Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 21, 2014

Behind the Camera in Ferguson

RollCall On the Road Logo300x300 Behind the Camera in FergusonOn Aug. 14, I was in St. Louis with reporter Emily Cahn waiting to fly back to D.C. the next day. I knew about the protests in Ferguson and thought about going, but I had to file pictures from the Illinois State Fair and had little storage space on my computer after nine days in the Midwest for our Roll Call on the Road project.

I had also heard reports of street blockades and journalist arrests. I wasn’t familiar with the area from a logistical standpoint, I didn’t feel like dealing with the hassle of getting there.

Around the time I was thinking about it, Photo Editor Bill Clark sent me an email floating the idea of checking it out and that was all I needed to get going.

I did some searches and found what I thought was the QuikTrip that had been looted on West Florissant Avenue and made my way there. It was the wrong one, but a woman pointed me down the street to where the protests were happening.

When I started seeing people walking around and hanging out in the small strip malls, I parked the car. I grabbed my two Nikon D4s attached with a 35 mm 1.4 and 50 mm 1.4 lens and started walking. I approached three men to ask if I was close, and to gauge the mood of the crowd. One pointed me down the street and said not to take pictures because the crowd didn’t like it. His buddy said it was fine to take pictures and then wanted me to take a picture of his shirt. On it were pictures of Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till, a teenager who was killed 1955 for allegedly flirting with a white woman. As I was walking away the group was still arguing about the picture situation.

12 Behind the Camera in Ferguson

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

I passed another group and talked to them with the same intention. As we were talking, the group heard reports of gunshots and whisked the children into a house. I took a few pictures and continued south on West Florissant.

21 Behind the Camera in Ferguson

A man shows his empty hands on West Florissant Avenue. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

I was still a little nervous about what I would find, but as I approached the main area, a man thanked me for being there as a member of the media. When I got to the area around the QuikTrip it was a party-like atmosphere. People were on top of cars, honking horns, blasting music, chanting and singing.

31 Behind the Camera in Ferguson

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

 

 

41 Behind the Camera in Ferguson

A Monte Carlo makes its way down West Florissant Avenue. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

 

51 Behind the Camera in Ferguson

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

 

61 Behind the Camera in Ferguson

A demonstrator rides on top of a car on West Florissant Avenue. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

 

People wanted to pose for pictures.

 

71 Behind the Camera in Ferguson

Demonstrators ride on a car. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

 

81 Behind the Camera in Ferguson

Demonstrators are seen on West Florissant Avenue. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

 

9 Behind the Camera in Ferguson

Demonstrators show off their St. Louis tattoos on West Florissant Avenue. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A lot of people knew not to pose and kept on with what they were doing. If they did stop when I approached, I would say, “Just do your thing like I’m not here.” That usually worked.

10 Behind the Camera in Ferguson

A demonstrator rides on a car. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

 

 

11 Behind the Camera in Ferguson

Demonstrators are seen on West Florissant Avenue. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

 

121 Behind the Camera in Ferguson

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

People were very friendly. I was offered water and weed (I declined). I was told I was doing a good job. The mood was in stark contrast to the reports I had seen of tear gas and journalist harassment. I didn’t see any police in the area. Citizens were directing traffic. I talked to some people about the atmosphere and they said it was peaceful because police were not there to escalate tensions.

The moon was almost full, which added a nice element to the pictures.

 

13 Behind the Camera in Ferguson

People take pictures in front of a burned QuikTrip on West Florissant Avenue. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

 

 

14 Behind the Camera in Ferguson

Demonstrators are seen on West Florissant Avenue. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

 

Related stories:

Eleanor Holmes Norton Questions Mostly White Ferguson Government

Obama Dispatches Holder to Ferguson

Democrats Call for Judiciary Hearings on Ferguson Violence

CBC Members call for DOJ Investigation

In Wake of Ferguson, New Focus on Civil Rights, Militarized Cops

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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  • Derfallbright

    I don’t know what we are seeing here.

    1. Are we watching two different cultures that happen to live in the same country but just don’t understand each others culture?

    I use as an example, I watched one TV commentator that said he didn’t think that Mike Brown thought that stealing $50.00 worth of cigars from a liquor store was a crime (in his mind). Mr. Brown also allegedly refused to move out of the middle of the highway when directed to do so by the Police officer. (thus creating a conflict) If this is true there is some kind of serious breakdown in our society. (It’s important to note I have no idea what actually cause the final decision to shoot Mr. Brown) .

    2. Or are we watching the boiling over of a deeply held rage that the average white man just can not understand?

    3. Or are we watching the ‘low information’ society in action? As best I can tell the full information from all three medical examiners has not been fully released at this point. Also we have not yet seen an official statement from the police officer at this point. Most likely this is because the city attorney or other persons have told him not to talk to anyone. It is easy to assume the city will be sued by the family at some point and the officer may be charged criminally at some point. This is a death case….there is no time limit. Unlike what the New York Times said he is not Absent With Out Leave (AWOL) from the police department. He is on standard Administrative leave (or medical leave) until some preliminary finding is reached. Given the tensions involved in the case it may not be possible to return him to active duty in Ferguson, Mo. anytime in the near future, if ever.

