Rahm Emanuel blames Chicago crime wave on police officers becoming 'fetal' out of fear they will get in trouble during arrests

Harsh words: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel pointed a finger a blame for a recent uptick in homicides in the city at 'fetal' police officers who are second-guessing themselves because they are afraid of getting in trouble
  • Emanuel made the remark at a meeting in Washington DC with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and others mayors 
  • In September, Chicago saw 60 homicides, making it the city's deadliest month since 2002 
  • Emanuel, 55, claimed police-involved deaths of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray were adversely affecting policing  
  • A group of Chicago’s black aldermen called on the mayor to fire Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy 

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel had some harsh words for the city's police force last week, blaming a recent upsurge in crime on officers becoming 'fetal' out of fear for doing something wrong during arrests.

The second-term mayor made the controversial remarks during a meeting in Washington DC with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other mayors and law enforcement officials from across the country.

The summit was held to discuss an uptick in homicides and other violent crimes - a trend that Mayor Emanuel partially blamed on a decrease in policing.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel pointed a finger a blame for a recent uptick in homicides in the city at 'fetal' police officers who are second-guessing themselves because they are afraid of getting in trouble 

Summit: Emanuel, 55, made the 'fetal' remark at a meeting in Washington DC with Attorney General Loretta Lynch (pictured) and a group of mayors and police officials from across the nation 

Summit: Emanuel, 55, made the 'fetal' remark at a meeting in Washington DC with Attorney General Loretta Lynch (pictured) and a group of mayors and police officials from across the nation 

'We have allowed our police department to get fetal, and it is having a direct consequence,' Emanuel was quoted by the Washington Post as saying at the meeting. 'They have pulled back from the ability to interdict … they don't want to be a news story themselves, they don't want their career ended early, and it's having an impact.'

On Monday, President Obama's pugnacious former chief of staff doubled down on his 'fetal' comment, saying the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the death of Freddie Gray while in the custody of Baltimore police were having an adverse effect on the actions of Chicago cops.

‘Officers themselves were telling me about how the news over the last 15 months have impacted their instincts,’ the mayor said, according to Chicago Tribune. ‘Do they stop or do they keep driving? When I stop here is it my career on the line?’

The 55-year-old Chicago mayor said he has asked Lynch to support 'good' officers who are involved in community policing.

In September, Chicago saw 60 homicides, marking the city's deadliest month since 2002. According to police department statistics, homicides and shootings have skyrocketed 21 per cent compared to the same time the year before.

A group of black Chicago aldermen demanded October 5 that the city's police superintendent resign, pointing to the street violence plaguing the city

A group of black Chicago aldermen demanded October 5 that the city's police superintendent resign, pointing to the street violence plaguing the city

Top cop: Mayor Emanuel stood by Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy (left), saying he would not fire him 

Top cop: Mayor Emanuel stood by Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy (left), saying he would not fire him 

On September 2 alone, there were nine fatal shootings in Chicago, making it the bloodiest day in more than 12 years.

Early last week, a group of Chicago’s black aldermen called on the mayor to fire Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, but Emanuel stood by him.

Dean Angelo, president of Chicago’s police union, acknowledged that rank-and-file officers are concerned about the increased scrutiny in the wake of the recent events involving police-involved deaths, but he rejected the notion that they are neglecting their duties for fear of getting in trouble.

‘They're out there working their buns off, and they're looking for a fair shake,’ Angelo stated. 

 
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By Mathias Dillion 10/13/2015 09:10:00
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