Until this week, only friends, family and patients knew who 35-year-old nurse Ieshia L. Evans was. But today she has become an icon of peaceful protest.
You’ve seen the already legendary photo of Evans from the July 9 protests against police violence in Baton Rouge. She is seen calmly standing in the road in a long sundress as two police officers in full body armor race towards her. In that one remarkable image, Evans became the visualisation of the uphill battle peaceful protesters face against a militarized police force.
When Reuters photographer Jonathan Bachman took the photo he didn’t know who she was, or where she came from. In the media she was compared to the unknown ‘Tank Man’ who protested in China’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, but who this brave woman is, is no longer a mystery.
Ieshia L. Evans has now been identified as the woman in the photo. Here’s what you need to know about the 35-year-old nurse and mother.
1. She traveled to Baton Rouge specifically for the protests.
Evans, a licensed practical nurse, lives in New York with her five-year-old son but traveled to Louisiana to take part in the protest over the death of Alton Sterling.
2. She allegedly knew she was going to get arrested
The image’s photographer Jonathan Bachman, told The Atlantic, “I think that I had heard this women say something about she was going to be arrested, and I saw this woman, and she was standing in the first lane in that road. It happened quickly, but I could tell that she wasn’t going to move, and it seemed like she was making her stand. To me it seemed like: You’re going to have to come and get me.”
3. Evans was arrested for “obstructing the highway,” and was held overnight in jail
A few hours after her arrest, Evan posted the following note on her Facebook page letting her friends and family know she was okay.
4. She wants to tell her story herself.
It’s only a matter of time before we learn more about this amazing woman.