Hadiya Pendleton’s death may finally force Obama to address deaths in Chicago

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The shooting death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton has drawn national attention, prompting renewed calls for gun regulation, and reigniting the public outrage created by the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Now, Hadiya’s story has reached the White House.

Asked about a petition posted on the White House’s “We the People” website, calling on President Obama and his family attend Pendleton’s funeral in their hometown of Chicago, spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday that he hadn’t heard about the signature gathering effort, but that “the president and first lady’s thoughts and prayers are with the family of Hadiya Pendleton.”

Pendleton was shot to death Tuesday as she and a group of friends stood beneath a bus shelter after taking final exams at nearby King College Prep. Pendleton, a majorette in the school’s marching band, had performed with the band in Washington D.C. during Obama’s second Inaugural.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the city will put more than 200 additional officers on the street to try and combat violence, and he spoke passionately about Hadiya’s case, as have her family and friends this week. Hadiya’s case was also brought up during Senate hearings on gun control — mentioned by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin.

Follow Joy Reid on Twitter at @thereidreport.

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