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Protesting as a Psychologist

jadezomb

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Hi all,

Hypothetical question!

With all the protests going on, I’ve been thinking a lot about the implications of attending a protest as a psychologist. If I went and was protesting peacefully, but somehow got arrested, how would this look on a potential background check for a future job? Would you hire someone that was charged with a crime related to protesting? What would the implications be for licensure?

Just curious about everyone’s thoughts!
 
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Mercury in Taurus

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Be careful. Safety precautions:

1. Water makes pepper spray worse. Use milk or liquid antacid and water. Don't wear contacts.

2. If you get tear gassed, when you get home, put the contaminated clothes in a plastic bag for later decontamination and shower with cold water to avoid opening your pores.

3. Come with friends and don't get separated.
Avoid leaving the crowd and watch out for police snatch squads.

4. Make sure you know how to spot undercover cops in your crowd. Beware of undercovers, but beware snitch jacketing and collaborator 'peace police' even more.

5. The far-right is very good at combing through pictures and doxxing people. Mask up.

6. Write any necessary phone numbers you may need directly on your skin in sharpie.

7. Have an offsite plan for emergencies if you have not been heard from by X time coordinated with someone offsite.

8. Make sure all mobile devices are charged!!

9. If you plan on going to jail, plan it: bail, lawyer, time off from work, witnesses i.e.: a cadre. Don't just go to jail without training.

10. Beware folks inciting violence. Most of them are police feds. Watch out for hookups for the same reason. Get to know the crowd. They will set you up.

11. Wear dishwashing gloves or up the arm gloves.

12. Bring a change of clothes.

13. Make sure you wear 3 pairs of underwear

14. Cover your descriptions
I.e. tattoos, piercings, hair .

15. A traffic cone thrown over the tear gas canister with water poured into it will diffuse it.

16. Make sure all cell phone footage backs up to the cloud in case devices are confiscated/lost.
 
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I think the implications of this are unknown and in that sense you are giving some control of your fate to licensing boards, employers, and random strangers around you potentially committing felonies, etc. I mean I could see some having little issue with it, but I could see potential charges (which are out of your hands and in the hands of law enforcement/DAs) from participating being quite harmful to practicing psychology (e.g., whatever charges that could relate to endangering the public, violence, destruction of property, noncompliance with state and local orders whatever orders including stay at home during pandemic orders). Clinically, what if you make the news and your hospital admin or patients see you being detained or even phyiscally just nearby others who are destroying city property? This evidence may pop up with every Google search of your name forever. Is it worth it?
 
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PsyDr

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Do what you want. Espouse your own personal beliefs. Use actual logic. Ditch the appeal to authority (ie “as a psychologist). Learn the system of governance. Adopt your country’s contributions while understanding others contributions (eg., rye> bourbon, sparking > champagne, tuxedo> Evening coat, cbt>existentialism)
 
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Mercury in Taurus

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Sorry to get off topic, but can you explain these?
11. wear dishwashing gloves for protection (Covid-19 related safety precaution); easy to take off and slide back on without having to touch your hands.
13. In jail, detainees are issued one pair of light green briefs. No boxers allowed since they are considered a fashion statement on the street. The laundry schedule can be a little confusing and depends on whether you are washing lights or darks. In general, detainees are to wear the tighty greenies for three or four days before they issue another pair and collect the dirty ones. The green briefs might be previously worn by someone else who turned them in days ago.

The logistics involved with protesting, of course, would run a much longer list than the 16 items posted above.
 
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MamaPhD

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Hi all,

Hypothetical question!

With all the protests going on, I’ve been thinking a lot about the implications of attending a protest as a psychologist. If I went and was protesting peacefully, but somehow got arrested, how would this look on a potential background check for a future job? Would you hire someone that was charged with a crime related to protesting? What would the implications be for licensure?

Just curious about everyone’s thoughts!

FYI, in my state, licensed psychologists have to report any arrest regardless of whether a conviction follows. One of the more common board actions is disciplining a licensee who failed to report an arrest (anecdotally, most of these seem to be for DUIs).
 
