Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Emanuel: Our Streets Don't Belong to Gangs

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks passionately about the recent spate of gang violence that plagued the city during a spell of warm weather. (Published Friday, Mar 23, 2012)

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel pounded his fist on the podium. The gun violence from last weekend is unacceptable, he said.

    "Our streets do no belong to the gang bangers, they do not belong to the gangs," said Emanuel during his first press conference in a week.

    After returning from his ski-trip to Utah with  his kids, he said he went straight to the New Life Church to find out more details on the gun violence that plagued the city during a spell of warm weather.

    “While obviously ten [murders] over a weekend is dramatic, it is too frequent and too normal. I will not allow a child in Chicago to not have as long as I’m mayor and I have something to do about it  the most basic of rights, which is the ability to play in their neighborhood, play on their streets and grow up with that sense of normalcy.”

    His top cop, Chicago Police Supt. Gerry McCarthy announced plans on Monday to "retool the gang strategy from top to bottom."

    Emanuel added he wants more than just an anti-gang unit and stressed the need for a comprehensive strategy.

    He also answered questions pertaining to his wife's trip to NATO headquarters in Brussels. His overall response was that her trip was a success.

    When asked about Rep. Derrick Smith being asked by Democrats to step down from his campaign less than a day after throwing support behind him in the primaries, Emanuel kept to the point.

    He spoke of the high calling of public service, and then added that Smith "shouldn't be on the ballot in November.