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2012: The Year in Pictures 

MAY 8, 2012, 11:44 P.M., PONCE DE LEON AVENUE: I came across a man passed-out drunk on the sidewalk on Ponce. I waited around him and made a few photos of the scene. Slowly, more and more passers-by stopped to see him, their curiosity eventually turning into an effort to revive him in hopes that he would wake up before the cops picked him up. Young men laughed and slapped him, a concerned older woman in a robe came out of her house and poured water on his head, which made him stir for a few moments, only to flop back into his original position. I knew that the people around me would disapprove of me photographing the man’s vulnerable moment, but I felt like it was important, so I secretly made this photo just as the paramedics showed up. I foolishly tried taking a few more as they pulled him onto the gurney and was immediately yelled at by the paramedics. “Don’t you dare take photos right now. This is not a joke,” they screamed. To have protested in the moment felt inappropriate, but I was saddened and discouraged to see that that’s how they read my actions. It was certainly not a joke.

Image credit: Dustin Chambers

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Uploaded: Dec 27, 2012
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Image Archives: Dustin Chambers

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