In Broad Daylight

In tiny Chester, Pennsylvania, which has more murders per capita than almost anywhere in America, one man grieves for his fallen brother.

By | April 9, 2015

Chester, Pennsylvania has a population of approximately 34,000. Yet it currently ranks among the four American cities with the highest per-capita murder rate and as one of the “most dangerous,” which takes into account the number of violent crimes per 1,000 residents. You have a one in forty-six chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime in Chester. Thirty minutes away in Philadelphia, with a population of 1,500,000, you have a one in ninety-one chance. New York City does not even rate in the top 100 most dangerous cities.

The violence in Chester is persistent and permeating. Photographer and visual artist Justin Maxon has spent seven years collecting stories from families in Chester who have lost a loved one to murder and feel that justice was not served. Maxon’s work from Chester has led to his projects When the Spirit Moves and Heaven’s Gain, which Maxon calls visual “investigations into the emotional, physical and spiritual landscape that transpires from unresolved trauma.”

One such story is from David Simms, who lost his twenty-one-year-old brother Daniel on August 5, 2011, when he was shot and killed by a local police officer. His death incited local protests and Simms’ family demanded the officer be dismissed. An investigation by the Delaware Country District Attorney cleared the officer, finding Simms had pointed a loaded handgun at the officer.

– Zara Katz, Narratively’s Director of Photography

* * *

Anne Sofie Norskov, who assisted in editing this film, is a filmmaker and editor from Copenhagen, Denmark.


Faces of Freelance: Meet Carolyn

An award-winning producer on how freelancers bring freedom and innovation to structured work environments.


Mission Impossible: Finding the Perfect Name for My Kid

A new dad on the nightmare-inducing challenge of coming up with a timeless but fresh, cool but not too cool name for his son.


Adventure Is in My DNA

A filmmaker and surfer proudly explores her Indigenous roots, and discovers that thrill-seeking runs in the family.


These 4 Women Are Taking on a Politician Near You

The coalminer’s daughter. The bartender. The police brutality activist. The grieving mother. Each looked at the man representing her in Congress and said, “I can do better.”


The Grieving Mom Fighting for a Healthcare System That Actually Works

Amy Vilela lost her daughter when she couldn’t afford the medical bills. When her Congressman told her he wouldn’t support universal healthcare, Amy said, “I’m running.”


This Ferguson Activist Wants to be Missouri’s First Black Congresswoman

Cori Bush is a registered nurse, a pastor and a mom. After taking to the streets to protest police killings, she looked in the mirror and said, “why not politician, too?”


How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Pulled Off the Biggest Upset in Congressional History

In early 2018, we introduced you to a bartender from the Bronx trying to pull off what many said was impossible. Here’s how AOC became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.


This Coalminer’s Daughter Is Mad as Hell—And Running for the U.S. Senate

Paula Jean Swearengin has seen West Virginia’s land exploited, its people fall ill, and its politicians do nothing. So she decided to do something herself.


The Collector of Time

As Mark McKinley puts it, “no collector ever says, ‘I’ve gone too far.'” After 27 years and an official Guinness World Record, he stands by that statement.