Obama Recalls Hadiya Pendleton in Chicago Speech - NBC Chicago
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Obama Recalls Hadiya Pendleton in Chicago Speech



    Obama Gets Personal in Chicago Speech

    In his visit to Chicago on Friday, President Obama told the young people gathered that if they work hard they can be successful. Carol Marin reports. (Published Friday, Feb. 15, 2013)

    In a speech that lasted roughly 26 minutes, President Barack Obama on Friday said his hometown of Chicago every four months suffers the loss of as many children as were killed in the Connecticut elementary school shooting.

    As he did in his State of the Union speech earlier this week, the president said stricter gun laws could help stem the "mindless violence" that plagues cities around the country. And he called for more initiatives to improve communities and strengthen families.

    "These are difficult challenges. No solution we offer will be perfect," he said. "But perfection has never been our goal. Our goal has been to try and make whatever difference we can. Our goal has been to engage in the hard but necessary work of bringing America one step closer to the nation we know we can be."

    Teen: Obama a Distant Role Model

    [CHI] Teen: Obama a Role Model, But a Distant One
    Khalil Beckwith says many teens are looking up to the wrong type of people, and he called on President Barack Obama to be more involved with Chicago teens.
    (Published Friday, Feb. 15, 2013)

    In his remarks at Hyde Park Academy High School, at 6220 S. Stony Island Ave., the president recalled Hadiya Pendleton, the teen who was shot and killed at a park nearby.

    "Unfortunately what happened to Hadiya is not unique. It's not unique to Chicago. It's not unique to this country. Too many of our children are being taken away from us," he said in calling for the "commonsense" reforms -- comprehensive background checks and a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines -- that he says most Americans embrace.

    But he acknowledged that violent crime isn't just a gun issue. He said it's also a matter of building communities and shared and personal responsibility.

    Obama Highlights Hadiya Pendleton

    [CHI] Obama Highlights Hadiya Pendleton
    Pendleton's parents, Nate and Cleo, were seated next to First Lady Michelle Obama to witness the address.
    (Published Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013)

    To strengthen families and communities, the president called for an expansion of early childhood education, the growth of programs similar to Chicago's "College to Careers" program, and tax breaks to business owners to hire and invest in rough neighborhoods.

    "We all share a responsibility to move this country closer to our founding vision that no matter who you are, or where you come from, here in America, you can decide your own destiny," he said.

    Two men have been arrested and charged in Pendleton's murder. Chicago police Supt. Garry McCarthy said 18-year-old Michael Ward confessed to being the shooter, telling police that Pendleton was not his intended target.

    Parents React to Charges In Hadiya Pendleton's Death

    [CHI] Parents React to Charges In Hadiya Pendleton's Death
    "I'm happy that the murderer of Hadiya Pendleton is now off the street," Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton said. "I'm going to be in court every day."
    (Published Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013)

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    Bond Denied For 2 Men In Hadiya Pendleton Death

    [CHI] Bond Denied For 2 Men In Hadiya Pendleton Death
    Prosecutors said Michael Ward told them victim "had nothing to do with it" and "she was just there." Michelle Relerford reports.
    (Published Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013)

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.