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New York Post publishes grim photo of man about to die on subway tracks

Posted by Angela Nelson, Boston.com Staff  December 4, 2012 11:49 AM

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A grim New York Post cover photo showing the final moments of a Queens man who authorities say was pushed onto subway tracks has sparked outrage among readers.

New York Post freelance photographer R. Umar Abbasi photographed 58-year-old Ki Suk Han as he struggled yesterday to escape an oncoming train after being pushed onto the tracks by an unidentified man at the Times Square Station.

New York Police Department footage captured the argument that Han had with his assailant before being shoved onto the tracks.

The Post photograph was accompanied by the two headlines "Pushed on the subway track, this man is about to die," and "Doomed."

The criticism on Twitter was aimed at Abbasi, who was at the station while on assignment for an unrelated project, and at the Post for publishing the photograph. Critics asked why Abbasi did not do more to save Han.

The photographer described trying to alert the train operator to Han by firing the camera flash.

"I just started running, running, hoping that the driver could see my flash,” Abbasi said.

Jeff Sonderman, a digital media fellow at the Poynter Institute, offered a roundup of critical Twitter postings from journalists who were angered by the Post's decision to publish the photograph.

"Even if you accept that the photographer and other bystanders did everything they could to try to save the man, it's a separate question of what the Post should have done with that photo," Sonderman wrote.

Nick Confessore, a political reporter for The New York Times, wrote in a Twitter posting that Hun "is the Kitty Genovese of our time."

Genovese was a Queens woman who was murdered in 1964 in a crime that was witnessed by neighbors who did not call police.

Do you think of the Post's photographer's actions and the newspaper's decision to publish the photograph? Please share your comments.


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