After White House officials said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel hadn't taken up President Donald Trump on his offer to send federal help to the city amid spiking violence, Emanuel had a strong message for the administration: "Just send them."
"Send more FBI, DEA, ATF agents," Emanuel said during a news conference Wednesday. "We don't have to talk about it anymore. Just send them."
When asked if Emanuel wanted the president to visit the city, he simply said, "No."
"What I would really like is the federal resources," Emanuel said.
We need a plan, not a threat. We need jobs, not jails. #Chicago— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) January 25, 2017
Last week, Trump vowed in a tweet to send “the feds” to Chicago if the city does not address its longstanding plague of violence. And on Wednesday, he repeated his criticism of the city's growing violence, saying during an "African American History Month listening session" that "Chicago is totally out of control."
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said last week that President Trump met with Emanuel previously and offered up federal resources, if asked for.
"That return call for help has not occurred," Spicer said during his daily press briefing.
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Until now, it appears.
“I think what the president is upset about is turning on the television and seeing Americans killed by shootings," Spicer said, adding that no American should feel unsafe or fear for their lives while walking down the street, but "too often that's happening in Chicago."
The comments follow the release of January crime statistics, which showed 51 people were killed last month alone, an increase over the numbers seen in 2016.
Police reported 234 shooting incidents, with 299 victims, an increase of eight compared to January 2016.
Police and Emanuel noted that three districts on the city's South and West sides -- the 7th, 11th and 15th -- accounted for about half of the city's murders last month.
Emanuel has noted, that while the city would welcome federal assistance, the move must come in partnership with local agencies, and not simply by replacing them.
"Chicago, like other cities right now that are dealing with gun violence, wants the partnership with federal law enforcement entities in a more significant way than we’re having today," Emanuel said last week.
Emanuel said the answer to the city's unyielding violence can be found in police training, supervision and pro-active policing. He has repeatedly spoken against the controversial stop-and-frisk tactics promoted by Trump during his campaign. On Wednesday, he also promoted mentoring and summer jobs programs for at-risk youth as a way to keep children out of city gangs.
"That gang out there is ready to be a summer and year round job," he said. "We have to decide whether these young men have a job in the summer. That gang out there is ready to be their family that they don’t have or their community that they don’t see. We as a city have to decide whether they are going to have a family, a community that believes in them. And for too long, and you guys know this, we collectively haven’t done it."