New York Subway Death, 2012
Today’s dramatic New York Post cover photo, which shows the last seconds of a man’s life as he tried to escape the path of a Manhattan subway train, caused immediate furor, with many wondering why the photographer chose to take a picture of the man instead of attempting to help him. The photo shows Ki Suk Han, after he had been pushed by a panhandler at the Times Square subway station, trying to get off the tracks as a speeding Q train barrels toward him. But the photographer explains, “I just started running, running, hoping that the driver could see my flash … In that moment, I just wanted to warn the train—to try and save a life.” Other witnesses claim that one of the reasons they were unable to help him was that they had all gathered on the other end of the subway platform to avoid the very panhandler who is suspected of pushing Han.
Such decisions about provocative photos are as old as photojournalism. From Gaddafi’s corpse in a freezer, to a dying RFK, see photos that some said should never have been published.
WARNING: Graphic content.