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The death of Hadiya Pendleton

The death of Hadiya Pendleton has focused national attention on Chicago’s epidemic of violence.

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Johnny talks with Rev. Jesse Jackson about his upcoming march with the Rainbow Push Coalition to honor Hadiyah Pendleton, the 15-year old girl who was shot dead in Chicago after performing at President Obama’s inauguration.


Rev. Jesse Jackson addresses the media during the 40th Annual Conference of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund on Saturday June 18, 2011. (William DeShazer/ Chicago Tribune)


Following a deadly start to the year that included the murder of 15-year-old band majorette Hadiya Pendleton, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced today that 200 police officers will be reassigned to patrol work.

The officers, who had been performing administrative duties will be replaced by civilians, according to an announcement from the mayor’s office. The first officers will be reassigned this weekend and the changes are expected to be completed by the end of March, city officials said.

Click here for more on this story from the Chicago Tribune

The sixth-grader can barely keep from smiling, self-conscious in front of the camera as she delivers a very serious message.

“Hi, my name is Hadiya. This commercial is informational for you and your future children,” she begins. “So many children out there are in gangs and it’s your job as students to say no to gangs and yes to a great future.”

The video then shows shots of a boy slumped in a stairwell, another boy sprawled against a locker, a girl lying on the floor against a wall as a classmate next to Hadiya says, “So many children in the world have died from gang violence. More than 500 children have died from being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Four years after Hadiya Pendleton made that video at Carter G. Woodson Elementary School, police are saying the same thing about her.

Click for more on this story from the Chicago Tribune

A 15-year-old girl who got the chance to perform in Washington for the President’s inauguration was shot to death after leaving school yesterday.