Three photos stood out for us from this week’s attempted carjacking and armed standoff in Antioch and, yes, there was a police officer and a gun in the frames – but it was what the officer was doing that caught our eye.
Former Oakland PD Sergeant Arturo Michel was in Antioch that day when the old training took over and he found himself sheltering with everyone else as shots rang out and frightened civilians scrambled for cover.
He took these three photos and we thought they told a story, which is what good photojournalism is meant to do.
“I positioned myself across the street from the gas station where the suspect attempted to car jack other patrons. I then observed a CHP motor officer standing behind cover with his weapon drawn. I also observed two women in the station and you could see the fear in their faces. Your officer said something to them and literally took one of the women’s hand and pulled them away from the immediate danger. At one point, one the women actually used the officer as a shield by holding on to him around his legs. I took some photos of the incident and as you can see, your officer was truly a hero. He put his safety aside to make sure the two women were out of danger. As if this wasn’t enough, he went back and assisted two more persons and their dog out of harms way.”
Mr. Michel – besides being a pretty darn good news photographer – managed to capture something else that day. We’ll let him say it as he did when he forwarded his photos to the CHP:
“In a day when cops can’t catch a break, I though it would be important to show the world that there are men and women in your agency and all of the other agencies that were working together, that truly care and literally stand in front of danger to protect innocent lives. All of the officers should be commended for their unbelievable bravery and care for people they didn’t even know. Even the man that started all of this was treated respectfully.
“I believe that the motor officer acted in a manner that certainly is above and beyond what was asked of him. He should receive a citation for his bravery. Watching all of this made me proud to say I was once a police officer.”
Arturo C. Michel