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Chicago Leaders Urged Obama to Address City’s Violence

About 100 people braved the cold to attend the marchSunday brought a continued outcry in Chicago over the death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, the honors student and band majorette who was shot and killed days after performing at the president’s inauguration ceremony. Rev. Jesse Jackson led a march Saturday from Pendleton’s King College Prep high school to the 4400 block of South Oakenwald where she was shot. Jackson and Chicago residents have requested the presence of President Obama as the city struggles to cope with a wave of gun violence, having suffered the deadliest January in a decade.

During a press conference Saturday, Jackson asked that the president “please come home,” and that his presence alone would “illuminate the condition.” A Chicago resident himself, Jackson acknowledged that the city’s problems extended beyond gun control, and fears that citizens “might be taking death for granted.”

“You cannot police poverty. You cannot police broken dreams, you cannot police aspirations,” Jackson said. “This cannot be dealt with on just a citywide level. We have drugs and guns coming in, and jobs going out. In most of the areas where these shootings are taking place, the unemployment rate is between 45 percent  and 55 percent.”

The park where Pendleton was shot is just a mile from the Chicago home of the president, and her shooter is still at large. Police have offered a $40,000 reward for information leading to the killer’s arrest but have not named any suspects.

“We need to turn him in immediately. A person who shoots once will shoot again,” Rev. Michael Pfleger told reporters. “If we don’t turn him in, and there is no question there are a number of people who know, if he shoots again they should be tried for being an accessory to their crime. It’s not about snitching, it’s about life-saving.”

The Pendleton family announced that Hadiya will be laid to rest on Chicago’s South Side this weekend, with a visitation being held Friday, and a wake and funeral on Saturday.

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4 thoughts on “Chicago Leaders Urged Obama to Address City’s Violence

  1. Anonymous says:


  2. Chuck Motes says:


  3. Ian Osborne says:

    But But, how can they have such high violence, they have the strictest gun laws in the entire nation. Citizens in Chicago aren't even allowed to legally carry a firearm ANYWHERE. Are criminals NOT obeying the gun laws there? Noooo? Say it isn't so. The home of the President a man that says if we can save one life with a law on gun restrictions, we should, while he authorizes drone strikes which have killed over 400 children, with citizens in those countries begging us to stop. According to the Pakistani authorities, 60 cross-border predator strikes in the period from January 2006 to April 2009 killed 14 wanted al-Qaeda leaders and 687 Pakistani civilians. Barrack is a Murderer by his own standards.

  4. Leon Bradley says:

    What the hell do we expect the President to do. Two thoughts: Time for young black people to grow up and stop shooting people for bullshit reasons. I recently saw a young black man jump up ready to fight because a 70 year old woman (old enough to be his great-grandmother) fell on him in a packed bus. Time for jobs for people. African American unemployment and that's people looking for work has been twice that of white Americans ever since statistics were given by race during WWII. When you add on all the people whio have either quit looking or are engaged in the illegal economy, it is even higher. This violence is an economic situation that can't be ended by more police or less guns, only jobs.

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