ESB Shooting Photog Fights Backlash Over Insensitive Social Media Comments

One of the most widely-used images (see: below) from today’s Empire State Building shooting shows a wounded man lying in the street and being tended to by an anonymous woman. The image was taken by local photographer Muhammad Malik, who uploaded it to Instagram with a caption that has earned him all sorts of criticism.

Cribbing lyrics from rapper Nas, Malik described the photo thusly: “They shoot, aw made you look! No really tho. Dude got popped!” Classy, especially for a guy who, from his profile picture on Facebook, would like to be taken seriously as a professional photographer. It’s a good picture, too, so it’s a shame he had to sully his work with his juvenile caption and subsequent defense.

Oh yes, there was subsequent defense.

He defended himself for his insensitive caption when a simple “sorry guys” would have sufficed, and continued bragging about his bankable photo with the hashtag #chaching following his comments that he was going to cash in on the photo.

“Let’s be clear everyone, I didn’t shoot anyone, I just took a photo, don’t hate me, hate the actions that caused me to get a picture like that,” he wrote in response to his critics. “It’s cameras that allow all of us to see what’s going on in parts that we would never venture into or otherwise wouldn’t think twice about.”

All good points, unfortunately overshadowed by his initial comments.

When NY Daily Intel caught up to him, he was much “more subdued,” probably because he had a change of heart about cashing in.

“Actually to be honest, it’s free — I don’t even care,” he said, when asked for his rate. “That happened this morning, at this point it’s just too much for me.”


He also defended himself a bit more, but seemed somewhat contrite. “I don’t think it was insensitive,” he said. “It’s New York, I just took a photo. I was there when the World Trade Center [went down] — someone has to document these things.” He trailed off. “It was just a comment.”

Hey, man. So you said an insensitive thing and people gave you a hard time for it. It sounds like you’re a bit sullen about it, so just come clean. It’s not the end of the world.

And it is a good photograph.

Malik's free photo