The subject of the uptick in shootings in Chicago came up during a meeting between Attorney General Eric Holder and the Congressional Black Caucus. Holder’s meeting with the Caucus, the third such gathering, happened earlier in the week during the CBC’s weekly meeting.
With Chicago Reps. Danny Davis (D-IL) and Bobby Rush (D-IL) attending the meeting, naturally the subject of the recent spike in violent gun crimes was one of many topics discussed. Rep. Rush said the Department of Justice will focus on three major cities with regard to a serious uptick in violence. Chicago will be one of those cities.
So far, no senior level Administration official or the President has commented on the violence in Chicago, the President’s hometown. On a weekend in March, 10 people were shot to death and 50 were wounded in Chicago. Last weekend 29 people were shot. Ten people were shot dead over Memorial Day weekend. During a weekend in June of 2010, 54 people were shot in the city.
Curiously, not much national attention has focused on the shooting deaths.
Though Rep. Davis made the point that Chicago is a “big city” of 3 million people, he also spoke in general terms on violence in the city and relayed what the Attorney General said to the Caucus.
“He just said they were working on initiatives and that he had called the Mayor on things that they can do to help. There’s nothing that they can do to curb violence. All this stuff about law enforcement and violence — that’s a waste of time. They’re not going to stop anybody from killing each other,” said Davis.
“Jobs, value systems development, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, things for kids to be involved in. You can [get] all the police you can get, [but] that won’t stop violence,” Davis added.
Davis also spoke on whether the White House or the President should comment on the matter.
“Whenever someone asks the President — he responds. But he doesn’t come up and say we have a special initiative for Chicago. They’ve been reluctant to do that all along so I don’t expect anything like that,” Davis added. Davis also said the President “talks about the need for summer jobs.”
LAUREN VICTORIA BURKE, Politic365 Chief Congressional Correspondent, publishes the blog Crewof42 on the Congressional Black Caucus. She can be heard every Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET on WMCS 1290 in Milwaukee on Earl Ingram’s show The Evening Rush as well as on WPFW 89.3 every Friday at 6:30 p.m. and occasionally on WHUR 96.3 in Washington DC. Ms. Burke is a former employee of USA Today, ABC News and Associated Press. You can e-mail her at LBurke007@gmail.com follow her on twitter at @crewof42.