By MARK PEARCE and MICHAEL NICHOLSMAN, AP writersWashington (AP) A photojournalist’s portrait of a mother and her newborn baby at the heart of a national controversy was widely shared online and captured the public’s attention.
The photograph shows the little girl standing in front of her mother and the father, a white man, in a family photo on a front lawn at a suburban Dallas-area house.
The father is holding his infant son, who is crying.
The image has stirred anger and criticism since it was taken by photographer Luke Darnell on June 26, 2016, at a rural house in suburban Dallas.
It drew widespread attention on social media and spawned a social media campaign calling for the man in the photo to be arrested.
But it also has helped a number of people, including family members of those killed in the shooting, to gain some measure of closure.
In the weeks after the photograph was taken, Darnelle was accused of defamation and slander.
He pleaded not guilty in September.
Darnell said he believed the image was not taken at the house but at a friend’s house, and he had the same recollection of the scene, as well as the family.
In his defense, Durnell said the photo was taken with his camera phone in his right hand, with the baby in his left hand.
In court papers, prosecutors said Darnel “did not have the right to be the focal point of public attention.”
But the family’s attorney, Michael Nelson, said the image has done nothing to change the views of the public.
He said the family was upset with the man who took the picture, saying he was a threat to them.
“The photograph itself is what has caused them to go public with their complaints and feelings,” Nelson said.
“They’re not going to be satisfied until they have some justice.”
Darnells family and the police are in a dispute over the photo.
Prosecutors say Darnells mother had an epileptic seizure while trying to give birth, and Darnels mother, who was not present, had no memory of the photo, prosecutors wrote.
The police said Dernells wife told them Darnals father and his wife had been drinking at the time of the shooting.
Police say they have no evidence that Darnelling and the man with him were drinking.
Prosecutors have filed a lawsuit to get that information.
Dernells attorney, Matthew Miller, said Davenell is upset the police have tried to use his client’s actions to make a political statement.
He said Durnells wife and mother are well aware of what happened and what it has meant to their lives.
“There are no two people who are in this same situation,” Miller said.
“She has never had that picture.”
The case is pending in the Dallas County Criminal District Court.