By Angela Wills
Mayor Rahm Emanuel received a not so welcoming reception Wednesday morning at a place not usually referenced for outcries or protests.
The mayor was paying a visit to Urban Prep Charter Academy, Englewood, which is a school where students are distinctively dressed in white shirts and red ties daily as they attend school. The visit was an order of an announcement made by Emanuel for the cabinet for the local “My Brother’s Keeper” campaign, which is designed as an effort to inspire and mentor young males of color.
Introduction of the mayor was greeted with mixed response from students. Some chose to ignore his presence all together and talk to each other instead of listen to what he had to say.
Towards the close of the event, when students were instructed to stand up and state the Urban Prep creed, many students began chanting “16 shots,” which is a common slogan protesters use as an attempt to force the mayor’s resignation following the fatal shooting of LaQuan McDonald.
The chant references the number of bullets that Officer Jason Van Dyke fired into McDonald, killing him. Van Dyke has been formally charged in the death of the 17-year-old.
Mayor Emanuel left immediately following the assembly, while many students continued the chants during the dismissal.
Emanuel issued a response in a statement released by the mayor’s office later that morning:
“The Mayor recognizes that Chicagoans are understandably frustrated. He has called for systemic reform to bring safety to every community and rebuild trust where it has been lost. As part of that process he will continue to engage with residents, police, and community leaders to address their specific concerns.”
The mayor signed a pact with major universities on early Wednesday afternoon pledging to invest in Chicago. It was then that CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine questioned him about what took place at Urban Prep and what did it mean for his future.
Emanuel responded, “I can understand and appreciate people’s frustration has come to a point and I believe that we will deal with it. I think it’s core to what he have to do, and I am committed to make sure that I use all my energy to not allow this issue to kind of be packaged with some set of reforms so we as a city can move on. That’s not possible.”