Virginia high school photographer covering inauguration protests roughed up by D.C. police; keeps clicking

Protests are Evan Sisley’s favorite thing to photograph, for one reason:

“You get an adrenaline rush. You definitely have anger there. There’s tons of emotion,” the 18-year-old high school student and freelancer said. “It’s right on the verge of sparking into something bigger.”

Those words rang true on Jan. 20 when Sisley, who was chronicling a protest by a group of anarchists at the Presidential Inauguration, was thrown to the ground by a police officer. Sisley’s camera was broken during the assault.

Sisley, a senior at Chantilly High School in Virginia, arrived downtown at 9 a.m. on Inauguration Day to cover the demonstrations for his high school newspaper, The Purple Tide, and Young D.C., a regional youth newspaper. When he heard that a group of anarchists planned to retaliate with violence against any police officers who performed unlawful searches, he decided to capture the protest.

“If anything was going to spark, this would be a good group to try and follow,” Sisley said.

As the group of protesters began moving toward the entrance to the Inauguration and tearing down a fence, police officers began spraying pepper spray, Sisley said, forcing demonstrators to run. Sisley and other journalists followed to continue taking pictures and chronicling the event, he said.