Black Lives Matter: A Photographic Essay of the Freddie Gray Protests in New York City by Mike Krim and Alex Papa

Mike Krim is the owner and founder of Paperwork NYC, a Brooklyn based publishing imprint which has gained a cult following for its stream of sometimes subversive, sometimes erotic, but always visually captivating zines, books, and photographs. After news emerged that Freddie Gray, Jr. had broken his spinal cord and died while in the custody of six police officers, riots erupted in Baltimore. The idea of the straw breaking the camel's back had a strange and literal meaning in this case, after many other deaths of unarmed black men and women at the hands of police: Tamir Rice, 12 years Old, Cleveland Ohio; Michael Brown, 18, Ferguson, Missouri; John Crawford III, 22, Beavercreek, Ohio; Eric Garner, 43, New York; Freddie C. Gray, Jr., 25, Baltimore, Maryland; and many more. The riots and protests quickly spread to New York City and grew louder and louder. Krim and a friend - model Alex Papa - hit the streets, armed with cameras, to capture the above photographic essay. In Krim's words: "Alex Papa and I decided to grab some film and join in. Not knowing what to expect, we jumped in the crowd and started taking photos. That lasted roughly twenty minutes until we found ourselves chanting "No Justice No Peace Fuck The Police" and fully engaged in the protest, which took over city blocks and highways. As voices echoed loudly, we ran to fill in gaps, walking interlinked to shut down intersections, and marched forward. At times losing people to small pockets of raw emotion that took place. I'm not sure what the exact term of "peaceful assembly" is but I feel it was accomplished last night. Was anything achieved besides screwing up all the traffic in NYC? I'm not sure. I will tell you one thing, though, it felt fucking awesome approaching Times Square with that many people and taking over what some call the center of the universe."


Photography: Mike Krim and Alex Papa

Location: New York City

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