CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a speech to the City Council Wednesday cited two high-profile local cases in arguing residents also need to do more to make Chicago a safer, better city.
In his address following a wave of criticism over his handling of the video footage of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald's death at the hands of Chicago police, Emanuel appealed directly to city residents, saying he understood why some communities do not trust the police.
He also asked residents to reflect on the level of violence that seems standard in some areas.
Emanuel used two high-profile shooting death cases to highlight his point: the execution of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee and 14-year-old Endia Martin's death after a social media feud.
• Tyshawn was killed in November after members of a gang feuding with the boy's father lured him from a park and shot him at close range in an alley behind his grandmother's house in Auburn Gresham.
"When a nine-year-old son is executed in retaliation against his father by someone who knew the mother, what does that say? We have normalized gun violence," Emanuel said in his speech.
• Emanuel then referenced Endia's death allegedly at the hands of a 14-year-old classmate after the two girls were feuding over a boy in Back of the Yards. A 17-year-old relative of the girl gave her the gun used to kill Endia.
"When an adult victim of gun violence gives his 14-year-old niece a gun to settle a score from social media, which then leads to the homicide of another child, what does that say?" Emanuel asked. "We have normalized gun violence."
Chicago's police-community relations problem will not be solved just with police reforms, Emanuel said. A respect for life from all sides, as well as a reduction in shooting deaths, will greatly benefit the city, he said.
"All of us adults must set a higher standard of behavior for our children and help them understand that people can work out their problems responsibly and fairly with mutual respect," he said. "We need to reset our norms, our expectations, and our values."
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: