I recently took portraits of Ernest Edmonds, Jr. for The Trace for a story about how gun violence survivors are not getting the funds they desperately need. Below are a few photos from the shoot. You can read the story here at The Trace.org.
On the morning of December 13, 2015, Ernest Edmonds, Jr., was leaving a club in Newark when, he says, a man asked him for a cigarette. According to Edmonds, the man tried to rob him, and as he fought back he heard a loud crack. Looking down, he saw red blooming through the stripes of his Houston Astros baseball jersey. He then blacked out. Hours later, police found Edmonds on the ground with a cut lip and a gunshot wound to the back. Halfway down the block, an officer discovered his hat, lighter, and watch in a pool of blood.
Edmonds, 35, awoke from a coma several weeks later to find he was paralyzed from the waist down. The bullet had pierced his back, only to be stopped by his spine. (Story by Elizabeth Van Brocklin)
Left: Ernest moving his wheelchair into place. Right: Ernest jokes with his sister at his home in East Orange, NJ. Ernest spends his time in his makeshift bedroom in the living room of his mothers apartment watching sports on ESPN.
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Demetrius Freeman is a freelance Visual Journalist, who most frequently covers the metro section of The New York Times. For two years, he was a photographer for New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio. His work has been published in CNN, The New York Times, Newsweek, The Tampa Bay Times, and ProPublica. Demetrius has participated in several workshops and seminars including The Mountain Workshop, The Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, The New York Times Portfolio Review, The Missouri Photo Workshop, and is an alumni of The Eddie Adams Workshop XXVII. He also supports and contributes in photography volunteer work and provide mentorship to high school photography students. Learn more and send him a note through his website, or follow him on Instagram @demetriusfreeman.