She was a long way from home, and facing off against two heavily-armored state police. Still, the woman from Pennsylvania stood with preternatural calm on a Baton Rouge, La., highway, her bespectacled face staring straight ahead, her flowing dress catching the breeze, as the officers rushed awkwardly to arrest her.
Click. A photographer with the Reuters news service was standing at the perfect position and pressed the shutter button at just the right moment.
The striking image captured Saturday during a Black Lives Matter protest for Alton Sterling, who was fatally shot by Baton Rouge police last week, went viral and has been compared to the image of the unknown man standing before a line of tanks in Tiananmen Square.
Ieshia Evans, 28, a licensed practical nurse and mother of a 5-year-old boy, was identified as the woman in the photograph, which was shot by Jonathan Bachman, 31.
“It wasn’t very violent. She didn’t say anything. She didn’t resist, and the police didn’t drag her off,” Bachman told The Atlantic.
R. Alex Haynes, a friend of Evans, wrote on Facebook: “She went to Baton Rouge because she wanted to look her son in the eyes to tell him she fought for his freedom and rights.”
Evans, who lives near Scranton, also took to Facebook to offer some brief comments, but avoided interview requests.
“I just need you people to know. I appreciate the well wishes and love, but this is the work of God. I am a vessel! Glory to the most high! I’m glad I’m alive and safe. And that there were no casualties that I have witnessed first hand,” she posted late Sunday after being released from custody.