CHICAGO -- Three years have passed since Cleopatra Pendleton's daughter Hadiya was shot and killed in a Bronzeville park, but Chicago’s epidemic of violence continues.
“Our city is beautiful, I love Chicago, but I hate what happened to me here,” Pendleton said during a roundtable on violence at the City Club Monday.
Superintendent Eddie Johnson says the police department is working to rebuild trust in the community by focusing on recruiting more minority officers and fostering relationships with youth in neighborhoods ridden with gang violence.
“Let's get down to the nitty gritty--the violence right now in Chicago is completely unacceptable,” Johnson said.
Johnson shared a sobering statistic: on average, Chicago police collected an illegal gun every hour of every day so far this year.
“We have an issue that most of the people who have guns have obtained them illegally and we have extremely lax gun laws in neighboring states,” added Kim Foxx, a candidate for Cook County state's attorney.
Father Michael Pfleger believes to fight gun violence the city and state must invest in poor neighborhoods.
“You look at the neighborhoods that have most of the violence you'll see double-digit unemployment,” Pfleger said.
Yet there is hope that with a combined effort and multi-faceted approach, something can be done to make Chicago a safer city.
“The violence we have is winnable,” Pfleger said.