"I do not advocate people committing crimes and shooting law-abiding citizens," Cochran said during a lull in Wednesday's City Council meeting. "That's ridiculous."
Cochran took offense to a Sun-Times headline stating, "Alderman tells gang-bangers it's OK to kill each other, not innocents."
"I did not say that," Cochran insisted. "I said we have to have limits. And those limits are, protect the innocent. That is the only thing I said."
Cochran said Tuesday he'd made overtures to gang leaders since the murder of Jonylah Watkins, a 6-month-old baby shot and killed in what is believed to be a gang attack on her father, Jonathan Watkins.
"Organizations have been around forever," said the former Chicago cop, referring to gangs and gangsters. "There's always been that character and that respect for certain aspects of our society, and that's what I want to have re-instituted."
Cochran suggested there is only so much to be done to limit gang gunplay, but there is a basic level of civility for all to observe.
"There's a limit we have to put in the culture," Cochran said. "If someone has a baby with them, come back another day if that's what you're gonna do. Don't kill that baby. Don't put that baby in harm's way."
He immediately added, however, "I did not say gang members can kill each other."