Murder of Chicago Teen Shines Light on the Violent City

Hadiya Pendleton [Image from]

Hadiya Pendleton
[Image from]

On Tuesday afternoon Hadiya Pendleton, a talented Chicago teen of King College Prep, who performed for President Obama at his inauguration earlier this month, was shot and killed in a park on the south side.

According to CBS reports, police say that the 15-year old was shot at a park while hiding under a canopy to get shelter from the rain. As this was taking place, a man jumped the fence, and ran up to them opening fire.

She was shot once in the back and died at a hospital nearby. It is speculated that the killing was gang related.

Since Tuesday, loved ones, strangers, and prominent figures like Russell Simmons and President Obama have expressed their condolences to the slain teen. There is even a $40,000 award for the person who finds her killer.

Though the event itself is tragic and heart-wrenching, it finally shed light on the violence that has always been a part of Chicago’s way of life.

Last year alone, 500 homicides took place in the city, and 42 have taken place recently including Hadiya’s.

Due to the drastic number of deaths, one would think that the violence of Chicago would be illuminated. But yet, it took the death of Hadiya for people to realize.

Yes, her death has been in the media consistently and has been recognized by prominent people due to the fact that she performed at the presidential inauguration.

As a Chicagoan, I will say that it all is bittersweet. Bitter because we are tired of the violence, gang violence especially, that haunts our city. Yet it’s sweet because now her death has touched people nationally and this is what needs to happen in order to encourage change.

Condolence go out to the family of Hadiya, but also the family of all those who have lost loved ones in my city.

It’s time for a change.

Pictures below of Pendleton and her grieving family:

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