A woman among more than a hundred people arrested while protesting police brutality in Baton Rouge, La., was the epicenter of calm juxtaposed with two riot gear-clad cops in a stunning photograph taken Saturday.
The protester 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 — Evans’ sun dress fluttering in the breeze outside Baton Rouge Police Headquarters — was captured 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 magazine.
Bachman believed that he heard Evans tell those around her that she intended to step up to the line of police and get arrested. He turned toward Evans in time to snap the photo as she met cops in the middle of the highway outside police headquarters, her 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 moved towards 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.”
As it went viral, the photo was frequently compared to the iconic image of a Tiananmen Square protester staring down a convoy of tanks 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. The protest came in the days following the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling in the Louisiana capital.
She addressed her arrest in a Facebook post early Monday, as friends reacted to seeing 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 practical 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 and it’s unclear if she will face charges following the arrest.