The Story Behind The Iconic Baton Rouge Protest Photo
A strikingimage of a woman standing defiantly in front of two armoured police officers has resonated with thousands of people after it wasshared on social media.
Taken by Jonathan Bachman, a New Orleans-based photographer, it has become the main image used to represent the protest in Baton Rouge.
Demonstrators had gathered outside the citys police department to protest against the police killing of Alton Sterling on Tuesday.
Talking to BuzzFeed News,Bachman, 31, saidbetween 100 and 200 protesters were blocking traffic on a highway when law enforcement officers dressed in full riot gear showed up and demanded thatdemonstrators to move to the sidewalk.
I photographed someone arguing with an officer and then I looked over my shoulder and saw her there and she had every intention of not moving.
She just stood there and made her stand. I was just happy to be able to capture something like that.
The woman was quickly detained, Bachman said, and according to social media she remained in custody for quite some time – but has since been released.
That was the first image I transferred [to Reuters] because I knew it was going to be an important photo. You can take images of plenty of people getting arrested, but I think this one speaks more to the movement and what the demonstrators are trying to accomplish here in Baton Rouge.
She was there, she wasnt resisting, and she had every intention of not moving.
After it was published, the striking photo went viral on social media – andnews outlets across the worlddubbed it ‘iconic’, and compared to the similarly iconic imageof a Tiananmen Square protester staring down a convoy of tanks in 1989.
Over 100 people were arrested during the protest, but it is believed that this particular woman is 35-year-oldIeshia Evans.
Nurse and mother to a 5-year-old boy, she has yet to come out and talk to the media about her part in the protest and iconic shot but she wrote on Facebook:
I appreciate the well wishes and love, but this is the work of God, Evans wrote on Facebook. I am a vessel! Glory to the most high! Im glad Im alive and safe. And that there were no casualties that I have witnessed first hand.
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Image credit:Jonathan Bachman/Reuters