Obama urged to address Chicago violence

February 4, 2013 5:33:59 AM PST
Some Chicago churches dedicated their Sunday services to a teenager who was gunned down last week. As people prayed for peace, there were new calls to fight the violence on Chicago's streets.

There was again a plea for the violence that claimed Hadiya Pendleton's life to end.

The band majorette who performed at the president's inauguration last month was the 42nd homicide in Chicago this year.

Both community and faith based leaders took to the pulpit Sunday morning said it's time to call in help, demanding that President Barack Obama come home.

There has been another cry for help from Father Michael Pfleger.

A plea asking President Barack Obama to deliver an urban policy speech addressing the gun violence and poverty plaguing Chicago came during St. Sabina's Sunday service as well as other places of worship around the area.

"You went to Tucson. You went to Connecticut. Now come to Chicago," Fr. Pfleger urged the president.

Hadiya was a King High School honor student gunned down in a park less than a mile from the president's Kenwood home.

"She was a sprouting young acorn who was destined to become a tall oak tree in our community," said Reverend Ira Acree, Greater St. John Baptist Church.

Hadiya's death has once again focused nationwide attention on the shooting epidemic.

Former 44th Ward Alderman and University of Illinois-Chicago political science head Dick Simpson says both the mayor and the police superintendent are under increasing pressure to stop the killing.

"New York's murder rate dropped drastically, most other cities in the country's murder rate has dropped drastically. Chicago has become the murder capital," Simpson said.

And while the violence has renewed call for stricter gun laws, ABC7 security consultant Jody Weis says any solution must include mandatory jail time for gun-toting gangbangers and breaking down the code of silence.

"If the community will start reporting to the police and then the police can take the people off the streets and then of course, put these people in jail and keep them in jail, then we can have a real impact on the violence in this city," he said.

There is a $40,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the gunman responsible for the teen's murder.

Police are following plenty of leads.

Hadiya's funeral is Saturday, February 9.