As reported by Digital Journal
on Tuesday, Queens, New York native, Ki Suk Han, was pushed onto the tracks at the 49th Street station by another man who is now being sought on murder charges.
R. Umar Abbasi, a freelance photographer, witnessed the event and reportedly
ran towards the oncoming train, using his camera's flash to try and get the conductors attention. It was too little too late however, and Han was hit and drug down the tracks before the train could come to a halt.
Abbasi managed to take the time to snap a picture of the man before he was struck. The photo ended up in the hands of the New York Post, who published it on the front page of Tuesday's edition with the headline:
"Pushed on the subway track, this man is about to die: DOOMED.”
Outrage over the photo and headline has been fierce. The Atlantic Wire
"Getting a conductor's attention with a flash — and maybe even blinding him with it — doesn't seem like the way you'd necessarily help someone that's clinging to the subway platform."
Many are asking why Abbasi choose to take the picture instead of offering a hand to help pull Han out of harms way. Andrez Limas posted on Twitter
"#newyorkpost What is wrong with you people? Absolutely disrespectful. Its horrifying that someone took a pic instead of helping the guy out."
"Has anybody seen this cover by #NewYorkPost, too crazy!!! Instead of helping dude just took pictures? #SoSad"
Lexy Huff posted on Facebook
"New York Post pays a man for his photo of a man about to die on the subway track. He pulls out his phone instead of trying to help. This is a sick sick world we live in. It completely disgusts me."
The LA Times
quotes USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism professor, Marc Cooper, as saying:
“Those who are outraged that the cameraman did not save his life need to ask themselves what they would have done and what they could have done. If we live in a society where people are pushed to death in a subway over a silly argument, then I am in favor of documenting that and showing that in all the horror that it is. Journalists do not shy away from depicting horror because there is horror.”
Abbasi's motives are being questioned however, with some believing it was more about money than a journalist documenting an incident. When CNN approached Abbasi about an interview giving his side of the story, he insisted
that he would only talk to the network if they paid him.
Some are not as outraged about the the fact the photo was taken and used by the New York Post, as they are about the headline. Whatever the cause for the outpouring of criticism, many who saw the headline and picture are clearly upset with the paper. According to CBS News New York
, one person stated:
“New Yorkers: DO NOT EVER BUY THE NY POST AGAIN. They put a man about to die on their cover today. That’s not news, that’s snuff porn. Sick,”