After a bloody weekend in Chicago, the Rev. Ira Acree called for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to step down from his office.
More than 70 people were shot in Chicago this past weekend, with 12 people dying. In total, over 1,700 people have been injured in shootings so far this year.
Acree told Fox Business Network that the city’s violence stemmed from Emanuel’s “disinvestment” in some Chicago neighborhoods, causing “a tale of two cities.”
“We just need a person who’s committed to justice. A person who’s committed to fairness and equity for everybody. This particular mayor, he is disinvested on the South and West sides of our city. He’s closed 50 schools. That’s unprecedented in the United States of America. That is unprecedented. Not only that, he closed mental health institutions. This is sad.
He’s taxing people through their nose. You gotta pay fines for — these high tickets for parking. You’ve got the red light cameras. It’s just ridiculous. We need a mayor who can come in and just have there be one Chicago. Right now, we have a tale of two cities, and that’s why we had such a mess over the weekend. The public’s safety has to be back on him.”
Acree pointed to poverty as a major source of frustration in the African-American communities in Chicago.
“The mayor is sitting on nearly a half a billion dollars of [Housing and Urban Development] money for those who are homeless,” Acree said.
Acree also blamed Chicago school closings as another factor in growing poverty in some neighborhoods.
“When you close schools in a neighborhood, you decimate the economic engine of a neighborhood because you have people who come there,” Acree stated. “You have stores that flourish because you have an influx of people coming in. This mayor is bad news.”
The reverend said he would “absolutely” accept assistance from President Donald Trump.
“I did not vote for President Trump, but he is the president of the United States of America, and he deserves a fair shake,” Acree said.
Although Acree used to be “in sync 110 percent” with the Democratic Party, he now sees himself as an independent.