Demonstrators Skeptical Of Chicago Mayor’s Public Safety Plan

(CBS) — About 100 people staged a protest outside of Malcolm X College as Mayor Emanuel laid out his highly anticipated plan to curb gun violence in Chicago.

A dozen officers on bicycles blocked the Jackson Boulevard and parking lot entrances to Malcolm X College, and other officers stood by on foot.

But even the protesters were interested — to a point — in hearing what Emanuel had to say. But after listening to a streaming Internet feed of his speech for about 10 minutes, the protest resumed.

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Activist Ja’Mal Green said he hoped that Democrat Hillary Clinton is elected president and asks Emanuel to join her cabinet or take another high-level White House job, so that someone else can occupy the fifth floor of City Hall.

“The sooner he can get out of our city, the sooner we can put someone in there who is going to care about the interests of black communities,” Green said.

Fellow activists Mark Clemons and Andy Thayer asked how Emanuel intends to pay for the beefed-up police department.  Thayer said the enlarged force will deprive city neighborhoods of basic, essential services while doing little to reduce crime.  Clemons said the money could be better spent by hiring the unemployed in a variety of areas.

Thayer said enlarged police forces, without parallel spending on other city services, can and has backfired elsewhere.

Many of the protesters called on the mayor’s opponents to fill the City Council chambers Sept. 29 to demand creation of an elected civilian accountability board to replace the Independent Police Review Authority.

 

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