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WisNeuro

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Again, not a reasonable approach. In my opinion, the protestors are providing cover (making policing the rampant theft and destruction difficult) for rioters and looters and contributing to the destruction of businesses and livelihoods and to the degradation of communities in the long term. Target will not return to Minneapolis.

Target ain't going anywhere, just like Coca cola doesn't leave Atlanta after riots, and T Rowe Price and Under Armour didn't leave Baltimore.
 
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WisNeuro

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Probably right. I misread a story. Still, you will have many that won’t reopen. There will be long lasting economic damage. Insurability in some communities will be less.

Businesses open and close all of the time. And now, with Covid, even harder to place all of the blame for those openings on one thing. Lot of people are going to try to pin blame on one thing or another, when the real cause is multi-faceted.
 
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WisNeuro

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-shrug- looting stores of their inventory and burning them seems a reasonably significant source of variance.

Sure, for which they likely have insurance which will cover the damages. Also, where do we line up the blame for looting? People living in the city acting stupid, antifa, far right provocateurs hoping for the boogaloo, randos with no real ideaology that just want to see **** burn? They're all here.
 
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WisNeuro

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it would be relevant to which political ideology is contributing most to driving the damage.

Not really, I don't recall anything in OPs post which mentioned rioting and looting. Even if it did, it would still be an n of 1 in the grand scheme of things, of which we don't yet have accurate numbers of who has been arrested and where they hail from.
 
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BuckeyeLove

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I'm glad this thread got started. I have MULTIPLE colleagues, some from grad school, some from fellowship and other jobs, who are out actively protesting. Some of them work in the forensic arena. I've been ruminating all weekend about how this might potentially bite them in the butt down the line if something horrible were to happen and they were tied to it.
 
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DokterMom

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Be careful. Safety precautions:

1. Water makes pepper spray worse. Use milk or liquid antacid and water. Don't wear contacts.

2. If you get tear gassed, when you get home, put the contaminated clothes in a plastic bag for later decontamination and shower with cold water to avoid opening your pores.

3. Come with friends and don't get separated.
Avoid leaving the crowd and watch out for police snatch squads.

4. Make sure you know how to spot undercover cops in your crowd. Beware of undercovers, but beware snitch jacketing and collaborator 'peace police' even more.

5. The far-right is very good at combing through pictures and doxxing people. Mask up.

6. Write any necessary phone numbers you may need directly on your skin in sharpie.

7. Have an offsite plan for emergencies if you have not been heard from by X time coordinated with someone offsite.

8. Make sure all mobile devices are charged!!

9. If you plan on going to jail, plan it: bail, lawyer, time off from work, witnesses i.e.: a cadre. Don't just go to jail without training.

10. Beware folks inciting violence. Most of them are police feds. Watch out for hookups for the same reason. Get to know the crowd. They will set you up.

11. Wear dishwashing gloves or up the arm gloves.

12. Bring a change of clothes.

13. Make sure you wear 3 pairs of underwear

14. Cover your descriptions
I.e. tattoos, piercings, hair .

15. A traffic cone thrown over the tear gas canister with water poured into it will diffuse it.

16. Make sure all cell phone footage backs up to the cloud in case devices are confiscated/lost.


I feel like such a rookie... :bow:

Be safe --
 
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DokterMom

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thats an empirical question. How much you want to bet op in the how do I go protest thread is a progressive lib?
it would be relevant to which political ideology is contributing most to driving the damage.

- Protesting police violence and the injustice of treating non-whites as suspects first, citizens second is not looting or vandalism. Some would argue standing up for the civil rights of others is a civic responsibility.

- Looting and vandalism are expressions of rage, not political ideology.

(Edited to add: Except when, apparently, looting, vandalism and violence is instigated by far-right extremists attempting to shift blame onto far-left extremists. Truly contemptible behavior.)​
 
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WisNeuro

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oh I see.

yes, op is an anecdote. The protestors are aiding the rioting and looting by creating more demand on infrastructure. They’re also not social distancing.

