PetaPixel

Photojournalist Attacked While Covering Riots and Looting in Missouri

Ferguson Riots

Post-Dispatch photojournalist David Carson has covered a number of intense situations, including the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq. But it was just this past weekend, in the 21,000-resident town of Ferguson, Missouri that he faced one of his scariest moments yet.

Carson was covering protests in the town sparked by the death of a young teen named Michael Brown. This past Saturday, Officers opened fire on the 18-year-old, killing him in the streets of Ferguson, and the circumstances surrounding Brown’s death are hotly debated.

Saturday night in Ferguson, however, was relatively peaceful. It wasn’t until he returned on Sunday, after finding out through social media that police had fired tear gas to disperse the crowds, that he found himself in danger.

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After capturing a few scary pictures of armed looters from inside of a vandalized convenience store and sending off his first round of shots to the paper, he somehow found himself stuck between protestors and police.

That’s when he heard a protestor shout “He’s taking pictures […] kick his a**.” He ran, but within moments he was on the ground being kicked.

Camera lens shattered but thankfully wearing protective gear, he defended himself as best he could, using his camera as a weapon, and after a few more painful blows, a local pastor Carson had been speaking with earlier helped him to chase the assailants off.

Incredibly, even after taking blows to the head, thighs and butt, Carson continued shooting for another hour, eventually capturing this photo of the aforementioned convenience store, set ablaze by protestors.

Ferguson Riots

The entire story is both scary and awe-inspiring. Carson’s bravery in rushing to a scene he knew was quickly devolving, not to mention the guts it took to go into a store that was actively being looted, is a testament to the kind of attitude and dedication professional photojournalists have.

We tried to hit the high (or low) points of this scary incident above, but be sure to check out the full story, complete with detailed descriptions and a run-down of the dialog Carson had with an armed looter only a few feet away, by following the link below to the Post-Dispatch.

Attacked on the job: A Post-Dispatch photographer’s tale [Post-Dispatch]


Image credits: Photographs by David Carson/Post-Dispatch, used with express permission from Mr. Carson


 
  • Future is Now

    You wouldn’t allow a description of what I think of these so-called “people” looting their own community and, now, assaulting this press photographer.

  • howitzerr

    Mass riots for one policeman under investigation…

    ‘murica

  • Mojo

    These riots aren’t about justice. They are about getting what you can for yourself at anyone’s cost. This shooting was just a great excuse for people to do what they are inclined to do.

  • Kynikos

    No 70-200 f/2.8 zoom.
    No common sense.
    Lucky to be alive–these looters are subhuman filth.

  • Mojo

    It’s not about the policeman. The store owners didn’t shoot a kid. The gas station didn’t shoot a kid. These people, if they really had any righteous indignation, would be protesting at the police station, not destroying the property of others.

  • Mojo

    By the way, I’ve seen this “‘murica” thing a lot lately, and I have no idea where it came from….so where did it come from?

  • Kyle Sanders

    ‘Murica – the internet popularity came about (presumably) through /r/murica on Reddit and Imgur. The origin of the phrase as it relates to the self-deprecating humor is – I believe – from movie Team America World Police.

  • PhotoGuy

    The guy in the first picture is literally stealing what looks to be Yellowtail aka really cheap wine. Seriously? Looting a store for cheap wine???

  • Marc Griggs

    We had London torn apart for *days* in riots for the same reason a few years back.

    ‘nglund.

  • PhotoGuy

    ‘Merica is from Team America World Police. ‘Murica is pretty much the redneck adaption of that.

  • Kyle Sanders

    A long lens is not always the answer. At 200mm, it can close some distance, but not that much further out than 50mm or 70mm. Furthermore, the longer the lens you are using, the less of a context you have for the subject.

    In the case of the shots of looting inside of the gas station, you would still need to be inside the store to have a line of sight. Furthermore, a tightly cropped photo from a long lens would not show the broken and emptied shelves, which adds just as much to the image as the photographed man himself.

  • Truth!

    Looks like the belt store was left untouched.

  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    his name is Michael BROWN. come on PP, a tiny bit of fact checking.

  • Denis

    Sure he gets kicked for his photos. This has nothing to do with war zones.
    War is legal, looting is illegal.

