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These photographers risk their lives to document history in Philly protests

Photographers put their lives on the line daily and the protests in Philly over Walter Wallace’s massacre, yet again, prove this point.

Civil unrest broke out Monday night in Philadelphia after a 27-year-old Black man was shot and killed by a police officer.

Walter Wallace Jr. was experiencing a mental health crisis when the police attacked. His mother, witnessing the entire situation, pledged the officer not to shoot her son.

More than 300 people marched to protest the shooting of Wallace Jr. Once again, video captured the police shooting of another Black man. Rage, fear, and concern broke on Philadelphia’s streets, for yet another Black man’s life taken.

What happened to cause protests in Philly?

After 4 p.m. on Monday, the Philadelphia police responded to reports of a man armed with a knife. A bystander in the neighborhood captured the moment when the police arrived.

The video shows a man later identified as Walter Wallace Jr. walking into the street as people yell and two police officers aim their guns at him.

Then, dozens of shots can be heard right at the moment that the video points to the ground. 27-year-old Wallace, it was later disclosed, was having a mental health crisis.

“Bro, they just killed him in front of me,” a man can be heard saying, reported The New York Times.

The massacre of Walter Wallace Jr.

Soon after the video was posted on social media, unrest and protests broke out in the city of Philadelphia. Mayor Jim Kenney said that the shooting raised “difficult questions that must be answered.” The police are currently investigating the case.

Thirty police officers were injured, and a 56-year-old female officer was also hit by a pickup truck and hospitalized with a broken leg.

In between showers of rocks and bricks thrown by protestors, and the threat of violence from the police, some of the photographers on the front lines of the protests captured these life-threatening moments.

Jessica Griffin

The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily New’s staff photographer, Jessica Griffin, captured the police force that is being used against protesters.

Her pictures are featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Guardian, and Fox News. They show a clear depiction of the unequal power dynamics of the situation.

Elizabeth Robertson

Along with Jessica, there is Elizabeth Robertson. She is also a staff member of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her pictures have frightened the internet as they portray the extreme brutality police officers use against civilians.

By: Elizabeth Robertson, via The Philadelphia Inquirer

Tim Tai

Tim Tai is another photojournalist from The Philadelphia Inquirer that has been risking his life for content’s sake.

He previously worked as a photographer for the Columbia Daily Tribune and is a member of the National Press Photographers Association and the Asian American Journalist Association.

The Philly protest photographer snapped a shocking depiction of the unrest. Using colors that allow the viewer to understand the intensity of the matter. Most of his work follows police officers violently attacking protestors.

Tom Gralish

Pulitzer Prize-winner Tom Gralish is the assignment photographer at The Inquirer. He had previously worked at the United Press International and Las Vegas Valley Times before moving to Philly.

Photo by Tom Gralish Via New York Times

Philly protests call for courageous photographers

It is both sad and frightening that only one week before the election these instances of police brutality keep happening.

It is clearly something that has happened for years, only this time there are people aware and conscious about the severity of the matter. Not to mention virtually everyone owns a smartphone to record these harrowing occurrences.

Besides the Philly protests photographers, there are brave creatives that are willing to risk their lives for the sake of bringing these issues to the public to open their eyes, daily.