Photographer for Denver Post Who Captured Murder at Pro-Trump Rally May Have Some Issues

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AP featured image
This photo provided by the Denver Police Department shows Matthew Dolloff. Police identified on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, a 30-year-old man as the suspect in a fatal shooting that took place in downtown Denver during dueling protests. Matthew Dolloff, a private security guard working for local television station KUSA TV, was being held for investigation of first degree murder in connection with Saturday afternoon’s shooting, Denver police said in a social media post. (Denver Police Department via AP)

 

Let’s just call this the “Curious Case of the News Photographer Who Becomes Part of the Story she captured on film” — ignore the fact no one uses film anymore.

Prominent in and around the scene of Saturday’s “Patriot Muster” Rally in Denver and the BLM/Antifa counter-protest was a female “photojournalist” wearing a dayglow orange vest with “PRESS” in big black letters.  Her name is Helen Richardson, and she works for the Denver Post.  She was approximately 5 feet from the Matthew Dolloff — just to his left — capturing a series of photographs with her camera on “burst” when Dolloff and Lee Keltner eagage in a brief physical confrontation which ended after three seconds with Dolloff drawing a handgun and killing Keltner.

You can’t see her face in this image, but that is her just behind the main BLM agitator in the image on the left, who I dubbed “Mr. BGM” after the motto on his shirt “Black Guns Matter”.  It was Mr. BGM who engaged in the confrontation with Mr. Keltner in the moments before Mr. Keltner and Dolloff came together and Mr. Keltner was murdered.  Today Mr. BGM was identified as Jacob LeBron Kelly.

This photograph was taken earlier in the day, and the stills on the left are from a video that captured a different confrontation between Mr. BGM and Rally attendee.

There is quite a bit of speculation on Twitter, looking through various videos taken by people with cell phones throughout the course of the afternoon, that the photographer  — along with the 9News Crew — was following Mr. BMG around to capture the confrontations that he was manufacturing for their benefit, and for purposes of creating video content for BLM supporting websites.

Richardson wrote a very short story that the Denver Post published online at 10:54 pm on Saturday night.  She wrote:

One person has died and another man, who 9News confirmed was a private security guard contracted by them, is in custody after a shooting during dueling protests Saturday in downtown Denver. The incident occurred after a man participating in what was billed a “Patriot Rally” sprayed mace at another man.  That man then shot the other individual with a handgun near the courtyard outside the Denver Art Museum.

There is absolutely no doubt that Richardson wrote what is, for all practical purposes, a witness statement saying that Dolloff shot Keltner only after Keltner had sprayed mace at Dolloff.

The pictures she took — which she uploaded to the Post’s website — show that isn’t the case.

On Monday the Denver Post uploaded ALL the pictures — at least all the pictures posted had sequential frame numbers and no numbers were missing — in response to pointed questions being raised online about two images that were missing from the original set of photos that had been uploaded on Sunday.  A Twitter user took the original set of images and put them together in a quasi-video format, which appeared as follows:

But a careful examination of the sequence showed there was a gap in the sequence — the images jumped from one where Dolloff was beginning to reach for his handgun to the next one where Dolloff already had both arms extended and had fired.  There were not images between those two.

But when the images uploaded to the Post website were examined, it was discovered that two image numbers were missing.

Missing from the numbered sequence were images 872 and 873

The mystery was solved later in the day when the Denver Post uploaded ALL the pictures — or what they claimed was all the pictures — onto their website.

In looking at the metadata on those images, one thing I noted is that in three sequences following the shot, the camera is recording 10 frames per second.

The sequence 880-889 are all captured at 3:36:55 PM

The sequence 890-899 are all captured at 3:36:56 PM

The sequence 900-909 are all captured at 3:36:57 PM

That is 30 images captured in 3 seconds, at a steady rate of 10 fps.

But if you go to the images before these, you see fewer than 10 images being captured per second:

Image 867 begins the capture at 3:36:53.  But that sequence includes only 7 images — not 10 — and ends with Dolloff having his right hand on the handle of his firearm, but not having yet removed it from his waistband.

Image 874 begins the capture at 3:36:54 — the image with Dolloff having just fired the round.    But that sequenced includes only 6 images — not 10.

As I said on Twitter, I’m not a user of a high-end digital camera like the one Richardson was using.  But it sure seems odd to me that the camera consistently captured 10 frames per second in the 3 seconds starting at 3:36:55, but only 6 and 7 images per second in the two seconds prior to that when Dollof was drawing his weapon and killing Keltner.

There was movement by both individuals in between images 873 and 874 which is not reflected in the photos that the Denver Post has released.  That movement will demonstrate whether Dolloff drew his firearm in response to the action by Keltner with the mace canister — or he drew it before, and any movement by Keltner with the mace canister was in response to Dolloff pulling his handgun.

Maybe there is no photo that captures that movement.  But by having originally withheld two photos in the sequence, Richardson and the Denver Post have lost the benefit of the doubt.

This mystery will be solved because there are videos that exist that have not yet been released to the public.  There was one person who appeared to be taping the episode with a phone from a position to the right of Keltner’s group next to the fence as you look at the video above.  I also recall seeing a report on Saturday night that a fixed surveillance camera somewhere in the vicinity of the shooting had captured the event.

As for any “relationship” between the photographer, the 9News crew who was accompanied by Dolloff, and Mr. BGM, I think it is safe to say that the entire group were aware of and familiar with one another.  I’m not suggesting they were working together.  But you would expect a “photojournalist” for the Denver Post to know a television news crew which covers the same kind of events.  And there enough images and videos of both those two in close proximity — or even communication with Mr. BGM to conclude they were following him intentionally, and he was attempting to provoke “opponents” for the purpose of having it captured by the press.

Not surprising, given all the questions tha have been raised, Michelle Malkin points out today that Richardson has deleted her Twitter account:

 





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