Calls Intensify for Obama to Help Chicago Violence
The cousin of a 15-year-old Chicago honor student shot to death this week says the most important thing for her family is bringing the killer to justice.
Speaking at a news conference Saturday, Shatira Wilks pleaded for anyone with information about the shooter to come forward.
Hadiya Pendleton was shot Tuesday while she talked with friends after school in a park about a mile from President Barack Obama's Chicago home. Police say she was an innocent victim caught up in a gang shooting.
Pendleton died about one week after she performed for Obama's inauguration. She was a majorette with the King College Prep band.
The shooting has turned a spotlight on Chicago's homicide rate.
Wilks says Chicago is becoming a city that's "comfortable with death" and "this has to stop."
Meanwhile, The Rev. Jesse Jackson is calling on President Obama to return to Chicago and approve federal intervention to address the soaring number of deadly shootings.
At a press conference Saturday, Jackson said Chicago is in the midst of a crisis unlike any other city and that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the police department can't handle it on their own.
He says a visit by Obama to the area where the president once worked as a community organizer would show "ultimate national seriousness."
The civil rights leader spoke prior to a march in memory of gun violence victims.
He supports an assault weapons ban and a federal crackdown on gun and drug trafficking.
But Jackson says the area also needs an urban reconstruction program that addresses poverty, education and unemployment.
Copyright Associated Press