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Tyler Gerth: Photographer remembered for documenting, supporting protest movement

Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 4:37 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The local photographer shot dead Saturday is being remembered as someone who did more for the recent movement than just capture it on his camera.

Tyler Gerth supported the cause as well.

“He was solving injustice for Breonna (Taylor), and solving injustices throughout the world,” said his father, Chuck Gerth.

Gerth was photographing the weekend protests in downtown Louisville, as he’s been doing throughout the recent unrest, when he was shot and killed.

His family said after Taylor was killed, it was Gerth’s sense of justice that drove him to be part of peaceful demonstrations.

Visitors to his Instagram page are offered a glimpse into his mind and heart.

He was there when Breonna’s Law was passed. He was there when crowds marched through downtown. With each picture, he left his Instagram fans with a message.

One photo from June 4 was posted above the following caption:

“Until the politicians, men and women we elected to represent our best interest, make changes to injustice black people receive, we will continue to see protests throughout the country.”

Gerth was a son, a younger brother, and an uncle. His family said they pray for his death to be a catalyst for peace in the city he loved so much. Gerth also was a mentor in the Big Brother Big Sister program, just like his father was.

The BBBS issued a statement Monday about Gerth:

We are saddened to hear of the loss of Big Brother, Tyler Gerth. When Tyler applied to become a Big Brother, he told us that he was inspired by his father’s (Chuck) many years as a Big Brother in our program. Tyler was an avid photographer, but also had strong feelings about racial justice. He put his passion into action by mentoring. Tyler had been a Big Brother just under a year to a Little Brother who is 13 years old. Our staff is providing professional support to Tyler’s Little Brother, as he deals with the loss of an extended family member.

According to the Little Brother’s mom, Tyler was the “perfect match” for her son. His Little Brother describes Tyler as “great” because “we have fun together”. For having been matched less than a year, Tyler and his Little did a lot: working out at the Y, playing basketball, going out to eat, going to U of L football games, and even joining his Tyler’s father, Chuck (also a Big Brother) at a Cincinnati Bengals game. Tyler also regularly attended his Little Brother’s football games. We saw Tyler’s positive impact on his Little Brother’s life, through his Little’s good grades and overall excitement about their fun outings.

Bigs in our program open up a world of potential to their Littles. One way Tyler did this was by bringing his Little Brother to his job at Papa John’s - Headquarters. His Little Brother found that to be a very special moment because he knew how proud Tyler was to work for Papa John’s. It was also a bonus because his Little Brother wanted us to know that Papa John’s is his favorite pizza.

There will be many moments to reflect on the incredible impact Tyler had on our community. We are so grateful to have had Tyler as an ally, advocate, friend, and Big Brother. On behalf of the entire Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana family, we send our condolences to the Gerth Family, his Little Brother’s family, and our entire community on the tremendous loss of a passionate change agent.

Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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