Obama Should Attend Funeral of Girl Killed 1 Mile From His Home: Petition

By Tanveer Ali on January 31, 2013 11:29am | Updated on January 31, 2013 1:12pm

 Online petition needs 100,000 signatures for president to respond, White House website says.
Online petition needs 100,000 signatures for president to respond, White House website says.
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Getty Images/Kris Connor

CHICAGO — A petition has been drawn up asking President Barack Obama to attend the funeral of Hadiya Pendleton, a high school student who performed at his second inauguration before being fatally shot a mile from the president's Kenwood home.

The petition on the White House website, which had garnered 137 signatures by late Thursday morning, says it's important for the president to attend her funeral as a part of a wider debate on gun control.

"As Newtown swirls down the memory hole ... President Obama should stand up and take advantage of a tragic opportunity to keep the anti-gun violence movement engaged," the petition states.

The petition was posted Wednesday by someone named "C.R." from Brooklyn.

Hadiya's funeral date has not been set.

A 15-year-old King College Prep High School student, Hadiya was killed Tuesday after a gunman fired on a group of students taking shelter from the rain at a park near the school. A friend said the group was mostly school band members who were hanging out at the park after finishing final exams.

The previous week, Hadiya performed at the president's inauguration with her high school band as a majorette dancer.

The slaying has attracted the attention of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and the White House.

"It's a terrible tragedy any time a young person is struck down with so much of their life ahead of them," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday. "And we see it far too often. The president and first lady's thoughts and prayers are with the family of Hadiya Pendleton. All of our thoughts and prayers are with her family."

If a petition gets 100,000 signatures, the administration will respond to it, according to the White House website.

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