A woman among more than a hundred people arrested while protesting police brutality in Baton Rouge, was the epicenter of calm juxtaposed with two riot-geared cops reaching for her in a stunning photograph taken Saturday.
The protester in the viral picture was later identified by friends and arrest records as Ieshia L. Evans, 35, a nurse and mother to a young boy.
The strangely serene moment — her sun dress fluttering in the breeze outside Baton Rouge Police Headquarters — was documented by freelance photographer Jonathan Bachman, who described the woman’s powerful “stand” against heavily armored officers to the Atlantic.
“It happened quickly, but I could tell that she wasn’t going to move, and it seemed like she was making her stand,” Bachman told the Atlantic.
Bachman believed he heard Evans pledge to those around her that she intended to step before the line of police and be arrested. He turned toward Evans in time to see the woman and snap the photo as she took on cops in the middle of the highway outside police headquarters, her two feet rooted firmly on the pavement.
Another angle of the arrest shows Evans calmly clutching her cell phone as the two Louisiana State Police troopers lurched toward her.
“She was there in her dress and you have two police officers in full riot gear,” Bachman added. “It wasn’t very violent. She didn’t say anything. She didn’t resist and the police didn’t drag her off.”
The photo — as it went viral — was frequently compared to a protester staring down a convoy of tanks in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Evans was among around more than a hundred people — including Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson — released from the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail on Sunday after spending several hours in jail.
She later addressed her arrest in a Facebook post early Monday following an outpour of friends seeing Evans in the protest photo.
“I appreciate the well wishes and love, but this is the work of God,” wrote Evans, later describing herself as a proud licensed practional nurse. “I’m glad I’m alive and safe and that there were no casualties that I have witnessed firsthand.”
Evans did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It’s unclear what charges Evans will face following the arrest.