Civil Rights leader Jesse Jackson and marchers in Chicago urged President Obama to visit the city so that he can get a sense of the violence which is currently terrorizing so many of the city’s residents.
“When the president shows up, it shows ultimate national seriousness,” said Jackson, a Chicago resident. Jackson also called for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help patrol the violent streets of Chicago.
Reuters reports on the carnage in Chicago:
Gun violence in Chicago has been in the national spotlight over the past year, with 506 murders in 2012, an increase of 17 percent from the previous year. As of Thursday, there were 42 homicides and 157 shootings so far this year, according to Chicago police.
The issue received new urgency with the killing this week of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, an honors student who performed with her high school band at Obama’s inauguration on January 21.
Obama’s White House spokesman, Jay Carney, has said that Obama is praying for the Pendleton family. Still, many activists and citizens don’t believe that Obama is doing enough to stem the violence in his hometown.
A White House petition calls for Obama and his family to attend Pendleton’s February 9th funeral. So far, the petition doesn’t have the required 100,000 signatures needed to get a response from the White House.
Jackson, who led a march a few blocks away from where Pendleton died, said, “My greatest fear about the gun violence in Chicago is that we’re adjusting to it [violence].”
Mayor Emanuel’s only plan has been to take police officers who are now serving administrative duty and put them on the streets.