Emanuel Prioritizes ‘Flowers and More Bike Lanes' Over Violence, Alderman Says

Chicago Ald. Leslie Hairston says her latest proposals to provide intervention programs to fight violence have received no support—and squarely blamed Mayor Rahm Emanuel Friday with some pointed words.

"I place that at the heels of the mayor who refuses to fund intervention programs and, when given the opportunity with the resources, chooses to fund flowers and more bike lanes," Hairson said.

Hairston was referring to the $12 million dollar gift from Emanuel’s billionaire friend Ken Griffin. The money is funding two bike paths along the lakefront trail.

"Put the same amount of resources in that you do when people bump up against each other on the north side," Hairston said.

Emanuel did not take questions when he responded to the South Side bloodshed Thursday evening that left seven people dead in three different shootings.

"The people who did what they did yesterday, they thought that was their job, there's only one place for them,” Emanuel said. “They do not belong, not on the streets and neighborhoods in the city of Chicago, they belong behind bars.”

Ald. Greg Mitchell -- who grew up in the ward where these recent shootings took place, said he was already planning a public safety summit.

"I'm very cognizant of what needs to be done," he said. "I've already reached out to my commanders, reached out to clergy in the area, and we're going to move that up, trying to do it in the next week or two."

Hairston says money needs to be put in proven intervention programs.

"We have money here in the city. And the city chooses not to invest in these programs that have proven to work, that is my issue,” she said.

Also stepping up and getting more involved -- the Chicago Archdiocese. Next week Cardinal Blase Cupich plans to announce anti-violence initiatives.

He will do so on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death.

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