Cleopatra & Nate Pendleton Talk About Their Daughter Hadiya’s Murder | We Are Witnesses

You don’t how far in the future you have
dreamed for them, until that dream is no longer possible. Like… like… ever. I’m Cleopatra
Cowley-Pendleton. I’m the mother of both Hadiya Pendleton and Nathaniel Pendleton Jr. Nate Cowley-Pendleton: My name is Nathaniel
Pendleton. I am the father of Nathaniel Pendleton Jr. and Hadiya Pendleton. She was doing what
kids do. [laugh] Go to the park, hang out. You know, sit with friends. Cleopatra: I was in the middle of a meeting,
and my phone rang. It was her girlfriend Kaelin. I heard crying and screaming. And that’s
when she told me that Hadiya had been shot. Nate: First, I kinda didn’t believe it.
You just feel powerless. Like there’s nothing you can do. Cleopatra: I fell to the floor of the hospital.
I just thought about my baby, and I—I just wanted to see her. Like, “Where is she?
I need her.” And then from there, I just—I went to go be with her, until she turned cold. I was in shock. And outraged at the possibility that something like this could occur to someone
who was completely removed from that sort of lifestyle. Nate: Hadiya was a person that could talk
to you and you would pretty much kinda forget her age. In high school she joined the majorettes,
the debate team. Cleopatra: She had just come back from participating
in the inaugural events for President Obama. I think that the response was because of who
she was. The outrage was because of what she had done. It just doesn’t make sense. Nate: It was supposedly a rival gang. They
thought that my daughter’s group was their rival gang. She was there with most of the
volleyball team, so how could someone mistake a rival gang for a volleyball team? My daughter’s
killer was on probation. He’s got a second chance, and he had a third chance. And he
still went back out and shot a gun into a crowd. I do think that there’s a time when
your chances need to come to a… come to a blatant end. Cleopatra: I wanted the judge to give the
maximum sentencing allowed for the crimes that Hadiya’s shooter had been charged with.
You knew when you put bullets in the gun that you were going to possibly take someone’s
life. Even though the shooter will basically have life behind bars, I believe that he’s
still winning. Because his mom gets to write letters and go visit. Nate: I would love for his mother to understand
the hurt that we have. Because I—I don’t think she could possibly know. Her son is
still living. Cleopatra: People can be rehabilitated, absolutely,
but a life… there should be another life taken. Who’s gonna tell me how to feel when
I’m visiting a cemetery. Until you walk a day in my shoes, you can’t tell me anything.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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