The photographer's side of the issue - I'm inclined to believe him.
In the collective gang-tackling of the photographer, what's missed are the truly salient points:
•it was the choice of the editors, not the photographer, to run the picture. And let's not forget it was also their choice to pick the frame that they did AND their voluntary choice to write the tasteless headline that went with the image. Frankly that offended me more than the image.
•Our society (I include Canada in this just as much as the US) routinely ignores the mentally ill and lets them roam free under the guise of "rights". Let's be frank - it's all about saving money, on the backs of those too vulnerable to defend themselves. Plenty of money for bureaucrats and new offices and an army of middle managers...nothing to help these people either get the help they need or have a place they can be helped.
This man was killed as a direct result of the trend of de-institutionalization. THAT'S far more offensive than a photograph and frankly I hope everyone who thinks the current system is just fine takes a long look at that photograph (preferably a-la Clockwork Orange techniques).
• Death is a part of life and this is far from the first photograph (or last) to portray that.