CHICAGO — The funeral of a Chicago teen who was beaten to death on his way home from school drew civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan on Saturday, both calling for an end to youth violence.
Farrakhan said he came to the funeral because he was "deeply pained" by the death of 16-year-old honor roll student Derrion Albert. The boy was walking to a bus stop after school when a group of teens attacked him during a street fight late last month.
"Naturally, we wonder why such a beautiful life? Such a future we thought was waiting for this young man," Farrakhan said. "This was a special young man of righteous bearing who God took from us so young."
Jackson demanded children and teens to be given safe passage to and from school.
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"Derrion didn't have to die," Jackson said. "He was murdered. His pain, his suffering, his death have shook the world."
Cell phone video footage shows Albert being kicked and hit with splintered railroad ties. Four teens are charged in his death.
President Obama is sending U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who once led Chicago Public Schools, to Chicago on Wednesday to meet with school officials, students and residents and talk about school violence.