The Release of Cyntoia Brown-Long from a Tennessee prison in Nashville in the early morning hours of August 7, 2019 was like a scene out of a spy movie. Guns at the ready, black SUVs running silent and fast across rural roads, a fast turn into a blacked-out government facility few even knew was operational, men leaping from chase vehicles to secure a perimeter. “No cameras!” Armed officers yelled as they huddled around the girl. The Tennessee authorities were doing Mrs. Brown-Long a favor. They snuck her out of the prison in order to help her avoid the media circus that was all but certain– national media were literally camped out on the access road to the release facility, the only road in or out for official release. The Tennessee authorities came up with an alternate release plan. It would be top secret. Even the private security detail hired to escort Cyntoia immediately upon her release were kept in the dark about the plan. They snuck her out a back way and prepared a stealthy vehicle switch off-site. In the heightened state of security, the Tennessee authorities were strictly against any cameras, even the sanctioned camera riding in her official vehicle: Our camera. The photos may not be pretty but they certainly convey the moment a girl is given a second chance that she hoped for but never expected. This is the moment she is welcomed into the arms of her new husband, Jaime Long.
This is the photograph of their first kiss in freedom.