Rahm: Gangs are the Problem, Not the Solution

By Ted Cox on February 25, 2013 1:03pm 

 Mayor  Rahm Emanuel  said Monday that when it comes to improving public safety, gang members are the problem, not the solution.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday that when it comes to improving public safety, gang members are the problem, not the solution.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

AUBURN GRESHAM — Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday that when it comes to improving public safety, gang members are not the solution, but the problem.

Emanuel's comments came after Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan told thousands of followers Sunday he was planning to reach out to gang leaders to help "protect" the Nation of Islam.

Farrakhan said he planned to contact the city's gang leaders to recruit gang members to "protect" any land the Nation of Islam might buy in the future.

"I don't think gang members are part of public safety," Emanuel said during an unrelated news conference. "They're the problem. And it's quite clear they're the problem."

While Farrakhan did not endorse street violence, he said those involved in street gangs are "natural soldiers" and could be taught "the science of war" to become protectors of the Nation of Islam's assets in the future.

Emanuel, however, disagreed.

"Legitimate, responsible citizens and residents of the city of Chicago are the ones who should be working with our police department, our principals, our schools [to offer] safe passage," Emanuel said. "I do not see a role at all for gang members."

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