August 24th, 2014
01:56 PM ET

Web Exclusive: the story behind an iconic photo from Ferguson, Missouri

In his first interview, Edward Crawford tells Brian Stelter the story behind the now-iconic picture of him clutching a bag of chips in one hand and a tear gas canister in the other amid a raucous protest in Ferguson, Missouri.

The photo - taken by St. Louis Post-Dispatch photographer Robert Cohen - has been printed onto T-shirts, repurposed by artists, even plastered onto cell phone cases. On Twitter, it's been favorably compared to pictures from revolutions overseas - but also falsely cited as proof of violence committed by protesters.

"Before the photo was taken, the canister... was shot and it landed a couple of feet away from me and some children standing on the sidewalk," Crawford said.

He said he was "not throwing the canister at the police; I was merely getting the canister away from me and the kids."

Toward the end of the interview Stelter asked:

STELTER: Are you ready for the press to pack up and leave - or are you happy they're there, to shine a light on this issue?

CRAWFORD: I am happy the media is in my town, because this attention that we're getting, I just hope we turn it into something positive. With the attention, I hope our voices are heard and I hope our pain is felt by America. So, I don't want the cameras to leave. I hope they stay here as long as they can and just capture positive moments, positive protests.

Filed under: Reliable Sources
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