by Samantha Wilson
A breathtaking photo of Ieshia L. Evans circulated the internet over the July 8 weekend, showing the nurse and mother calmly confronting police in riot gear during protests in Baton Rouge. Learn more about this brave woman after the jump!
Ieshia L. Evans, 35, has been identified as the woman in the stunning photo taken on July 9 of a serene woman in a dress approaching police in riot gear during a Baton Rouge, Louisiana protest. Ieshia and other activists were protesting the shooting death of Alton Sterling, which happened in the town on July 5. The nurse and mother of one five-year-old son was brave enough to calmly and peacefully stand up to Louisiana State Police — and was promptly arrested.
1. She traveled to Louisiana just for the protest
Ieshia is actually from New York, but traveled to Baton Rouge to take part in the protests, because she “wanted a better future for her five-year-old son,” according to Daily Mail. Her (allegedly) close friend Natasha Haynes said that Ieshia was “overcome with emotion” while watching protests across the nation on TV, and knew she had to do something. She left her son with his father to ensure his safety, and headed down to take part.
2. She knew she was going to get arrested
Freelance photographer Jonathan Bachman, the man who captured the surely iconic image, told The Atlantic that he overheard Ieshia tell people around her that she intended to step up to the police line and get arrested. She met cops in the middle of the highway outside the PD headquarters, and refused to move.
3. She addressed her arrest in a Facebook post
After spending several hours in jail with other protestors, Ieshia told her family and friends that she was safe and okay. Police hadn’t been violent with her. “I appreciate the well wishes and love, but this is the work of God. I am a vessel! Glory to the most high!” she wrote. “I’m glad I’m alive and safe. And that there were no casualties that I have witnessed first hand.” She provided an update, asking that nobody give interviews on her behalf; she wanted to tell her own story.
4. She’s a dedicated nurse
Ieshia described herself as a licensed practical nurse. It’s unclear where she works in New York.
5. She was held overnight in jail after her arrest
Ieshia reportedly said that while the arrest was rough, she was treated kindly in jail. The officer in charge made sure all the protestors were treated well. The nurse was held overnight, and booked and released on Sunday, according to police records. She is now back in her hotel room, recovering from the ordeal.