Video surfaces of young Hadiya Pendleton in PSA about gang violence
NBC confirms that a young Hadiya Pendleton, the 15-year-old girl whose life was suddenly cut short due to a gang-related shooting in Chicago yesterday, appeared in a public service announcement against gang violence, which has recently surfaced on YouTube.
The video, produced by the Digital Youth Network and posted to YouTube in November of 2008, features young Pendleton and a friend speaking out against gang violence.
The minute-long clip shows two young girls, one who identifies herself as Hadiya along with another female student named Amari.
“There are so many children out there are in gangs and it’s your job as students to say no to gangs and yes to a great future,” says young Pendleton.
The make-shift video continues with shots of various kids appearing to be dead in different locations at the school.
“So many children out there have died because of gang violence,” one of the girls narrates. “So many children have died from being at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
The two girls at the end say in unison, “So be smart but joining a gang is not a part of it.”
Pendleton’s cousin, Shatira Wilks, confirms to NBC News that she was featured in an anti-gang violence video in 2008. The video has since been widely shared on Twitter and many social media users are commenting on the irony of this video in light of her murder.
Pendleton — described by a relative as a “walking angel” — was standing under a canopy in Vivian Gordon Harsh Park when a gunman ran down an alley, opened fire at the group and fled in a white car, police said.
A sophomore at selective King College Prep High School, Pendleton had traveled to Washington to perform with the school marching band at President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
“It was the highlight of her young 15-year-old life,” Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said Wednesday at a Senate hearing on gun violence.
“Just a matter of days after the happiest day of her life, she’s gone.”
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