First Lady to Attend Chicago Teen’s Funeral

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First lady Michelle Obama will be attending the funeral for Hadiya Pendleton, the 15-year-old girl whose death has drawn attention to gun violence in Chicago.

Obama will be joining some of Illinois’ most recognizable politicians and clergy on Feb. 9 for the funeral.  But her funeral won’t be about politics, according to Pendleton’s family, but rather about remembering a girl who loved to dance and who died just days after performing at one of President Barack Obama’s inauguration events.

Pendleton had been shot and killed while she was with friends after school at a park not far from the Obamas’ Chicago home.  Police say that the Jan. 29 shooting appears to be a case of mistaken identity involving a gang who believed the park as their territory.  Police say Pendleton was an innocent victim, and so far no charges have been filed.

Her death has brought on new attention to Chicago’s homicide rate and the national debate over gun violence.  Pendleton’s murder happened in January, which was the city’s deadliest month in a decade.  In 2012 alone, Chicago recorded 506 homicides.

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