PetaPixel

A Cadet Face-Down in a Forest of Legs

Reuters photographer Jose Miguel Gomez was recently covering the 121st anniversary of the National Police in Colombia when he spotted a cadet lying face down amidst her peers. He photographed the apparently unconscious policewoman with his 400mm lens for five minutes before she was finally carried away, and wondered why it took so long for help to arrive.

The photographers at the event were instructed afterward not to send the photo, but they disregarded the request. Gomez writes,

Days later I heard that the fallen cadet wanted to quit the force, [but] the generals didn’t accept her resignation. She considered herself a victim and expected others to side with her protest, even though this kind of thing happens everywhere. After what was otherwise a very boring ceremony, a striking photo of her on the ground in a forest of legs fronted the next day’s national newspapers, ready to provoke either jokes or compassion in a country immersed in its own war for several decades.

A Fallen Cadet [Reuters Photographers Blog]


Update: We had originally written that the policewoman had been protesting by lying face-down in the grass. This was incorrect, and the woman had actually fainted, and had wanted to quit the force after a photo of it became widely published.


Image credit: Photograph by Jose Miguel Gomez/Reuters and used with permission


 
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  • Ernie

    That should be “Colombia”, not “Columbia”.

  • Herb

    It would be ‘Colombia’, not ‘Columbia’, its the country.

  • http://twitter.com/Theranthrope Theranthrope

    When standing at attention: DON’T LOCK YOUR KNEES! Locking your knees cuts blood circulation which, over time, deprives the brain of oxygen, which leads to unconsciousness, and when it happens, it happens: QUICK! With no warning.

    When I was in AFJROTC in High School, during drill practice, while standing at parade-rest, getting lectured by the instructor, one female classmate did this not 15 feet away from me. When she fainted, it wasn’t like in the movies; she went down like felled tree, face-forward into the asphalt, HARD (I heard her head hit the ground), but she wasn’t hurt other than a bloody nose and some bruises (and a great deal of embarrassment).
    The thing is: we were only standing for about 10 minutes before it happened and it was only a little warm that day (Note: Las Vegas, NV “warm” ≈90°F/32°C).

  • brandon

    did you not bother to read the words above and below the photograph, or did you just want to share a totally unrelated story with us?

    in other news, my 3year old is refusing to go to sleep….

  • http://twitter.com/tonybelonie Anthony Harrison

    Obviously didn’t read the story.

  • mmmarc

    No, it’s all of YOU who didn’t read the story. Go to the source link,
    which is Reuters. She legitimately fainted or fell asleep. The fact that
    she was lying face down on the ground WAS NOT HER PROTEST. The article
    says she fainted or fell asleep and the photographer was even wondering
    how long they had to stand there before the ceremony began. The fact that she was protesting her post in the force was just a circumstantial story, but she did faint at this event.

  • mmmarc

    You obviously didn’t read the story, either. This girl actually fainted or fell asleep from standing there too long. This was not her protest. The author who wrote this story on PetaPixel didn’t really read the original story, either, or he would have known that she fainted.

  • val escobar

    Well reguardles of the drama mmmarc is determined to unfold. I think its a cool photo….

  • http://twitter.com/Theranthrope Theranthrope

    *facepalm*

  • http://www.facebook.com/kaitlinbledsoe Kaitlin Bledsoe

    Actually mmmarc, you’re the one who didn’t read the article by the photographer. The photographer stated that at first they thought she fainted; then he heard later that it was a form of protest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kaitlinbledsoe Kaitlin Bledsoe

    The photographer stated that at first they thought she
    fainted; then he heard later that it was a form of protest.

  • mmmarc

    READ FURTHER. No, he didn’t hear it was a form of protest. Read that part again. He heard days later that she’d been wanting to quit, but nowhere does he specify that this action was her protest. After he mentions that part about the protest, he says that “This cadet will never forget her collapse…”

    She collapsed.

  • Amon

    -1

  • mmmarc

    READ FURTHER. No, he didn’t hear it was a form of protest. Read that part again. He heard days later that she’d been wanting to quit, but nowhere does he specify that this action was her protest. After he
    mentions that part about the protest, he says that “This cadet will
    never forget her collapse…”

    She collapsed.

  • mmmarc

    That’s because you’re illiterate.

  • http://twitter.com/Theranthrope Theranthrope

    I’m aware that this is offtopic, but I would like clarification on moderation:

    Is “don’t say stupid things” when someone says something stupid a TOS violation? I would like to know where the line is so I can avoid running afoul of it.

  • rtfe

    don’t say stupid things

  • michaelp42

    Did she fall or was she pushed? ;-)

  • http://www.petapixel.com Michael Zhang

    Hi Anthony, I did read the original story, but I had misunderstood the photographer’s account of what happened. You’re right in your interpretation, and we’ve updated the post. Sorry about that. :(

  • OmniMode

    Geez, can’t imagine why she’d want to quit such an organization….they rushed to her aid in a mere 5 minutes.

  • http://twitter.com/tonybelonie Anthony Harrison

    No worries, seems like everyone is confused.

  • Amon

    First of all, if you read the story on Reuters blog, the guy in the second picture looks like a sinister William Shatner.

    Second, the original story is *very* poorly worded that it can easily be confused as the cadet lying down on the grass as a form of protest.

    Third, from the article, “days later I heard that the fallen cadet wanted to quit the force, pero the generals…” Really? Pero? Doesn’t anyone proofread at Reuters anymore?

    Fourth, isn’t this more of a general news story? What’s the connection to photography? Why is it interesting for PetaPixel?

    And last, what happened to down-voting without signing in?

  • nick

    Catfight!!

  • http://twitter.com/Theranthrope Theranthrope

    “Lone Ranger speak for self.”

  • http://twitter.com/Theranthrope Theranthrope

    This is more an editor issue rather than a writer issue. Does this site have editors?

    The thing I don’t get is: how few people here at PetaPixel know about the fainting thing. I understand that folks here would have military or LEO training, and thus, have never had to march or stand in formation, but it happens for members of marching bands at football games, for contestants of beauty pageants, and during weddings (a lot), all of which have photographers present.

    Are there no ACTUAL working photographers who post here, is it all just opinionated gear-addicts?