Last night, a police officer pepper sprayed St. Louis Post-Dispatch photojournalist Robert Cohen while he covered the protests against police brutality in Ferguson, Missouri, producing this jarring image:
Here's what it looked like from my end in #Ferguson. pic.twitter.com/sxsvDGJsQb— Robert Cohen (@kodacohen) August 11, 2015
This is not the first time something like this happened. During the 2014 protests, police harassed reporters, hit members of the media with tear gas, and arrested more than a dozen journalists who were just doing their jobs.
But last night's events produced a particularly interesting chain of events:
Just got pepper sprayed. Direct hit.— Robert Cohen (@kodacohen) August 11, 2015
@kodacohen oh, and who came to my aid....@eyeFLOODpanties!— Robert Cohen (@kodacohen) August 11, 2015
@kodacohen you know you good in my books— That's that one dude (@eyeFLOODpanties) August 11, 2015
For those not familiar with the background here, Cohen is the photographer who took the now-iconic picture of Edward Crawford (@eyeFLOODpanties) throwing tear gas away from a crowd during last year's protests.
"When I saw it, it didn't look like tear gas," Crawford explained to me in July. "It was on the ground, it was spinning, and it was, like, the size of a soda can that you get out of a vending machine. It had fire on it. I really didn't know what it was, because I had never seen tear gas. People were screaming. So my first initial thought was, 'I just need to get this away from people,' because it was smoking and had fire on it. So I just chucked it, threw it out of the way."
One year later, Crawford is still trying to help people hurt by police's chemical weapons. Only this time, the protester came to the aid of the same photojournalist who captured him doing it last time around.