Friday, September 24, 2010

Lacy Ferguson

Gang violence allegedly claimed the life of an innocent victim in Modesto, California at about 1 a.m. on August 23, 2003. Lacy Ferguson, a 25-year-old single mother, was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

According to local authorities, Lacy and her boyfriend, John Ritchie, were in a convenience store parking lot located in an area that has experienced gang activity in the past. Suddenly shots rang out, catching them by surprise. The shooters were in a dark colored vehicle that cruised slowly through the parking lot. The police believe there were at least two Hispanic males in the car, and that their target was a gang-banger named Adrian Vega. Neither Lacy nor John knew Vega; they just happened to be passing by his parked car. John and Lacy were struck by bullets. Fortunately for John, his wounds were not life-threatening. But Lacy’s were fatal. Although there were several witnesses to the incident, no arrests were made and the case remains unsolved.

However, Lacy's mother, Boni Driskill, has not given up on getting justice for Lacy. She has worked tirelessly to keep the story alive and in the public eye. Boni is president of Wings of Protection, a victim’s advocacy group that she co-founded with Susan Levy, the mother of Chandra Levy, the intern murdered in Washington, DC in 2001, and Donna Raley, step-mother of Dena Raley McClusky, who went missing in October 1999. Dena’s body was found eight years later.

Boni’s work with Wings of Protection focuses on facilitating communication between law enforcement and victims’ families. She knows that families tend to get frustrated with the pace of an investigation and the lack of information they receive from the police. She believes it is important for families not to get too upset with police and run the risk of alienating them. So In those situations she will intervene on their behalf, and try to get answers and information for them. In addition, Boni works with communities to prevent and respond to gang violence.

Thanks Boni, for all that you do.

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