Photographers yearn for an entire lifetime to capture an image like this one, which is already likely seared into your brain. This would be the instantly infamous Baton Rouge photo of a woman standing in a summer dress while two police officers — dressed in riot gear — move to arrest her. They seem almost driven back by her unafraid stance, and many have commented upon their sharp contrast against this graceful woman exuding a quiet power. Yet after the death of five police in Dallas last week, police are taking all the precautions they can get. Some do see the Baton Rouge officers’ heavily armed state as overkill, but sadly, all of this could simply be symptomatic of where America is today. We didn’t land in this place overnight, although the sudden rush of violence may feel that way.
Freelance photographer Jonathan Bachman took this photo for Reuters. He told The Atlantic how the picture came about, which was “quickly, but I could tell that she wasn’t going to move, and it seemed like she was making her stand.” Bachman grabbed opportunity as it came and notes that the arrest “wasn’t very violent. She didn’t say anything. She didn’t resist, and the police didn’t drag her off.”
The New York Daily News dug up some information about this remarkable woman, whose name is Ieshia L. Evans. She’s a Brooklyn nurse and mother to a 5-year-old son at age 35. Evans spent several hours in jail while one of her friends spoke with Shaun King. The NYDN also reports that Evans wrote on her (private) Facebook page, “I appreciate the well wishes and love, but this is the work of God. I’m glad I’m alive and safe and that there were no casualties that I have witnessed firsthand.”
Evans helped create an image that will last forever.