A local photographer who happened to capture a hatchet attack on two NYPD officers last week set off something of a firestorm on his Facebook page when he posted dramatic — and graphic — images of the immediate aftermath.
The owner of “Motion View Pictures” — the photographer’s full name is not associated with the page — apparently uploaded the photos on October 24, the morning after the incident. They show one officer with his head bloodied, and one of his partners assisting him. They also show four officers posing for photos just seconds before the assault, which is now being investigated as a terrorist attack.
The reactions from other Facebook users ranged from the unfortunate (and predictable) calls to “get rid of all the mosques in the country” to mocking of the author’s proficiency in English to what might be called a more nuanced debate about the propriety of publishing the photos in the first place.
Brian Munroe: Obviously english is not his first language. Cut the guy a break. These are amazing photos and I think they show the potential violence and danger police can face at a moments notice. I’m glad he shared them and also glad that the officers are ok. Hoping for a speedy recovery for the attached officer
Judging by some odd word choices, the poster may have been using an auto-translation program. If that’s true, a reference to the attacker as a “gentleman” was probably less than deliberate. But posters seized on it anyway.
Ryan Michelman: This is disgraceful and down right inhumane! You take pictures of an officer who has just been hit in the head with a hatchet and call the terrorist a gentleman, what kind of sick individual are you yourself! Everyone should report each one of these photos it is disrespectful and down right inhumane! What if this was your family member on the floor bleeding like that, as a first responder myself although not a cop yet, we’re all family at the end of it and your disrespecting a lot of people.
Some were more supportive:
Christopher Tracy: He’s just telling the story. It’s not an English test. I appreciate the inside info. Sgt. C. Tracy | NYPD Ret. | 103 Pct. 2001-2002
The photographer did not immediately return messages left by the Voice.
You can see the entire album on Motion View Pictures’ Facebook page. The album contains several images that, while explicit, certainly capture the drama of the moment.
Update 10/28/14, 6:10 p.m.: The photographer, Dominick Williams, deleted three of the photos from his Facebook page, but they’ve since been published at Huffington Post.