  • Mojo

    I remember that. I also remember the Benny Hill theme playing in my head every time I saw videos of the riots…

  • Mojo

    You think they should have gone for the good stuff?

  • http://www.dolekemp96.org/main.htm DickCheney

    Is that Yellow Tail wine? C’mon man, at least get something good.

  • http://www.dolekemp96.org/main.htm DickCheney

    Fact checking doesn’t prevent Freudian slips.

  • OtterMatt

    Once again, the greatest single threat to black people and black culture proves to be other black people. Absolutely shameful. As if Ferguson weren’t ruined enough with violence as it stands.

  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    they did it multiple times, that’s not a Freudian slip, that’s a lazy mistake.

  • Truth!

    Well, if you consider what it will be paired with….

  • OtterMatt

    But at least beating someone with a branded 70-200mm f/2.8 has some impact.

  • PhotoGuy

    I get what you mean. But there are hundreds of other things to steal, like a slurpee machine.

  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    And the more we cover this side of the story – the more it takes away from the killing of an innocent, unarmed young black man. But, as usual, the media love to cover something when black people do things wrong – even more so if it takes the attention away from a white, enraged, poor excuse for a police officer.

  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    What a truly ignorant statement. The single greatest threat to black people is America; The system that oppresses them and the police (and citizens) who take it upon themselves to murder them for no reason, not to mention arrest and imprison them in extremely biased numbers despite clear evidence that white people carry more weapons, take more illegal drugs, sell more illegal drugs. cause more acts of terrorism in the US than any other demographic. But no, the greatest threat to black people is themselves, of course. silly me.

  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    one of many police offers who continue to murder unarmed, innocent, young black men. Thankfully most have decided a peaceful protest is best – but the media will only focus on these few rioters because it shows black people in a poor light and takes the attention away from the white police officer who shot an unarmed black man for no reason.

  • Kyle Sanders

    Hah! Now that would be a sight to see. Sadly, a 70-200/2.8 attached to even a large camera is pretty awkward for anything other than taking pictures.

  • Mojo

    From what it looks like, there are more rioters than peaceful protesters. And by the by, the biggest killer of young black men aren’t cops…it’s other young black men. They need to listen to what BIll Cosby has to say.

  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    “the biggest killer” is irrelevant. The fact remains that trigger happy cops (and trigger happy citizens) love to shoot unarmed black people. trying to say “oh but ________” is just derailing the fact that racism, anti-black sentiment in particular, is still extremely prevalent and needs to be addressed. These cops are clearly not trained properly, far too much pent up aggression and obviously trigger happy. More steps need to be taken during training, whether it be psychological evaluations or some other kind of test, this needs to stop happening.

  • OtterMatt

    So then, you blame this on some nebulous “system”? The fact that more (by orders of magnitude) black violent deaths are caused by other blacks is something beyond their control? Looting, burning, stealing, and assaulting innocent people is simply what these people are raised to do and not a choice that deserves to be condemned? White people legally carrying firearms somehow puts inner-city gun crime into some sort of sympathetic framework?

    Please, lecture me more about ignorance. I’m fascinated.

  • OtterMatt

    Despite there really being NO story at all yet, just a few scarce details and a whole hell of a lot of speculation. Since at least some of the stories told by witnesses indicate that the police officer was being assaulted by two men who were trying to go after his gun, I’m less inclined to believe the hype just yet.

  • Mojo

    Where are you getting this? If people were shooting blacks like it was open season as you seem to be describing it as, there’d be a lot more rioting going on than this. Whites kill blacks, blacks kill whites, and hispanics that the media lable ‘white’ kill blacks too. People kill people. But whatever you’re hearing on MSNBC or from Al Sharpton (who’s making a pay check off of this incident) about an overabundance of white on black violence simply isn’t true. Eric Holder would be nailing them to the wall.

  • Tori Janée

    I like you Adam Cross, very much so.

  • Mojo

    White? There’s no confirmation of that yet. And so what if he is? Blacks kills whites just as often.

  • OtterMatt

    Statistically speaking, it HAS stopped happening. The number of incidents is so low as to be mathematically insignificant (not the same thing as actually insignificant, I’ll admit). Hyperbole aside, how many cop-on-twenty-something incidents do you REALLY think you can drag up in this last year? I guarantee you that the number killed by his peers outnumbers it at least 100-1.

