HOLDING THAT LINE, PART ONE
My #MICAphoto students and I went out to photograph the morning after the Baltimore Uprising, to document and bear witness to the tragic events. When we started, we saw lots of communities and volunteers helping each other, cleaning up, pitching in. We saw many stores with broken glass and a CVS that was completely burned out inside, products fused into indistinguishable debris. But amid all of this, there were families with small children helping to sweep broken glass, volunteers passing out garbage bags and water, and more press credentials than I could count. There were community organizers passing out voter registration forms and trying to encourage civic participation.
While we were by North Ave & Pennsylvania Ave, we watched the police mass, from a few officers when we arrived, to 100+ over the span of an hour. This led to them sealing off the block, displacing all those that were trying to help peacefully. The police then proceeded to hold the block - 27 officers standing shoulder to shoulder in full riot gear - while continuing to stage behind their line. I made several photographs of the complete line before deciding to make individual portraits of the officers as a record of those present and a measure of accountability. Most of the officers did not display badges or nameplates.
These portraits are the 27 officers in sequence from south to north, as they stood blockading North Avenue at Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore on April 28, 2015.