Images of Police: George Floyd Protest, Seattle
There "is" the police, and there "are" the police. A grammatical nuance for sure, but one that refers to the institution and one to the individuals setting out to perform their sworn duties at the behest of the institution.
Visit my Album Images of Police at the Seattle George Floyd Protest
My father was a cop, a white cop. For 25 years he patrolled a small Massachusetts' city. He was part of a police escort that took then presidential-nominee Jimmy Carter to a campaign event. He landed in the hospital for many days after nearly being killed during a routine traffic stop. His image was caught by our local paper with his gun pointing at a black man handcuffed during an alleged robbery.
In other words, his quarter of a century in the police force was varied and complex -- a mixture of the adrenaline-rush and mundane, potentially life-saving and possibly life-taking, traffic stops in the freezing cold and cop discounts at the Italian restaurant next to the station. Being a cop was how he was able to put food on our table and prepare us for the world.
I think of my father every time a police killing hits the news -- whether of an officer being killed, or an officer doing the killing. He was in my mind constantly as I shot these images from the George Floyd Protest on May 30 in Seattle.
In the photographs here, and in my album Images of Police at the Seattle George Floyd Protest, I am focusing on the individual police, representing "the" police. News headlines necessarily simplify things. The ground level, face to face, is where it's most interesting, and most complex.