Eighty-Four year old Dorli Rainey was the victim of pepper spray on Tuesday night.
She was participating in an Occupy Seattle protest march that spilled into the streets. When the police arrived to control the crowd, she was right there in the front lines.
Protests are nothing new to her; she is a long time political activist and is well known in the local political crowd. She even ran for mayor of Seattle in 2009, but dropped out saying she was too old. Current Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn knows her personally.
It’s no wonder that this photo has gone viral. It’s the defining photo that every photographer dreams of. Photographer Joshua Trujillo was in the right place at the right time.
“She had her head down, and I could see the spray all over her face,” he said. “Then she lifted her head up and someone splashed another liquid in her face.”
That’s when Trujillo and Rainey made eye contact through his camera — and when the photo happened.
“I recognized the moment as being something unique,” Trujillo said. “Photojournalists by nature go after the things that are unique, odd or extreme. Those are the things that affect people.”
He added: “In all my years in this profession, I’ve never seen anything like that.”