    “If” the story that has been floating around the media that claims to be from Officer Wilson’s version of events is true he is claiming he was assaulted by Mr. Brown and then Mr. Brown 6’4″ 290 lbs that had walked away refused to stop and turned around and returned toward the officer in a aggressive manner. (maybe he had been shot by the officer at that point or maybe not, we may never know)

    The unclear facts may be enough to for a grand jury to say….sure go ahead and charge Officer Wilson and put him on trial…..and because of their fear of local riots that could be exactly what happens.

    The cost of this trial (1-2 years from now) will bankrupt this small town of 21,000. However failure to have a trial may cost this city millions as well.

  • YONATAN C

    THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAS BEEN A HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT TO THE MORE THAN 4 MILLION UNEMPLOYED FAMILIES WHO ARE STILL WITHOUT AN UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION SINCE LAST DECEMBER. THEY HAVE SINGLE HANDEDLY DRIVEN THE MAJORITY OF THESE FAMILIES INTO FINANCIAL RUIN AND DEEP DEBT AND POVERTY. THESE PEOPLE DIDN’T JUST GO AWAY, OR FOUND JOBS. MANY HAVE HAD TO APPLY FOR WELFARE AND FOOD STAMPS AND MEDICAL CARE. STILL OTHERS HAVE LOST THEIR HOMES, OR HAVE BEEN EVICTED FROM THEIR APARTMENTS, AND HAVE BECOME HOMELESS. WHILE OUR GOVERNMENT SPENDS BILLIONS ON FOREIGN AID AND FOR THE PROTECTION OF EUROPE, THS AVERAGE AMERICAN ARE LEFT TO STRUGGLE FOR EXISTENCE. THE LEGACY OF THIS DECISION CONTINUES UNTIL NOW, WITH THE LATEST NEWS OF VIOLENCE AND DEMONSTRATIONS. WHEN PEOPLE ARE POOR WITH NO JOBS OR HOPE FOR THE FUTURE, THIS IS WHAT RESULTS. BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES HAVE FAILED THESE MILLIONS OF UNEMPLOYED FAMILIES.

    • erick

      The CLASS WAR by the financial class against the working class is now manifesting its self on the streets

    • erick

      A militarized police force is being developed in preparation for the CLASS WAR. The 1% financial class plans to reduce the 99% working class to the status of 3rd world peasants that will be subjected to austerity and poverty. Any opposition to the genocidal extermination of the working class will be crushed with massive police power.

  • Manny Bartow

    In this related video we find another brain-dead liberal commenting upon a topic that is light-years beyond his stunted intellectual capacity: http://youtu.be/JTD5i5q7-Lo?t=38s

    • erick

      He can not recognize the CLASS WAR in action. In the post 9/11 world of the Patriot Act– massive police state terror will be employed to crush any opposition to the genocidal extermination of the working class.

  • verelll

    I feel truly awful for individuals in this economy, I like everybody have been battling. In any case I let you know what I’ve done I’ve taken life into my hands being answerable for myself. I knew exchanging was the response for me and I’ve acquired distinctive courses at better places and the best course I’ve found unquestionably is at the site Traders Superstore, simply Google them and discover them and do as I did they begin exchanging for yourself and take life into your hands. Might you want to take a venture out of the Matrix and join the monetary tea party? I’m a researcher and ran across 7 years back that the Futures business exchanges by a machine project and now I’m uncovering this Secret to the world, come visit my site and let me demonstrate to you industry standards to exchange the fates regular and bring home the bacon doing so from the solace of your own home, and feel incredible about utilizing the defilement of this world for your profit. Google Traders Superstore to profit our specials!

    • erick

      Does your scheme entail transferring wealth away from suckers in speculative trading, or does it create wealth by creating goods and services that improve the quality of life and standard of living of the majority of the population?

  • White Army

    The ideology of liberalism is fundamentally incompatible with our Constitution and our Bill of Rights.

    • erick

      Do you find the subjugation of the working class to poverty thru the use of police state terror more compatible?

  • Six Edits

    Yet another incident of violence, by blacks: http://cbsloc.al/1vRo2je

    • erick

      Many more acts of financial terrorism committed by wall street bankers.

  • John 8:37 – John 8:44

    Blacks have a reputation for violence and things like this aren’t helping: http://bit.ly/1v8kEQz

  • Meredith Quill

    The origin of the 2nd Amendment is Right 13 of George Mason’s Declaration of Rights: http://www.history.org/almanack/life/politics/varights.cfm

  • Sonny Of The Meek

    What I can’t understand is how Brown is a Hero? Truth of one’s own eye’s viewing robbery video moments before encounter show person not respectful of Tiny Store owner he shoved & robbed. The witness stated he was shot in back while fleeing crazed racist blood thirsty cop, is also in video with Brown, now disproved. Turns out witness falsified police report in recent past. Everyone says to disregard their past & up to death of Brown’s actions, and loot & burn innocent stores etc. Mob Rule/ Sharpton/ Family’s lawyer demand officer jailed now, before trial or evidence of any crime. Hero sounding?

  • mikeandle
    • erick

      More crimes being committed by wall street criminals.

  • Peter LaMarck

    When thinking about the conflict in the Middle East, it’s also important to keep in mind that the June, 2014 kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers didn’t occur in Gaza, but in the West Bank.

  • Eddie Ingram
  • Will Hunting
  • Steven Meeks

    In 2005, the number of homicides in the democrat city of Philadelphia was more than four times the number of Americans killed in Afghanistan

  • Jack Ross

    More violence, by blacks: http://bit.ly/YdyTF7

  • Gordon Gecko

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