  • Mojo

    I’m starting to think you’re stuck in the 1950′s…or just listen to Al Sharpton too much.

  • OtterMatt

    Awarded: One (1) Internet, to be redeemed at your nearest branch location.

  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    I would happily link you to studies, papers, essays on how the American government, law makers and others in power and even media representation systematically keeps the majority of black people right where they want them (in poverty, living in economically deprived areas, out of work, shown in poor light,) but I’m not your personal Google. It’s not hard to find the evidence… or heck, listen to black people talk about their lives instead of listening to white news anchors dictate some anti-black ideology.

  • OtterMatt

    Yes, listening to people anecdotally blame someone else for their situation is stimulating conversation. I even made it through one such conversation once with one of my wrists un-slashed! Unless you can find me an actual Jim Crow law on the books today, then your methodology holds no water, because data can not provide rhetoric. Only people can assume that because more black people live in the inner city, there’s some kind of conspiracy keeping them there.
    Oh, and by the way, NONE of it justifies the behavior. And nothing will.

  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    a) for a lot of black people it still is the 1950s. and b) god forbid anyone actually listen to black people talk about their experiences – they mut all be completely wrong about the situations they live in.

  • Mojo

    I know a number of successful black people who have good lives. They don’t sag their pants, are educated, own homes, speak english better than I do and a few that i know and that I am friends with are even…GASP!…TEA PARTY members!! They see a problem with “black culture”, as they call it. My uncle Mike (a black man that married into my family) told me that he’s seen since the 60′s the continual decine of black culture. Slavery isn’t doing that. a lack of civil rights isn’t doing that. It’s black/gangsta culture doing that.

  • Mojo

    Please, for goodness sake, stop taking up causes that are long in the past. You want to stand up for something? Why not focus on the modern American slavery – the sex slavery, mostly of Asian women, going on all over the place in our nation. Those people need help far more than blacks need yours.

  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    the “going after his gun” story has been told by the police officers partner. Personally I choose to believe the victims friend, they were walking along the street doing nothing, I have no reason not to believe them. the police decided to cause trouble by badgering them and are trying to cover their asses.

  • Mojo

    That’s like a couple of bank robbers saying, “I didn’t do it! Just ask my partner!”

  • Brian

    I agree. But remember that the majority of protesters aren’t looting. After all, thousands of people weren’t captured in these images looting the gas station.

  • OtterMatt

    Yes, I’m sure the story told by the person who knew the victim is completely unbiased as well. Good God man, you’ve already decided that the officer was white (which we don’t know, because he hasn’t been named), and that he was angry, violent, and incompetent. You have the most startling powers of precogniscence I have ever witnessed. I don’t even see why we need the legal system when we have you to pronounce guilt and innocence. Now if only YOU weren’t so biased… Hmm…

  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    I’m not saying any of it justifies particular behaviours, but the behaviours are a result of the situations that they live in, which they were born in, and for generations the various governments have happily kept it that way. Every since the abolition of slavery black people have been continually ostracized from communities into poorer and poorer areas. It’s not a coincidence that the poor areas and post codes of towns and cities are majority black with some mixed minority groups. And where you have poverty you have higher crime rights etc etc, they are victims of systematic racism and oppression going back hundreds of years – it is not their fault that they live where they live and grow up with little or no chance of getting out of there.

  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    if he’s not white i’ll be surprised, really. and i’ll come back and admit I was wrong. But 9.9 times out of 10 they are, so I don’t think my assumptions are off base.

  • OtterMatt

    “I’m not saying any of it justifies particular behaviours, but the behaviours are a result of the situations that they live in”
    Then that’s EXACTLY what you’re saying. If the behaviors are the result of the situations, then you’re taking blame off of the criminals and placing it on something that can’t be measured, observed, referenced, or witnessed. All you do is speculate, cherry-pick statistics, point fingers, and play rhetoric-charged race cards with no actual, factual bearing. It’s sad. You wouldn’t know a cogent argument if it kicked you in the shin.

  • http://sethlopez.me sethlopezme

    PetaPixel, please fix the teens name and double-check in the future before publishing. His name is Michael BROWN, not Michael BLACK.