Protesting nurse becomes symbol of Black Lives Matter movement

Photograph of American nurse Leshia Evans, who was later arrested, was shared around the world
Leshia Evans

A powerful photograph of a protesting US nurse calmly facing a line of riot police officers has become an unoffical symbol of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Leshia Evans
Nurse Leshia Evans faced down a line of heavily armed police in Baton Rouge. Picture: Reuters

Leshia Evans travelled from her New York home to Lousiana for her first-ever protest against the killing of Alton Sterling by police officers, apparently because she wanted a better future for her five-year-old son.

The image of Ms Evans, arms folded across the chest, starring impassively ahead, has been shared around the world after it first appeared online on 9 July.


Ms Evans, who was arrested shortly after the photo was taken, was one of 100 people detained by police during the Black Lives Matter protest in the Louisiana capital Baton Rouge.

She was released after a night in custody.

Online debate

She later wrote on her Facebook page: ‘I appreciate the well wishes and love, but this is the work of God.

'I'm glad I'm alive and safe... and that there were no casualties that I have witnessed first-hand.'

The image sparked much debate online, with some praising Ms Evans and comparing her actions to those seen in China’s Tiananmen Square in 1989; while others accused her of attention-seeking.