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Emanuel: Police have ‘right strategy’ to try to quell violence

Mayor Rahm Emanuel holds press conference City Hall discuss Administration's progress during first 30 days Thursday June 16 2011. |

Mayor Rahm Emanuel holds press conference at City Hall and discuss the Administration's progress during the first 30 days, Thursday, June 16, 2011. | John H. White~Sun-Times.

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Updated: July 27, 2012 6:14AM

After consoling the grieving mothers of several teenage shooting victims, Mayor Rahm Emanuel insisted Monday that the Chicago Police Department has the “right strategy” to stop the violence.

Antonio Davis, 14, and Tyquan Tyler, 13, were among four people killed and 31 shot during another violent weekend in Chicago.

Davis was gunned down during a possible drive-by shooting shortly before 9 p.m. Friday near South Union and West 69th Street.

Tyler died after being shot in the chest in a drive-by shooting around 1:30 a.m. Sunday in the 6200 block of South Rhodes Avenue.

On Sunday night, Emanuel paid a condolence visit to Davis’ mother and to the mother of another 14-year old shot over the weekend while playing basketball. He also called the mother of another 14-year-old shooting victim and tried to reach the Tyler family but could not connect.

“I did it both as a mayor but also as a parent,” the mayor said Monday. “As I’ve always said, wherever a kid is hurt — [whether] physically [injured] or is killed — you cannot say, ‘That wasn’t in my neighborhood.’

“Whether that’s a child in Englewood, Little Village, Back of the Yards [or] Woodlawn, that’s a child in our city. And that’s a tear at our city.”

Asked whether he remains confident the city can respond adequately to the violence without hiring more police officers, Emanuel said: “I do believe that we have the right strategy. Overall crime is down 11 percent. But we have something significantly different that’s happened that hasn’t happened before, which is the gang-on-gang violence and the breakdown of the gang structure.

“And it’s not just policing. You have to involve the religious community. You have to make sure our kids are safe. ... We opened up 20,000 more slots to children to make sure they’re off the streets in summer activities.”

Emanuel pointed to gang audits in Chicago’s 23 police districts and to the city’s efforts to shut down liquor stores that serve as magnets for crime and “cancers on our community.”

He talked about the 5,500 guns turned in during a weekend gun-bounty progam and also about his efforts to rewrite the city’s firearms ordinance, a portion of which was overturned last week by a federal judge.

The old version was used to deny a man a gun permit because of a prior misdemeanor conviction. The new version would permanently bar anyone who has been convicted of a violent felony and impose a five-year ban on anyone convicted of a misdemeanor violent crime.

“Having strong gun laws is complementary to putting more police on the street, which is also complementary to getting kids into after-school activities or summer camp,” the mayor said.

“It’s not one piece but sensible, smart, targeted gun laws to keep guns out of the hands of gang bangers and drug dealers is key to a strategy of reducing violence.”

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