CHARLOTTE, N.C.--Mayor Rahm Emanuel defended his handling of shooting sprees that have plagued Chicago in a Sunday interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" rejecting a suggestion he was having a hard time stopping crime. "We're containing it," he said.
Emanuel was booked on the show to preview the Democratic National Convention--and review the just wrapped up Republican National Convention where Mitt Romney officially became the GOP nominee.
After covering national politics (read that story here) host David Gregory said he wanted to talk "about a huge crisis in your own city, and that is, of course, the murder rate. It's up 31 percent from a year ago -- 40 shootings just last weekend, nine left dead, a couple of people shot even near the president's home on the South Side. What are you doing to address this?"
Emanuel replied, "First, we put more police on the street, getting kids, guns and drugs off the street. Our crime rate is down 10 percent and, in fact, or shootings have declined from what was -- basically, we lost the early part of the first quarter of the year, and we've brought them dramatically down. We have a gang issue on parts of the city overall. Overall crime, down 10 percent, and we're making efforts, actually to reduce the gang conflicts because it's gang-on-gang issues. It does not affect the whole city, but anywhere it happens, we're going to be dealing with it."
Gregory, following up, asked, "Is this not a crisis, in your estimation? Is it something that's being overblown or is this something that you have a hard time containing at the moment?"
Emanuel, rejecting the premise of the question said, "No, we're containing it, and the question I have is not whether people say a crisis or a challenge -- I'm going to do everything I can to make sure every child, when they're going to school, can think about their studies not their safety, regardless of where they live, and that's my first priority."