Healing Through Pictures: Photographer Reaches Out For Help After Losing Brother To Gun Violence

Franchester Williams hopes the pictures she takes give her customers the kind of comfort photos of her brother now bring to her.

Healing Through Pictures: Photographer Reaches Out For Help After Losing Brother To Gun Violence

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Logan Square woman is dealing with a tragedy so many Chicago families know: he pain of losing a loved one to gun violence.

What Franchester Williams didn’t expect was the help – from strangers – that came pouring in when she asked.

CBS 2’s Marie Saavedra has the story.

Franchester Williams is busy inside her Logan Square studio, with all kinds of clients ready for their closeups.

And that’s good, because this photographer has dived into her work to distract from her grief.

“Doing this helped me from crying all the time,” she said.

Two weeks ago, William’s brother, Frederick, was a victim of gun violence, killed at his home in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

“He loved his family. He had two kids. He loved his babies. I don’t know, it’s hard. How do you wrap somebody up in a few minutes?” she said.

To bury him, the family needed to raise funds, and Williams helped the best way she knew how; by taking photos, at a discount, and she put out the call to Logan Square on Facebook.

“I just made up a flyer, and put it out there, and just got the word out to as many people as possible,” she said.

And it worked. It’s how Harold Woods booked his shoot.

“One, she’s a close friend of mine, and so I know what all she was going through,” he said. “And, you know, it’s a small business, and especially during COVID, I know a lot of small businesses have been hit hard. So I felt like this is the least I could do.”

Strangers felt the same way too. In a matter of days, Williams had 10 bookings and several donations, from people who’d never met her or her brother.

“Everyone that comes in and they do the shoot, they will say, ‘I give my condolences,’ and I’m like, ‘I appreciate your support.’ That means a lot,” Williams said.

She hopes the pictures she takes give her customers the kind of comfort photos of her brother now bring to her.

“I like capturing moments, you know, for family to be able to look back,” she said.

Source : CBS Chicago More   

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Former California state lawmaker indicted on federal bribery charges

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas was indicted on federal charges Wednesday for his role in an alleged bribery scheme that landed his son a professorship at USC. Federal prosecutors alleged in a 20-count indictment that Ridley-Thomas helped direct funding and contracts to USC’s school of social work while serving on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. In exchange, his son, former state lawmaker Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, was guaranteed graduate school admission and a paid teaching position by the school's then-dean, Marilyn Louise Flynn. Mark Ridley-Thomas also moved $100,000 from a campaign committee through USC and eventually into the account of a nonprofit that employed his son, the indictment alleges. The case capped an extraordinary day of corruption scandals in California. It came just hours after news that a top labor leader, Alma Hernández, faced state charges of embezzlement, tax fraud and perjury and that she had resigned from her post as executive director of SEIU California. Flynn, who has since retired from USC, was also named in the indictment. Along with the bribery charges, Mark Ridley-Thomas and Flynn also face conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud counts. Those charges carry maximum penalties ranging from five to 20 years in prison. The elder Ridley-Thomas has been a longtime fixture in Los Angeles politics, serving on the Board of Supervisors from 2008 until he was elected to his city council seat last year. Ma He is the third Los Angeles City Council member to be indicted on federal corruption charges in recent years following Jose Huizar, whose trial is set to start next year, and Mitch Englander, who in January was sentenced to 14 months in prison. Sebastian Ridley-Thomas was serving in the Assembly at the start of the alleged bribery scheme, which ran from 2017 through 2018, according to the indictment. He resigned from that position in December 2017 amid a sexual harassment investigation, citing health problems.

Former California state lawmaker indicted on federal bribery charges

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas was indicted on federal charges Wednesday for his role in an alleged bribery scheme that landed his son a professorship at USC.

Federal prosecutors alleged in a 20-count indictment that Ridley-Thomas helped direct funding and contracts to USC’s school of social work while serving on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. In exchange, his son, former state lawmaker Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, was guaranteed graduate school admission and a paid teaching position by the school's then-dean, Marilyn Louise Flynn.

Mark Ridley-Thomas also moved $100,000 from a campaign committee through USC and eventually into the account of a nonprofit that employed his son, the indictment alleges.

The case capped an extraordinary day of corruption scandals in California. It came just hours after news that a top labor leader, Alma Hernández, faced state charges of embezzlement, tax fraud and perjury and that she had resigned from her post as executive director of SEIU California.

Flynn, who has since retired from USC, was also named in the indictment. Along with the bribery charges, Mark Ridley-Thomas and Flynn also face conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud counts. Those charges carry maximum penalties ranging from five to 20 years in prison.

The elder Ridley-Thomas has been a longtime fixture in Los Angeles politics, serving on the Board of Supervisors from 2008 until he was elected to his city council seat last year. Ma

He is the third Los Angeles City Council member to be indicted on federal corruption charges in recent years following Jose Huizar, whose trial is set to start next year, and Mitch Englander, who in January was sentenced to 14 months in prison.

Sebastian Ridley-Thomas was serving in the Assembly at the start of the alleged bribery scheme, which ran from 2017 through 2018, according to the indictment. He resigned from that position in December 2017 amid a sexual harassment investigation, citing health problems.

Source : Politico USA More   

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