Slain teen’s mom presses Congress
The mother of a 15-year-old Chicago girl slain a week after performing at President Barack Obama’s inauguration is appearing in a new gun control public service announcement that calls on Congress to enact “common-sense reforms.”
“When my daughter Hadiya performed at the President’s inauguration, it was the happiest day of her life,” Cleopatra Cowley-Pendelton says in the commercial, paid for by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. “A week later, she was murdered. Gunned down near her school. A piece of my heart is gone. Congress is debating how to fix our gun laws. They can start with background checks for all gun sales. Tell Congress to support common-sense reforms so no more innocent children are killed. And no parent has to go through this heartbreak.”
Pendelton was a majorette in her high school band, which marched at the inauguration. She was shot a week later while sitting in the park. Police have arrested two men, and said they mistook Pendelton and her friends for rival gang members.
Her death has become a symbol as Congress debates new gun control measures. First Lady Michelle Obama flew to Chicago for the girl’s funeral, and her parents sat with the First Lady as the president invoked their daughter’s death in his speech.
As a public service announcement, the ad will air during time donated by broadcasters.
“There are far too many children in this country being gunned down and there are far too many heartbroken parents like Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton who are left wondering why. It is a stain on our national conscience,” said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the co-founder and major funder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. “For the sake of our children’s safety, Congress must act now to pass common-sense measures – like background checks for every gun sale – that will help save lives.”