My job isn't always safe and walking through the valley of darkness becomes quite literal for us at times. When I get an assignment, there's no questions asked (well, maybe directions). We're in our vans and out the door at a moment's notice.
It's just an accepted part of our job to go to where the news is happening. It's a simple thing, but where news happens isn't always somewhere safe.
Monday I was sent out to help another crew that was heading to the end of a high speed pursuit. Shots had been fired and I believe there were people hurt.
Yeah, I'm being judgmental, but it wasn't in the best part of Los Angeles. Still, I was struck by the fact that I was walking around with hardly a thought to my own safety.
The neighborhood just was not somewhere under any other circumstances I'd even consider walking through at night.
There were dozens of people standing around watching the police do their job. I snapped a few still shots, but I didn't feel compelled to focus on any of the people from the neighborhood in my photos.
It wouldn't have been worth the problem if someone wasn't inclined to be photographed.
It's a choice not to live in fear, but that doesn't mean I'd ever be so reckless as to intentionally put myself in harms way. I keep my eyes open when I'm out working.
Sure, it probably sounds overly dramatic, but I have pretty active imagination.
I can see myself standing out on the street behind the crime scene tape. The ethnicity of the neighborhood isn't important. No matter where I am, I don't fit in because I'm part of the media and I have to assume that nobody is on my side. There I am and it's not a stretch to believe at least one (at least one) of the people from the neighborhood might like to have a scapegoat. I've been a target of frustration.
Just focus. Go out and cover the story. We do this often enough that it's second nature.
Heck, the truth? A big reason why we don't fear is because there's twenty cops on the scene, but having protection is not the same as having nothing to fear. I said earlier, I have a pretty good imagination.
Can you imagine what might happen to me if the police weren't there?