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Rahm On Violent Weekend: 'Step Back From Us Vs. Them Rhetoric'

By Evan F. Moore | July 18, 2016 6:51pm
 Mayor Rahm Emanuel told reporters that Chicagoans shouldn't choose sides after last weekend's violence.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel told reporters that Chicagoans shouldn't choose sides after last weekend's violence.
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DNAinfo/Evan F. Moore

AUSTIN — After a weekend that saw three Baton Rouge police officers killed, along with seven others, and 55 wounded in shootings across Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked Chicagoans not to choose sides based on race or employment. 

"I don't like an 'us vs. them' rhetoric. I don't think it's police vs. Black Lives Matter. I don't think it's police vs. African-Americans," Emanuel said after a jobs creation event in Austin on Monday. "I think any rhetoric that is divisive is wrong. I don't think anyone should be a victim based on their race, sexual orientation, their ethnicity or their job."

Emanuel told reporters that Chicagoans should focus on what they have in common instead of their differences.

"If you're a father, your dreams and aspirations for your children are the same," Emanuel said. "Those understandings are more prevalent than our differences. I would ask everybody to step back from the us vs. them rhetoric."

Emanuel advised Chicagoans to thank police officers for their service.

"Both Dallas and Baton Rouge are stark reminders that these men and women put their lives on the line every day," Emanuel said. "Any call to a 911 operating service can be a life-threatening moment. Take a moment out of your day and individually thank an officer."

Emanuel also touched on the Orlando night club shootings and the Republican National Convention that began in Cleveland on Monday. 

Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.), who also attended the jobs creation event, echoed Emanuel's sentiments on the community and the police working together. Davis told DNAinfo that the country is in a state of "crisis" over divisive rhetoric.

"I think people ought to be saddened by all of the activities that have occurred. The shootings of law enforcement officials will not ease the tensions that have been existent," Davis said. "By the same token, law enforcement has to change. There's been too many instances of the lack of accountability. We need law enforcement and we need justice at the same time."

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