Trending: Viral Photo Captures a "Beautiful, Valiant, Singular Moment"

By David Schonauer   Wednesday June 17, 2020

“This is the image of the year. I hope.”

So noted one Twitter user, commenting on a picture taken by Reuters photographer Dylan Martinez showing a Black Lives Matter protester in London hoisting an injured man suspected of being a far-right demonstrator onto his shoulder to extricate him from a violent scrum near Waterloo Bridge.

“From Saturday’s melee in central London emerged Patrick Hutchinson, a black Briton, hailed as a savior for carrying the prone white man with a shaved head and cutoff jeans in a fireman’s lift,” noted The Washington Post this week.

“The British tabloids, even the right-wing ones, called Hutchinson a ‘hero,’ and accolades poured forth on social media from politicians and ordinary folk. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said, ‘Patrick Hutchinson’s instincts in that moment represent the best of us,’” added The Post.

Hutchinson, a personal trainer and grandfather, said he arrived at the scene to see the man on the ground, under attack by protesters. He and others formed a cordon around the man. “If the other three police officers that were standing around when George Floyd was murdered had thought about intervening, and stopping their colleague from doing what he was doing, like what we did, George Floyd would be alive today still,” Hutchinson to Britain’s Channel 4. “I just want equality for all of us,” he added.

Reuters journalists at the scene reported that the injured man had been beaten by protesters. The Post reports that before he shot that frame, Reuters photographer Martinez said he heard a shout, “That’s not what we do!”

“I saw a skirmish and someone falling to the ground,” the photographer said later. “The crowd parted right in front of me. I was in the right place at the right time, and incredibly lucky from that point of view.”

The reaction to the image on social media has been nuanced. “My goodness — what a reality! An injured white man (believed to be a extreme right wing protester or part of that group) carried by a black man to safety. It’s one of those moments that may define events,” noted one Twitter user. “White people love an expression of humanity from black men because we project all our violence into black men rather than look at the violence of whiteness. It isn’t black men that need to express humanity, whiteness needs to do the work of returning to humanity,” noted another.


  1. Carlotta Boettcher commented on: June 17, 2020 at 1:39 p.m.
    Symbolic of all that honorable, generous, human. Great shot Dylan and a big shout out to Patrick Hutchinson for his humanity. Thank you for showing us the way! Heroic.

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