Rattled. Was just accosted while taking photos at a baseball tournament in Mesa. Parents yelled for me to not take pictures of their kid. I agreed and asked which kid was theirs. They didn’t want to say and said if I did they would “kick my ass.” They yelled I was the fake
news, I was taking pictures of little boys and that I was a pedophile. They said I wasn’t reporting on how ‘they stole the election.’ I replied that I was just a photographer doing my job for the newspaper. Another parent joined and they recorded my interaction.
I simply tried to explain that I was taking photos for the AZ Republic and wouldn’t take photos of their kids if they didn’t want. They kept yelling. Told me to walk away, which is what I ended up doing as they continued to accuse me of being a child predator and fake news.
I’m shaking. More because I just want people to understand that I’m not their enemy. I love my community. I love telling their story through pictures. Leaving defeated. I didn’t want them to think they shouted me away but more aggressive parents were eyeing me.
So here I am in the parking lot at a public park in Mesa feeling ashamed for doing one of my favorite things in the world- taking pictures. If we all were just a little kinder.