You could just easily say that if Minneapolis police didn't have a history of killing unarmed civilians, and keeping officers on the force with numerous complaints of excessive use of force that go investigated, we'd have far less demand on infrastructure and 7 figure payouts.
 
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WisNeuro

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you could literally do this every month. Many unarmed people are killed by police every year in our population of ~400,000,000. This one just happened to get picked and fanned by media.

Ah, it's commonplace so we should just continue to let it go unchecked. Talk about being manipulated...
 
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WisNeuro

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Didn’t say it should go unchecked. Dude was arrested and charged. One could advocate for training and screening changes for the police forces. I’m just saying protesting right now in this situation is the product of manipulation.

One could just as easily say that advocating for the status quo is a product of more deep-seated manipulation.
 
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beginner2011

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further, this could be done pretty much monthly. We have a pandemic active. Why not wait until an unarmed person is killed in December? You could protest then and not help spread corona.

It's almost as though *gasp* the two may be related? Could it be that chronic stress (e.g., unemployment crisis, health crisis, social support crises) might increase the sense of frustration and outrage and lead to something like a protest in the face of blatant injustice?

Come on, man. Wake up.
 
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Mercury in Taurus

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Third-degree murder. He had his knee on Floyd's neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds in total — two minutes and 53 seconds of that time was after Floyd was not responsive (Court Case No: 27-CR-20-12646).
Rage is an emotional reaction of those who require greater fortitude to see the light of "the start of justice." Some also live with the perpetual fear that it could have been or will be them.
 

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Mercury in Taurus

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Minnesota law originally defined third-degree murder solely as depraved-heart murder ("without intent to effect the death of any person, caus[ing] the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life").[7][

No?
It looks like you have done some legal research and I will respect that the presenting information is factual. Here are my speculations (with my personal bias):
The injustice or perceived or anticipated injustice related to Floyd's death (for the sake of clarity in this discussion, I am treating as if Floyd's tragical death is an isolated event) is coming from a fearful place that the accused and arrested officer might plead guilty to a lower charge and serve a light sentence and walk away to live a free life. With good legal representation, he might even walk away as an innocent man. Again, these are my hypothesized explanations of the anticipated injustice. We really don't know what is going to happen but honestly many are anxious to see true justice served before greater damage and/or more innocent deaths.
A person charged with a crime is, by law, innocent. He is guilty of accused crime only after being convicted meaning that he has pleaded guilty or has been found guilty after trial.
To charge someone with a crime, the government needs minimum evidence to do so. That amount of evidence is referred to as ‘Probable Cause.’
To convict someone of crime(s), the government needs significantly more evidence. That amount of evidence is ‘Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.’
The burden of proof is the exclusive province of the government. The accused has no obligation to offer evidence. As a matter of fact, his legal representative is entitled to review the evidence that will be presented in front of the jury if it is a trial by jury/ judge if it is a bench trial. This process is called pre-trial discovery. In a civil lawsuit, during pre-trial discovery, both parties (defendant(s) and plaintiff(s)) are required to provide the opponent side with evidence they have and plan to present. Evidence not made available to the opponent party in the pre-trial stage is not permissible in court unless the specific motion is filed and granted by the court. Since this is a criminal case, the accused has no obligation to present any evidence to prove his innocence therefore to disclose; however, he is entitled to have a copy of the evidence that the government has and plan to present.
How much evidence is needed to prove someone guilty Beyond a Reasonable Doubt? There is no direct answer to that. The jury must decide.
Officer Chauvin is perceived to have access and resources to be supported by a sophisticated defense team that will potentially help him to either walk free or gets a conviction of a lesser crime than a 3rd-degree murder. That is the root of the preassumed and/or anticipated injustice. That is where some people are basing on either their own previous experiences with the legal system or witnessing historical injustice.
In the business of ensuring emotional well-being, it is beyond the scope of our practice to determine who is right, who is wrong, or if someone is at wrong then what is the degree of the wrongness. However, it is our committed duty to illustrate and model the willingness to find some common ground and show an interest in trying to understand with or without agreement.
 
