This is Fabienne Cherisma, a 15-year-old girl shot by police in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti for looting two plastic chairs and three framed pictures. Paul Hansen’s photo on the left recently won best International News Image at the Swedish Picture of the Year Awards. Nathan Weber’s photo on the right shows fourteen photographers crowing at the scene to get the money shot.
The Swedish press is now stirring the controversy: If the behind-the-scene photo was seen by the judges, would Hansen still have been awarded?
Before you cry vulture, it’s good to know that Hansen followed up on the “story” and visited the family. Despite the crowd snapping away at the body for twenty minutes, the photographers behaved professionally according to Weber himself. Weber also videotaped this heartbreaking footage of Fabienne’s family carrying the body through the streets. There’s a close up of Fabienne’s blood dripping over the picture frames. Yes, the photo op is unsettling, but nowhere near as unsettling as a kid getting shot in a middle of chaos with little relief. There should be evidence.