A plainclothes California Highway Patrol detective, who had been marching with anti-police demonstrators,...
A plainclothes California Highway Patrol detective, who had been marching with anti-police demonstrators, aims his gun at protesters during an arrest after some in the crowd identified him and his partner (C) in Oakland, California, December 10, 2014. Noah Berger - When I took this photograph I was documenting the fifth consecutive night of protests in Berkeley following a grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in Eric Garner’s death.
The crowd marched peacefully for several hours through the UC Berkeley campus, disrupting a lecture and eventually walking several miles to downtown Oakland. The feel of the group changed when it reached Broadway and 14th St., the centre for the Oakland protests. At this point, the situation became more volatile and some people began to break windows and loot a cell phone store.
This image stands out because it has been seen as a detective threatening protesters. However, the frame does not convey the preceding events, which may lead to a more nuanced interpretation. Before the officer brandished the gun, the crowd turned on the detectives. A colleague said that one of the detectives was struck in the head.
My main concern while covering the protests over the last month has been to work safely and look after my photography gear.
It was an intense experience to be so close to someone wielding a gun in an unpredictable situation. I was shaken afterward and didn’t sleep that night.