An image taken by a photographer whom was documenting the scenes as tear gas was launched by the U.S. Border Patrol, is dividing opinion. The photo has been widely circulated this week, but some are claiming they have proof it was staged.
The photo was taken Sunday, near a border wall between California and Mexico, and has increased tensions in the debate surrounding the Trump administration’s handling of migrants seeking asylum.
Reuters photographer Kim Kyung-Hoon snapped the picture. A documentary photographer by trade, he joined the migrant caravan two weeks ago as they have travelled north. Kyung-Hoon insists the tear gas was thrown at the migrants without any warning – which is contrary to the version of the story presented by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.
But now people have begun dissecting the photo, making bold claims that the image is fake — or at least "staged." One Twitter user claims the presence of many photographers, several with tripods, suggests numerous people were arranging posed photos. Another claimed there was a CNN reporter setting up a fake shot in the background, and that the actors were laughing — although there’s nothing to clearly suggest CNN had any involvement.
Is this concrete evidence the photo was staged, or empty accusations from internet trolls who know nothing about how documentary photography works?