Cleopatra and Nathaniel A. Pendleton, Sr., parents of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendelton, who was fatally shot in the back while standing in a park after taking her final examination at King College Prep High School in Chicago on Jan. 29, 2013, and Ron Davis and Lucy McBath, parents of Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old who was shot to death November 23, 2012 in Jacksonville, Fla. by Michael Dunn on a convenience store parking lot after an argument over loud music being played by Davis and three teenage companions riding in a Dodge Durango sports utility vehicle, will be honored as part of Black Press Week as “Newsmakers of the Year.”
Dunn, who is White, fired 10 shots into the SUV carrying the four Black teenagers even after it was speeding away. Three of the shots struck Davis and the other seven shots missed his friends. The jury found Dunn guilty of three counts of attempted murder, but deadlocked on a second-degree murder charge in connection with Davis’ death. Bullets fired by Dunn pierced Davis’ liver, a lung and his aorta.
Dunn testified that he thought he saw a gun sticking out of the Dodge Durango, but no weapon was found or seen by any witnesses at the scene. Dunn never reported the shooting to police and was arrested after witnesses recorded his tag number and gave it to police.
In Chicago, Young Pendleton was killed one week after participating in the second inauguration events of President Barack Obama. First Lady Michelle Obama, whose home was just a mile away from the shooting, attended Hadiya’s funeral. The president mentioned Hadiya’s death in his 2013 State of the Union address as her parents sat as honored guests in the first lady’s box. The two suspects arrested in connection with Hadiya’s death told police that she was standing in a group that was mistaken for members of a rival gang.
“We know there’s nothing anyone can do to bring back Hadiya Pendleton or Jordan Davis, but we wanted their parents to know that the nation not only mourns their loss, but rededicates itself to reducing senseless gun violence that is all too common in our communities,” said Mary G. Denson, publisher of The Windy City Word in Chicago and chair of the National Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation, the sponsor of Black Press Week.
Cloves C. Campbell, Jr., publisher of the Arizona Informant and chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a federation of approximately 200 newspapers, said: “The deaths of Hadiya and Jordan were stark reminders that all of us must redouble our efforts to rid our communities of violence. The loss of any life is a tragedy and the loss of teenagers with their future ahead of them is particularly appalling and totally unacceptable.”
The parents of the slain teens will be presented with NNPA Foundation’s “Newsmaker of the Year Award” at dinner on Thursday, March 20. At that same event, former North Carolina Congressman Melvin L. Watt, the first director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, will be presented the Torch Award for Political Achievement. Rev. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., leader of the Wilmington Ten and president and CEO of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, will be presented the Torch Award for Religious Achievement.
Earlier, Thursday Charles W. Tisdale, the late publisher of the Jackson Advocate, the oldest Black-owned newspaper in Mississippi, and the late M. Paul Redd, publisher of the Westchester County (N.Y.) Press, will be inducted into the Distinguished Black Publishers Enshrinement Ceremony at Howard University. Tisdale, died in 2007 at the age of 80.
Source: Black Voice News