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psych.meout

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~1000 people killed by police a year. so, why protest now while riots are national on the topic? Seems you’re being manipulated to me. Especially given, there’s nearly universal agreement that the cop was wrong and he was charged.
You're rewriting history. He and the other cops weren't fired until after the outrage started and he wasn't charged until after the protesting and rioting started. If not for the outrage, protesting, and rioting, this would be another case that cops and city government would try to sweep under the rug.

You're also pretending like this is some isolated incident instead of a reaction to many recent murders of Black Americans by police. For example, Breonna Taylor was recently murdered in Louisville and police were not only trying to sweep it under the rug, but also prosecute her boyfriend for defending them against the police with his legal firearm.

More importantly, Floyd's murderer has a brutality and excessive force rap sheet a mile long. Part of the outrage is that Floyd would still be alive if police faced any kind of actual discipline any consequences at earlier stages of the process before they murder citizens.
 
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D

deleted480308

Be careful. Safety precautions:

1. Water makes pepper spray worse. Use milk or liquid antacid and water. Don't wear contacts.

2. If you get tear gassed, when you get home, put the contaminated clothes in a plastic bag for later decontamination and shower with cold water to avoid opening your pores.

3. Come with friends and don't get separated.
Avoid leaving the crowd and watch out for police snatch squads.

4. Make sure you know how to spot undercover cops in your crowd. Beware of undercovers, but beware snitch jacketing and collaborator 'peace police' even more.

5. The far-right is very good at combing through pictures and doxxing people. Mask up.

6. Write any necessary phone numbers you may need directly on your skin in sharpie.

7. Have an offsite plan for emergencies if you have not been heard from by X time coordinated with someone offsite.

8. Make sure all mobile devices are charged!!

9. If you plan on going to jail, plan it: bail, lawyer, time off from work, witnesses i.e.: a cadre. Don't just go to jail without training.

10. Beware folks inciting violence. Most of them are police feds. Watch out for hookups for the same reason. Get to know the crowd. They will set you up.

11. Wear dishwashing gloves or up the arm gloves.

12. Bring a change of clothes.

13. Make sure you wear 3 pairs of underwear

14. Cover your descriptions
I.e. tattoos, piercings, hair .

15. A traffic cone thrown over the tear gas canister with water poured into it will diffuse it.

16. Make sure all cell phone footage backs up to the cloud in case devices are confiscated/lost.
I’m gonna question #10
 
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WisNeuro

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Well, the guy who smashed the windows of that Autozone is a cop, so.......

The surrounding police departments have issued statements that was not the case. There are definitely outside groups here (antifa, boogaloo bois, III%s, etc) which that dude is probably part of, but everything I've seen was that it was not a cop, unless there is new info out there.
 
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Therapist4Chnge

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You could just easily say that if Minneapolis police didn't have a history of killing unarmed civilians, and keeping officers on the force with numerous complaints of excessive use of force that go investigated, we'd have far less demand on infrastructure and 7 figure payouts.
I saw a great suggestion of having lawsuit payments for police brutality come from the retirement fund of the applicable police force.

I wonder if holding EVERYONE accountable through financial means would change the motivations of officers to speak up and/or stop an incident from become police brutality and/or murder?
 
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Sanman

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I saw a great suggestion of having lawsuit payments for police brutality come from the retirement fund of the applicable police force.

I wonder if holding EVERYONE accountable through financial means would change the motivations of officers to speak up and/or stop an incident from become police brutality and/or murder?

I feel like that would just encourage cops not to do their job. Why risk any engagement with a criminal? Just let them get away and make a half-hearted attempt to track them down. Then collect your pension.

How about we just fire the guy that already had 17 brutality complaints against him before he kills someone or just bust him down to junior cop status?
 
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WisNeuro

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I saw a great suggestion of having lawsuit payments for police brutality come from the retirement fund of the applicable police force.

I wonder if holding EVERYONE accountable through financial means would change the motivations of officers to speak up and/or stop an incident from become police brutality and/or murder?

