Chicago activist Ja'Mal Green did not hold back against Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel during Friday night's "Chicago in the Crosshairs" town hall on MSNBC, during which he blamed the mayor for the city's economic and violence issues.
MSNBC host Chris Hayes asked Green about the relationship between African Americans and police in the city in terms of trust. Green responded that there has never been trust, adding that more police will not reduce violence in Chicago.
"You could put 100,000 police officers on the street. That will not reduce violence in the city of Chicago because police are only there to react. You have to put money into prevention," Green said.
Green then pivoted to criticizing Emanuel's economic record as mayor and accused him of not caring about black people.
"Nobody has really said it, but his name is Rahm Emanuel," Green said. "This mayor that we have in the city of Chicago does not care about black people. I want to put that on the record."
"When you can invest $100 million into DePaul basketball arena when they can practice at the United Center for free and $16.4 million into uptown to build upscale apartments," Green said. "When you can build these new bus stops we got knocked down downtown but walk in our neighborhoods and not a million is coming."
"We walking past boarded up schools, boarded up houses, they're knocking down with red Xs with no plan to redevelop, mental health facilities shut down, the unemployment rate is the highest in Chicago than it is around the country. If you want to talk about violence, you've got to talk about the economics, not police," Green continued.
Emanuel has faced significant criticism over the last year as his administration has not been able to curtail violence in the city. In 2016 alone, there were over 4,300 shootings and over 750 homicides, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Through Dec. 26, 754 people were slain in Chicago compared with 480 during the same period last year, an increase of 57 percent, according to official Police Department statistics. The last time Chicago tallied a similar number of killings was in 1997, when 761 people were slain. Shooting incidents also jumped by 46 percent this year to 3,512 from 2,398, the statistics show.
What's more, crimes went up by double digits in nearly every major category, including criminal sexual assaults, robberies and thefts.
Month by month, Chicago's homicide numbers have ticked upward. On cold days and warm days, snowy days and during holiday weekends alike.