in Missouri is happening all over world. All over the United States,” said Stanley Dukes, another protester.

Although rallies locally have been mostly peaceful, psychologist Judy Ho explains why protests and even celebrations, at times, take a destructive turn.

“What grouping does is it turns off the logic in your brain, so you’re going to go emotionally with whatever you’re feeling at the time,” she said.

She continued: “If one person starts to be aggressive, everybody with jump on that bandwagon even when they don’t actually feel it themselves.”

She says that kind of purely emotional reaction or the notion that releasing frustration will make one feel better is ineffective for protesters and their cause.

“Contrary to what we believe, science actually shows the more aggressive you are, the more you act out, the more angry you become. It actually doesn’t dispel the anger,” she said.