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Bishop TD Jakes
For many, the death of 15-year-old majorette and Chicago native Hadiya Pendleton was the turning point in a long conversation surrounding gun control in America. That fact is not lost on the slain teen's mother, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, who appears in a new public service announcement funded by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, reports Politico. The ad also features New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, co-founder of the organization.
“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.