Interesting thought experiment, but I agree with Sanman somewhat. Additionally, especially for larger metro depts., you can work in the same precint as someone else and rarely, if ever, have any contact with another officer. I don't have the answer, or any really good suggestions at this point, but I'd hope that we can open up a dialogue with all involved stakeholders.
 

Sanman

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Interesting thought experiment, but I agree with Sanman somewhat. Additionally, especially for larger metro depts., you can work in the same precint as someone else and rarely, if ever, have any contact with another officer. I don't have the answer, or any really good suggestions at this point, but I'd hope that we can open up a dialogue with all involved stakeholders.


The answer is not an easy one, but I think that it comes down to culture change and a training police differently. There should be more emphasis on dispute resolution and less on crime/criminality, IMO. During these riots, there have been several examples of cops doing this well. Look at the Sheriff in MIchigan that marched with protesters vs dispatching folks in riot gear with tear gas. If you give cops riot gear and tear gas vs a bull horn and kind words, what actions are you priming?
 
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WisNeuro

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The answer is not an easy one, but I think that it comes down to culture change and a training police differently. There should be more emphasis on dispute resolution and less on crime/criminality, IMO. During these riots, there have been several examples of cops doing this well. Look at the Sheriff in MIchigan that marched with protesters vs dispatching folks in riot gear with tear gas. If you give cops riot gear and tear gas vs a bull horn and kind words, what actions are you priming?

Yeah, the militarization of police and the retreat from meaningful community involvement by PDs likely plays a big role.
 
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AllyCat31

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Again, not a reasonable approach. In my opinion, the protestors are providing cover (making policing the rampant theft and destruction difficult) for rioters and looters and contributing to the destruction of businesses and livelihoods and to the degradation of communities in the long term. Target will not return to Minneapolis (edit note: this was a misread of an article, but many businesses will not return).

George Floyd was murdered. Most everyone right or left agrees with that. Primary assailant was arrested and charged. The overall fatal violence rate of cops on unarmed citizens regardless of race is pretty low, though overall, regardless of armament, is high relative to other Western nations. There’s some evidence there is systematic bias that is complicated that will require some thinking to address.

most of those out protesting are too stupid to engage with the topic, in my opinion.

also.... covid. Imagine worrying about if your restaurant or whatever will survive covid and then when you see the light at the end of the tunnel, it gets burned down by idiots.

I have several highly educated, intelligent friends and colleagues who are peacefully engaging in non-violent, organized protests around the country this week. I would participate myself if I were not heavily pregnant and high risk for COVID due to that and another medical condition. I very much disagree that "most" of these individuals are "too stupid" to engage with. Protesting may not be your cup of tea or prerogative, but stupid? No, sir.
 
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AllyCat31

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z


What percentage of protesters do you think fall in that scope? More than 50 percent?

Also, if they’re out protesting in cities with riots and looting, they’re contributing to the problem.

From my personal experience and exposure to participating organizations, yes, it would be.

Also, those rioting and looting are NOT necessarily the same individuals who are protesting. These are separate groups. Many individuals being charged with destruction of property and looting are not even residents of that particulate area (e.g, NYC).
 
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AllyCat31

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I think we might have different criteria.

my point is you have a mix of peaceful protestors and looters/rioters in these 26 or so cities where riots have occurred. That mix creates infrastructure demand. Makes the rioters and looters harder to identify and address.

My criteria is looters are involved in looting and property damage, and not necessarily in civil protest. Rather, they are taking advantage of a situation- obviously this would be happening in a location were there are active protests. Like the "not all cops are bad" argument, these individuals do not represent the protesters at large.
 
