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Monday, 05 October 2009


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Actually, under a pretty scary situation the guy being detained should be glad of a photographic witness - things could have turned very nasty indeed for him...

It's also very interesting how the commentary made such a difference to the interpretation of the sequence.

Good to see that he was arrested reasonably safely. Quite a drama!

Had to delete my initial reaction because I realized the blog where the slideshow was posted to is a gathering place for first-person events, not hard news per se. So the freelancer BEING the story makes sense in that context.

I have zero expectation of the photog jumping into the fray here but I can see how the commenters wouldn't understand the nature of the profession necessarily.

And given that, it's a golden opportunity for ChicagoNow to make some sort of statement of purpose instead of assuming the public understands how journalism works.

Brian makes a good point about a photographic witness helping to discourage escalation. I would add that the photographs record the identities of those involved. If unnecessary force had been used or if the suspect had gotten away, it's doubtful the police could have proceeded any further without the identifying photographs.

I also agree with comment Brian made.
I've been in the situation twice where I happened on shoplifters and ended up holding the would be thieves. I was lucky enough to be able to deescalate the situation very quickly. Once the thieves had realized they've been had, they gave up. I was then able to treat them quite Kindly. This would also appear the case here after the initial struggle. Pity it got as bad as it did and lucky there where no weapons involved. I'm afraid I wouldn't have the calm and piece of mind to stay back and take pictures but I applaud Mr. Anzaldi for doing so.

I have no sympathy for anyone being a chicken under the lame excuse that they are taking journalistic pictures. Pictures are never worth more than the life and health of people. However in this case it's down to personal choice. Putting your own safety at risk for a purse thief isn't heoric in my opinion, just stupid.

Honestly I'm pretty disgusted about using the term "Samaritan" regarding someone who is hitting someone else.

I'm not one to quote the bible but there's a first for everything: "Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them."

"Got himself kicked by". Such a weird phrase. Someone kicked the guy. That might be appropriate, but at least say that. "At that point he gave him a swift forearm to the neck, to try to calm him down". Um...I don't think swift forearms to the neck calm people down.

I appreciate that the woman had her pocketbook stolen, and that sucks, and the kid looks like a crazy punk. But this looks to me a lot like straight ahead vigilantism. The photographer sounds like an ignorant opportunist in that video. The guy probably deserved this but I think a real photojournalist might have had at least the tiniest bit of perspective that the guy was a human being along with being a strung out thief.

I thought this article, Cab-driving shutterbug chronicles Istanbul's underbelly, on CNN's site today was an excellent representation of photojournalism; at least, the kind I enjoy seeing. It also shows how the addiction of photography can catch a hold of anyone, anywhere.

I thought you meant this.

I hate looking at consecutive photos as a slideshow. Its like a bad substitute for video

As someone not physically impressive by any means, but who has had to perform more restraints on emotionally disturbed junior high students (many larger and heavier than himself) than he cares to remember, there are a few things which this does bring to mind. First off, as for pure energy expended- it's often easier to fight someone than to restrain them. Bearing that in mind, when a person continues to resist in a standing restraint, bring it down horizontal where one can exert greater control and keep all concerned considerably safer. A good leg sweep is best, even easier with someone assisting. Immobilize the person's hands and feet- pressure, not punches. And by no means let a third party get close and antagonize the person you're trying to calm down by yelling at him!

Interestingly, without the narrative, quite a number of widely differing scenarios could have been constructed from those photos...

A lot more comments on Second City Cop from the boys-in-blue here:
Bystanders Pummel Purse Snatcher

They do their research and find out more stuff about the photog:
Crime scene photographer finds himself on cops’ bad side

BTW (according to comments in the link) the victim refused to sign a complaint and the shirtless man was Released With Out Charge (RWOC in one of the comments).


Things get ugly in the city and the world. That was pretty tame. Come to my neighborhood and I'll show you things. Some people have trouble with violence, I'm one of them but I recognize when humans must come to blows, it happens and many times it is necessary if you want the outcome to favor good over bad.

That situation was childs play and those "vigilantes"/people had no clue as to what they were doing, forgive them. Ask that woman how she feels...those incidents do not leave you, they haunt you and cause you to look over shoulder for a long time, if not forever..NO FAIR and if you rob someone then you had better be prepared for anger and violence directed at you if you get caught by inexperienced and angry city folks.

Those folks were way far from being vigilantes. Vigilantism is a much different thing.

The guy should have been taken down to the ground quickly and restrained properly..Stan B is correct..

I dont mean to sound stone hearted but the reality of these situations is never graceful..even if a idealist is doing the restraining and gets hit or bit...themost times the precious ideals get back seated for action.

As I've written elsewhere, a very common reaction to photojournalism.

I would have helped. I understand the guy is paid to take pictures rather than help but I would have helped. I would have taken pictures to establish the identities of the people at the scene then gone in to help. Sure, if someone there began to combust spontaneously, or something, then I would have done my job and resumed shooting, but otherwise a purse snatcher being restrained is a non-story story. I feel deprived of 2 minutes watching the montage.

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