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Cop arrests mugger (1980)

“In the entire Subway series, one image stands out as incredibly violent. When I saw the exhibition up at Aperture Gallery, I could not help but think, “How on earth did Bruce get this picture without getting shot.” It was taken with a wide angle lens, so I figured Bruce must have been an arms length from the scene.

It turns out that this picture has an added layer of complexity. The man holding the gun is actually an undercover police officer. Bruce was helping the NYPD capture muggers in the subway. He figured since he had already been mugged three times, walking around with two undercover cops might not be a bad idea. They needed a decoy and he didn’t mind the company.

To entice a would-be robber Bruce carried a map, played clueless and carried his camera on his chest (as he usually does). Within a few days someone tried to rob him, except this time the cops pounced on the guy. Bruce turned and fire the only shot. The man was arrested, Bruce got to keep his camera, and the NYPD caught one more thief.” – Adam Marelli

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