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Justanothergrad

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Protests and everything associated with it (note, I do not consider looting to be associated with it - some likely is, but thats likely more a function of average human behavior than of anything else and data on those doing looting is clear) are a symptom of a long held issue America doesn't like to talk about. The idea that 'slavery/not being able to vote is gone/Jim Crow/etc is gone, stop feeling bad or being negatively impacted by those substantial and systematic experiences of racism' just doesn't jive with any part of what we know about (1) human coping or (2) persisting systemtic and general public racism. I grew up in the south and KKK gatherings and neo-nazi get togethers were very open 'secrets' and hearing 'jokes' about hanging African Americans or talk about how 'they need to stay with their kind' was common. These issues persistent consistently and regularly because the problem is not gone (as a timely for instance, a colleague just told me that they had to have police remove a noose from their neighborhood yesterday), and continues like it has for the last decades. We can treat the symptoms of the protest, but we had better identify the root cause (welp, that was easy - centuries of slavery, racism, and oppression and the enduring impacts of it) and change it, or settle into the idea that we're ok with the resulting inequity and continued oppression. I'm not for the later, so....

If we're going to start worrying about injury as a reason to stop the protests, there have been enough genocides, lynchings, and overt and covert attacks on minorities over the last century (and, you know, now) that I'm pretty sure we can focus on resolving the persistent and lingering issues associated with that and worry a bit less about a Target.
 
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AllyCat31

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sure. I agree but their presence is contributing to people losing their businesses, loss of life, and injuries. That’s negligent.

I respectfully disagree that this is the primary reason for the above mentioned. The presence of systematic racism and injustice that seems to persist despite so much work over decades in this country is the reason why individuals are losing their lives (including those black individuals at the hands of law enforcement), and for the need for protest. Maybe we should pay more attention to that as we think about how to address this?
 
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WisNeuro

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sure. I agree but their presence is contributing to people losing their businesses, loss of life, and injuries. That’s negligent.

Meh, the inability of institutions to reliably police and prevent the destructive element is on the institutions. Individuals have the right to peaceably assemble. and heck, even to those causing destruction, this country was founded on violent acts of destruction and civil disobedience. We actually held those early rioters/looters in esteem and refer to them as patriots.
 
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Justanothergrad

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Meh, the inability of institutions to reliably police and prevent the destructive element is on the institutions. Individuals have the right to peaceably assemble. and heck, even to those causing destruction, this country was founded on violent acts of destruction and civil disobedience. We actually held those early rioters/looters in esteem and refer to them as patriots.
One of my favorite memes over the last few days.
 

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I think we might have different criteria.

my point is you have a mix of peaceful protestors and looters/rioters in these 26 or so cities where riots have occurred. That mix creates infrastructure demand. Makes the rioters and looters harder to identify and address.
My criteria is looters are involved in looting and property damage, and not necessarily in civil protest. Rather, they are taking advantage of a situation- obviously this would be happening in a location were there are active protests. Like the "not all cops are bad" argument, these individuals do not represent the protesters at large.
sure. I agree but their presence is contributing to people losing their businesses, loss of life, and injuries. That’s negligent.

So you're suggesting that people need to stop protesting whenever the looting starts? That's not going to be very productive...
 
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WisNeuro

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So you're suggesting that people need to stop protesting whenever the looting starts? That's not going to be very productive...

Well, this country is full of "Constitutionalists" who apparently only like the exercising of rights when it's issues that they agree with.
 
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Therapist4Chnge

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From my personal experience and exposure to participating organizations, yes, it would be.

Also, those rioting and looting are NOT necessarily the same individuals who are protesting. These are separate groups. Many individuals being charged with destruction of property and looting are not even residents of that particulate area (e.g, NYC).
Current reports are 1 in 5 arrested in Minneapolis were from out of state. There are multiple groups with no affiliation w the protests that are using the protests as cover to advance their own agendas of looting, destroying, and some even wanting to start a race war. We need to be really careful to separate out PEACEFUL protestors from the rest of the people.
 
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Fan_of_Meehl

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I'm glad this thread got started. I have MULTIPLE colleagues, some from grad school, some from fellowship and other jobs, who are out actively protesting. Some of them work in the forensic arena. I've been ruminating all weekend about how this might potentially bite them in the butt down the line if something horrible were to happen and they were tied to it.
Are they forensic psychologists?

Edit: Oops, I see you specified that they are.

Any concerns about risks of being accused of not being impartial in their roles as expert witnesses in certain cases?
 
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