Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Violence: Helping Isn't "Snitching"

By Lisa Balde
|  Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012  |  Updated 4:18 AM PDT
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In response to questions about violence, Mayor Rahm Emanuel asks the community to step up after nine people were killed and 37 injured in shootings over the weekend in Chicago.

In response to questions about violence, Mayor Rahm Emanuel asks the community to step up after nine people were killed and 37 injured in shootings over the weekend in Chicago.

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After a particularly violent weekend in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has a message for anyone involved in the shootings that left nine people killed and 37 injured: Stop the culture of silence.

"I'd like to remind everybody that it also requires a community to step up," Emanuel said Monday at an unrelated press conference. "You're not a snitch, you have a role in community policing."

The "s" word is a particularly powerful one in Chicago. 

Last year a Chicago mother was arrested after she allegedly drove her son and an accomplice to shoot a person they believed was a snitch. The year before a dying 17-year-old took the name of his killer to the grave.

"I know," Robert Tate reportedly said when asked if he knew who shot him in the chest, "but I ain't telling you."

Last week eight people were struck in a drive-by shooting at 79th Street and South Essex Avenue, and Community activist Andrew Holmes said some of them reportedly weren't cooperating with police.

"The persons have been struck by gunfire, they need to step up and speak up for us," Holmes told NBC Chicago. "Nine times out of 10, they knew who was firing the shot at them."

Emanuel's message is one that Chicago has heard before. Former Mayor Richard Daley said it too -- over and over again.

Still Chicago's summer violent streak started again Memorial Day weekend when more than 40 people were shot. This past weekend's total nearly matched that.

Emanuel said police have moved in more officers, removed guns and drugs off the street, and over the weekend, arrested 307 people and confiscated more than 100 weapons during several drug busts across the city.

"We can keep doing that," he said, "but we have to pass stronger gun laws in this state. We're not talking about repealing conceal carry but making sure we have a tougher set of laws dealing with assault weapons and other types of guns."

After concentrating on Englewood, Woodlawn, South Shore and East Garfield Park, Emanuel said that 40 percent of the shootings happened in another area.

"We now have to deal with what's happening in Grand Crossing over the weekend, and we will do that."

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