Chicago leaders, law enforcement discuss joint efforts to combat violence

WLS logo
Monday, July 21, 2014
City leaders meet to address gun violence
Chicago police and community leaders met to discuss ways to combat city violence.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police and community leaders met to discuss ways to combat city violence. Four people were killed , including an 11-year-old girl, and at least 39 people were wounded over the weekend.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Police Department Superintendent Garry McCarthy, federal law enforcement officials talked about joint efforts to curb gun violence in the city. Community leaders and members of faith-based groups also attended.

The mayor made a brief statement to the media before he went into the meeting, saying the city must work together as a unit to help stop the violence.

"It's not one thing. It's everything," Emanuel said. "It's a community wide problem that requires a community wide response."

The high-profile meeting was held in the wake of another act of senseless violence that is eroding support for Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"It is a community-wide problem that requires a community-wide solution," Emanuel said.

The mayor says the panel discussion was scheduled three weeks ago to be a private meeting, but that changed after Shamiya Adams was killed by a stray bullet while inside a friend's house during a weekend sleepover.

"Just the basics of a childhood was violated," Emanuel said.

The mayor attended a similar anti-violent summit at the South Side office of Congressman Bobby Rush in early June, and during his term helped raise millions of private sector dollars aimed at setting up programs to prevent youth violence.

"Too many of the perpetrators, too many of the victims are 17-25. We've got to get to them early," Emanuel said.

"Rahm Emanuel needs to have a challenge," said Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Chicago).

Rush says Emanuel has worsened South and West Side economic problems by closing schools, and Rush has joined the search for an alternative candidate for mayor in 2015.

"I'm looking for someone who represents hope... He had his chance. Will he have another chance? I doubt it," said Rush.

Rev. Bernard Jakes, sitting alongside Emanuel, called it unfair to blame the mayor for bad parenting.

"When we start looking for scapegoats then we don't address the real elephant in the room," said Rev. Jakes, West Point M.B. Church.

Also the mayor repeated his claim that in most parts of the city violent crime is down. He blamed the news media for sending the world the wrong message about Chicago.

"It doesn't cover the good people. It only shows up when something bad happens," said Emanuel.

Monday's anti-violence summit included representatives of federal law enforcement agencies. The mayor and Chicago police want the feds to help in the effort to stop the flow of illegal guns into Chicago.