08/01/2012 06:17 pm ET | Updated Oct 01, 2012

NYT Photos Don't Do Justice to Police Presence at Anaheim Protests


Credit: New York Times

A picture is worth a thousand words is often used as short hand for the power of an image to convey information and elicit emotion. But a snap shot in time can distort reality and mislead, as is the case of the NYT's photo of police in formation in Anaheim with the caption" No Passage to Disneyland."

The real story in Anaheim this weekend was that the protests that were sparked by the Anaheim police killing of two Latino men, Manuel Diaz and Joel Acevedo, was the massive police presence that met a mere 100 to 150 peaceful protestors.

When I arrived at the Anaheim police station I expected to see a police force prepared for a demonstration and possible unruly behavior as tensions had been high all week. Since the shootings, a canine had been unleashed on an unarmed crowd of mostly women and children, and many rounds of non-lethal "rubber bullets" had been fired at the citizens of Anaheim.

Never did I forsee the scene before my eyes. I was shocked and frightened by the show of force.
At about 3pm the demonstrators left the APD and marched toward Disneyland.

2012-07-31-realAnaheimpolice-AzAH9FwCcAA7ifU.jpg Credit: "cee" (@killuminatii)

The NYT photo is taken from a particular angle and at a particular point in time and cropped in such a way that it minimizes the degree of police presence at the scene.

Here is the photo taken minutes later (the police are now wearing riot gear) from a slightly different angle and un-cropped to include what the NYT excluded, the "militarized police" in camouflage fatigues, grenade launchers and battle ready. Why would the APD wear camouflage fatigues? In an urban setting the fatigues have the effect of making the wearer stand out rather than blend and bring to mind a battle zone with all the danger and terror that connotes.
The NYT seems to have taken great pains to show us only three policemen because everywhere the eye could see there was a phalanx of said "militarized police."

2012-07-31-anaheimview2-AzHXN1HCIAAOQ4o.jpglarge.jpeg Credit: "Stun" (@57UN)

2012-08-01-horses1-AzALf1lCYAArY0o1.png Credit: @oo_conference