(Chicago) – Hadiya Pendleton was just 15 when she was shot dead near her Chicago school, the unintended victim of a gang battle.
She died just a week after attending President Barack Obama’s second inauguration and became a high-profile name added to a growing list of people killed in America’s third-largest city.
For six months, 48 HOURS Correspondent Maureen Maher and CBS News Correspondent Armen Keteyian have been investigating what’s driving the murder rate in Chicago and claiming the lives of young people like Pendleton.
Maher and Keteyian’s reporting reveals a deadly link between street violence and drug trafficking in the city and in the suburbs. 48 HOURS SPECIAL: “The War in Chicago,” to be broadcast Saturday May 18, 2013 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, also focuses on what residents, city officials and the Drug Enforcement Administration are doing to fight back.
48 HOURS learns that it’s the estimated 70,000 gang members in Chicago who are doing most of the killing – and most of the dying – and mostly over one thing: the distribution of drugs. 48 HOURS is on hand as the DEA trains and then executes raids on drug dealers and mounts a new offensive to stem the tide of drugs, often heroin, flowing into the region from Mexico.
48 HOURS profiles Paula Nixon, a suburban teenager who became addicted to heroin when she was 16 and follows her from Cook County jail to treatment at IADDA member, the South Suburban Council on Alcoholism & Substance Abuse in East Hazel Crest. Nixon is the face of the growing demand for heroin, which then drives the gangs and the influx of drugs from Mexico.
Also, David Muhammad, a retired diesel mechanic, tells 48 HOURS he’s had enough. Muhammad is so enraged by the drug dealing in his Chicago neighborhood he has risked his life by recording and then posting videos of drug deals on YouTube.
“I don’t think I can stop it,” Muhammad tells 48 HOURS, “but I think that someone has to try and slow it down because it’s moving too fast.”
48 HOURS is there for the Chicago Police Department’s “surge” after Pendleton’s death, which helped substantially cut the murder rate. “We’re starting to hit a point that I’m hoping will be a turning point,” Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says. By May, the homicide rate had dropped 53 percent compared to the same time a year ago. “We’re getting progress, not victory,” McCarthy says.
For a preview of the 48 Hours special, view it here…