Dallas Morning News

Guyger Trial Photographer Captures History, Raw Emotion

For nine days the world watched the murder trial of Amber Guyger unfold with few prepared for an emotional journey to forgiveness.

One man with a camera, Dallas Morning News photojournalist, Tom Fox, was allowed to capture every moment from inside the courtroom.

Fox's photos took us into the heart of the life and death of Botham Jean and into the fate of Amber Guyger.

"I've covered quite a few things. I don't think I've seen something as gripping since some of the first days I was in Katrina," Fox said.

It's been said that a photo is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world – a single moment to tell a lifetime of story.

"We're somewhat like historians and so you want to capture that moment, because history doesn't repeat itself," Fox said. "You can't go back and capture something that's already happened."

Fox captured some of the moments we would have missed without his lens.

"The day the body camera footage was shown in court kind of unexpectedly," Fox recalled. "Botham's father quickly turned to the wall and put his hands over his ears to block out anything he can see or hear."

Pain is something that he knows well. Fox has had quite a year himself. Just months before the trial, Fox would find himself almost face-to-face with an armed man who would open fire on the Earl Cabell Federal Building.

"I have trouble dealing with other people's pain more than my own and cases like this, probably make me a little more emotional and I think that happened at the courthouse," Fox said.

It's an empathy that made it possible for him to capture the moment Jean's little brother Brandt hugged Guyger and forgave her.

"I think the hug is going to be the one thing people are going to remember from this case," Fox said. "Everyone takes the hug and takes something different from it. I think that's the power of photography."

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