warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Chicago's Murder Epidemic Hits Obama's Neighborhood

Matt Pressberg |
January 30, 2013 | 9:20 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

Even leafy Kenwood is not immune from Chicago's gun violence epidemic. (Teemu008/Flickr)
Even leafy Kenwood is not immune from Chicago's gun violence epidemic. (Teemu008/Flickr)
Hadiya Pendleton became Chicago's 42nd murder victim this month when she was shot shortly after noon Tuesday while seeking shelter from the rain under a canopy at a local park. That park happened to be about one mile down the road from President Obama's Kenwood home.

On Wednesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and members of the Pendleton family held separate news conferences to remember the 15-year-old who performed with the school marching band at last week's inauguration and announce an $11,000 reward for help finding the killer, who remains at large, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The U.S. Senate proceeded with scheduled hearings on gun control Wednesday, an issue brought to the forefront by the Sandy Hook shooting which claimed the lives of 20 children and six adult teachers, or slightly more than half of all homicide victims in Chicago this month, many of whom were not much older than the schoolchildren in Connecticut. This context was not lost on all in Washington, as Illinois Senator Dick Durbin brought Pendleton's slaying up during an exchange with National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre and President Obama's Press Secretary Jay Carney was compelled to comment on it as well, according to NBC Chicago.

President Obama has repeatedly mentioned street crime in Chicago alongside massacres like Sandy Hook and Aurora when speaking about gun violence in America, and the symbolism of Pendleton's death, coming just days after performing at the president's inaugural and down the street from his house might give more visibility to an often ignored group of victims.

With 42 murders and still one day left in the month, this January has been Chicago's deadliest since 2002, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Reach Executive Producer Matt Pressberg here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.