I also photographed Brittany Packnett and DeRay McKesson for Politico Magazine's 50 Ideas issue. Brittany and DeRay are the founders of Campaign Zero, an organization focused on ending police violence by making our elected officials change laws that reform police departments.This portrait took place in Baltimore, not far from the spot where Freddie Gray was arrested, and later died due to injuries suffered while he was in police custody in April 2015. These streets might be famous as the location of The Wire to some, but these are real people living in tough conditions who are doing their best to raise their families and live their best lives.
As an outsider coming to shoot a magazine story, I am always very sensitive (and a little bit conflicted) about glamorizing or trivializing the struggles of any community, because far too often, the media comes and goes with no real positive change for the people who need it.
Being there with Brittany and DeRay was a different and positive experience. We stopped taking pictures a couple of times that day so they could stop and talk to people walking by, listen to their issues, and more often than not, they figured out a way to help. Please take a moment to check out joincampainzero.org to see how you can support their important cause.