(REUTERS/JONATHAN BACHMAN)A demonstrator protesting the shooting death of Alton Sterling is detained by law enforcement near the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S. July 9, 2016.
The powerful image of a black woman standing firm as armored cops appear to hurriedly approach her during the Black Lives Matter protest is “God’s work,” said Ieshia Evans.
The 28-year-old mother of a 5-year-old boy also claims to be a “vessel” after the moving photo captured the general public’s attention in the midst of America’s heightened racial tension.
“This is the work of God,” wrote Evans on Facebook. “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.”
Reuters’ New Orleans-based Jonathan Bachman stood at the right side of the road and captured the iconic photo just in time as the police tried to clear the Airline Highway of protesters. Unlike other demonstrators, Evans stood her ground and refused to move until the police detained her.
“I went into the street with my arms crossed and just stared at them,” Daily Mail quoted Evans as saying to a friend. “I guess they didn’t like it because they detained me.”
She spent about 24 hours in detention after her first protest venture along with 131 other detained protestors.
Evans works as a licensed practical nurse in New York where she lives with her husband and young son but decided to travel to Baton Rouge to join the protests held July 8-9 for the killing of African-American Alton Sterling. Sterling’s death on July 5 catapulted the nation into a series of gun shooting violence and public demonstrations.
Shaun King, a prominent journalist for New York Daily News, shared the viral photo on his Facebook page that garnered more than 3,000 likes.
A user named Jami West commented on King’s post, describing the photo as “legendary” that “will be in history and art books from this time.” He also highlighted Evans’ composure as “balanced, powerful, upright and well-grounded with both feet firmly planted on the earth” with the sole protection of the “force of her own personal power.”
West contrasted this to the officers he described as “rocked back on their heels, knocked off balance, and appear about to fall over backward, just from the power of her.”