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Boston Marathon Picture

by ATinNM Sat Apr 20th, 2013 at 03:08:48 PM EST

The cover of Sport's Illustrated has this:

image on the front cover.

I got interested and dug a little deeper.

The woman on the left with her gun drawn is Rachael Olanoff.  Officer Olanoff graduated from Rutland High, Rutland Vermont, in 2000 and went on to play lacrosse at Boston University, where she graduated with a degree in psychology and sociology.  In 2008 she graduated from the Boston Police Academy.  She was able to graduate and become a street officer because, in her own words, of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act:

...the primary objective for ARRA was to save and create jobs almost immediately. Secondary objectives were to provide temporary relief programs for those most impacted by the recession and invest in infrastructure, education, health, and 'green' energy.

The ARRA was opposed by Republicans.  In the words of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, "I wasn't sent to Washington to raise anybody's taxes to pay for more wasteful spending."    

Without that "wasteful spending" Officer Olanoff wouldn't be in the picture.

Can't find out anything about the officer in the middle.  Apparently his name has not been released.  

The officer on the right is Javier Pagan.  Officer Pagan is is a long-time member of the Gay Officer's Action League (GOAL) and is the Boston Police liaison to the Boston Gay Community.   In 2005 the Greater Boston Business Council (GBBC), Boston's LGBT chamber of commerce, gave him an Award for Excellence for outstanding service.  His husband is a retired sergeant from the New York Police Department who served on 9/11 and helped rescue people from the rubble after the Twin Towers collapsed.

The runner on the ground is Bill Iffrig.  

Bill Iffrig, the 78-year-old Lake Stevens man caught sprawled on the ground in the Boston Marathon bombing photo, has returned home. The picture went around the world, but he never saw it until Friday morning. Now it's back to mowing the lawn.

This photograph is going to make it into photojournalism history, very likely becoming the iconic image of the bombing.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Apr 20th, 2013 at 03:12:30 PM EST
Posted this on facecrack, and discovered people were interested, including a share. and they weren't ET folk.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Apr 21st, 2013 at 03:41:53 PM EST
Thanks for letting me know.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Apr 21st, 2013 at 07:03:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I appreciate it's a different country and a different training culture, but why is the gun drawn ? Is there a target ? If not, then the gun is a public order liability as a drawn gun can be fired. If there is no target, then it shouldn't be fired and it should be in its holster.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Apr 22nd, 2013 at 09:03:33 AM EST
Or the Norwegian version: why are the carrying guns? Have they already retreated to the car, called in for back-up, assessed the situation and decided that approaching with guns is necessary in this case?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Apr 22nd, 2013 at 09:23:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's fine to be drawn - her finger is specifically off the trigger and it isn't aimed at anything.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Mon Apr 22nd, 2013 at 10:58:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Picture was taken seconds (literally) after the first bomb went off.  She doesn't know if there is a target or not. She has her gun drawn, finger on the trigger guard while she scans the crowd to our left.  You'll note Pagan is reaching for his weapon while he scans the crowd to our right.  Meanwhile the officer in the middle is relying on his partners to start to secure the area is finding out if Iffrig needs medical assistance; gathering information for the medical first responders.

They are all following their training, doing exactly what they should be doing.  Which is one of the reasons I like the photograph.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Apr 22nd, 2013 at 12:32:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's forget the photographer, John Tlumacki of the Boston Globe; such people also run towards trouble and do their job: "... no matter what it is, you're a photographer first, that's what you're doing. I ran towards the explosion."

I was covering the finish line at the ground level at the marathon. Everything was going on as usual. It was jovial -- people were happy, clapping -- and getting to a point where it gets a little boring as a photographer. And then we heard this explosion.

It was sort of like, ok, what's that all about? It wasn't super loud but all you saw was the smoke. There was this big cloud of smoke and people screaming. The percussion from that explosion threw my cameras up in the air. Right in front of me, one of the runners fell on the ground -- he was blown over from the blast. My instinct was ... no matter what it is, you're a photographer first, that's what you're doing. I ran towards the explosion, towards the police; they had their guns drawn. It was pandemonium. Nobody knew what was going on.

The first thing I saw were people's limbs blown off. Massive amounts of blood. It looked like BB holes in the back of some people.
Maybe 15 seconds after the first explosion, while I was still shooting pictures, another explosion went off. And then there was panic. The cops told everybody to get off the street, that there could be another one.

I can't compare it to anything else I've ever been to. The horror. And the anger.

Tell us about the photo of the runner on the ground with the police.

That's probably one second after the explosion. He was blown over by the blast and fell on the ground. The cops are just reacting as cops. They didn't know what was going on. They're pulling their guns out, looking left and right. They were pretty close to where the explosion went off and could have been killed or injured also.

You try not to get your emotions involved, but there was this man who was kneeling over this woman. Obviously she was injured pretty badly, and he's just comforting her. He's whispering in her ear. From a photographer's point of view, you've seen these pictures before. I made it, and then I moved on.

But then a cop came to me, grabbed me, and said: "Do me a favor. Do not exploit the situation." And that resonated with me. I can't think about it -- I gotta keep doing what I'm doing.

.. I'm not sure she survived -- she was gravely injured. They were doing CPR on her when she [was taken away].


I was so shook up about it -- I was speechless when I was there [on scene]. My eyes were swelling up behind my camera. We use a camera as a defense but I was shaken when I got back, just scanning the pictures. The other sad part was that I took my shoes off because they were covered in blood from walking on the sidewalk taking pictures.

I always wondered what it would be like when I see photographers covering this stuff all over the world. You go to Israel and then there's an explosion and photographers are there. It's haunting to be a journalist and have to cover it. I don't ever want to have to do that again.


Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Mon Apr 22nd, 2013 at 02:34:59 PM EST
by das monde on Mon Apr 22nd, 2013 at 04:36:20 PM EST
From the cited Atlantic article:
Chechens have a horrific, bloody history. Hundreds of thousands of people died in two wars with Russia in the 90s and early 2000s, and the capital, Grozny, was nearly leveled to the ground. There were claims that Russia was attempting ethnic cleansing. "Not a single night goes by without someone disappearing. Masked men come into homes and take people away," one resident told a Boston Globe reporter in 2003.

The  Tsarnaev family is Imperial Russia's gift to the Imperial USA. Hadji Murat, Leo Tolstoy's last novel, is about Chechnya. Tolstoy served there in the 1850s as an officer in a company of Cossacks fighting Chechen separatists for Tsarist Russia. The Caucuses and Central Asia were to Russia what the 'Wild West' was for the USA, although the two regions turned out very differently with respect to the majority ethnicities of the two countries. Russia's expansion was into both the Caucuses and Central Asia geographically but also into Dar al-Islam, where Turkey and Persia were the prior political and primary cultural influences. The atheism of the Soviets served to attenuate, if not mute, the religious differences.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Apr 23rd, 2013 at 02:00:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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