Iconic photo of Louisiana protester being detained by police goes viral

Dramatic image of woman in flowing dress being arrested by Baton Rouge police in body armour called ‘a glimpse of what will appear in future history books.’


A demonstrator protesting the shooting death of Alton Sterling is detained by law enforcement near the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, July 9.  (JONATHAN BACHMAN / REUTERS

Social media is exploding with reaction to a defining photograph of the protests in Louisiana over the shooting death of Alton Sterling in a struggle Tuesday with two Baton Rouge police officers.

The photo is of a young woman in a flowing dress near the city’s police headquarters, the instant before she is arrested by police.

She was held in detention for 24 hours.

“Have a feeling we are getting a glimpse of what will be in future history books,” tweets one admirer.

“Look at her posture!” another tweets. “She is balanced, powerful, upright and well grounded with both feet firmly planted on the earth.”

The officers in heavy riot gear appear to be reeling backwards from her.

The photo was shot on Saturday by Jonathan Bachman of Reuters.

It quickly went viral on social media, where she was identified as a 28-year-old nurse, who’s the mother of a five-year-old son.

“All that armour and weapons and they still look like they’re more afraid of her than she is of them,” another admirer on Twitter writes.

A second defining image of the turmoil was taken on Thursday night in Dallas, after five police officers were killed by a sniper in that city.

That image, taken by Dallas Morning News photo intern Ting Shen, captures an officer sobbing as he and a medical worker comfort each other at Baylor University Hospital.

An officer sobs as he's comforted at Baylor University Hospital after Thursday's shooting in Dallas. The photo became a defining image of the attack.
An officer sobs as he’s comforted at Baylor University Hospital after Thursday’s shooting in Dallas. The photo became a defining image of the attack.  (TING SHEN/REUTERS)  

Baton Rouge police spokesman, Sgt. Don Coppola said that protests have become more violent as protesters from other cities arrived in Baton Rouge.

More than 180 people have been arrested at protests in Louisiana since the July 5 fatal shooting of Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, during a struggle with two white Baton Rouge police officers.

Most of Sunday’s arrests took place near downtown Baton Rouge, where police said they stopped a group of protesters from walking onto Interstate 110.

Authorities made more than 160 arrests in Louisiana’s capital during a long hot weekend of protests over killings by police, with only one injury reported among the ranks, this when an officer was hit by a projectile.

Police in riot gear kept protesters from entering Interstate 110 in Baton Rouge on Sunday, thwarting a tactic activists have attempted around in the country in the aftermath of the killings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota.

More than a thousand demonstrators left a Black Lives Matter rally in Memphis, Tennessee, and occupied a Mississippi River bridge Sunday night, temporarily halting traffic on Interstate 40. Hundreds walked onto I-264 in Portsmouth, Virginia, marooning motorists for hours.

Demonstrators failed to block highways in Atlanta, and in San Francisco in recent days.