Saturday, June 27, 2009

Man Sentenced for Crash that Killed Officer

Yesterday I photographed the the sentencing of Salvador Vivas-Diaz for the manslaughter death of Phoenix Police officer Shane Figueroa. Vivas-Diaz crossed the middle line and crashed into Figueroa as the officer was responding to a call. his blood-alcohol level was 0.24, three times the legal limit in Arizona. The judge sentenced him to 16 year which was the max for this case. Over 40 uniformed police officers filled the courtroom. I made this image of officers reacting as the prosecution showed imags from the crash and from officer Figueroa's life on large monitor in the courtroom.

Shooting in court is always a challenge. Normally you are positioned in the back of the courtroom. Everyone talking is facing away from you. Photographers are also required to put their cameras inside a cloth blimp to dampen the sound of the shutter and to put there camera on a tripod which make it physically awkward to shoot. Courtrooms are always dark which makes it a challenge to make pictures without movement. I like this picture because I think it shows the emotion that the officers had in the courtroom that day.

To read the story on AZCentral click here.

Pat Shannahan

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