Mayor Emanuel: Take back your neighborhood
March 23, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made a plea to the public Friday asking residents to help police stop violence in their neighborhoods.
"I understand the comfort that comes from 'It didn't happen in my neighborhood.' But it happened in your city," Mayor Emanuel said Friday.
The problem, he said, of violence is not isolated to certain Chicago neighborhoods. Back from a ski trip with his children, the mayor wants Chicagoans throughout the city to be outraged by the violence, especially the incident that took the life of a 6-year-old girl last weekend.
"Any child who's a victim of violence because they were on the front porch is a tear at the city's fabric," Mayor Emanuel said.
As temperatures rose over the past week, so did the city's casualty count; also killed was a young woman shot by an off-duty police officer.
Dozens of people were also wounded in the violence-- including another Chicago police officer. Other incidents involved police shooting civilians.
"I hear like 15 gunshots. And ten minutes after that, that's when I saw all the police officers," Darius Barron said.
Young men, all of whom say they go to school or work for a living, near 105th and Halsted told ABC7 police don't understand the involvement of gangs in violence.
"The gang doesn't tell you to go out and go shoot this person or go fight that person. It's your personal issues that you have with another person. It just so happens that they might be in another gang," Ezell Rilington said Friday.
Leland Yancey said residents in the neighborhood don't have confidence in police protection.
"Don't do nothing but cause more of a problem when you call the police. Because, as you see, people have no problem shooting the police, neither," Yancey said.
Emanuel--who campaigned on a promise of safer streets--has redeployed hundreds of police officers to the most troubled neighborhoods. He says officers need help from residents.
"If everybody thinks that confronting this issue, fighting it, beating it is merely a police strategy then they are missing the comprehensive strategy that's required to deal with violence," Mayor Emanuel said.
local, charles thomas
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