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Escalating violence in Chicago

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 15, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: "Factor Follow-Up Segment" tonight. So far this year about 370 people have been murdered in the city of Chicago. That's up 21 percent from last year. Violence in the Windy City is a catastrophe.

Now the mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel is blaming the situation partially on recent social issues. The murder rates in Chicago have been high for years, however, so that analysis really doesn't hold up.

Now, last Wednesday, there was a secret meeting in Washington, D.C. about the rising violence in American cities.

Joining us now from Washington Aaron Davis the "Washington Post" reporter, who was the only member of the media covering the meeting. How did you get in there and how did you know about it and why wasn't any of the other media there?

AARON DAVIS, "WASHINGTON POST": Well, I guess chalk it up to too many politicians in the room. The mayor of Washington, D.C. put it on her schedule for the day as an open press event. And so I followed her into the room and lo and behold I was the only one there from the press.

O'REILLY: Who organized the meeting?

DAVIS: This was run by the Justice Department, the new attorney general, the top cop in the country. Loretta Lynch -- it was run by her office. You also had the director of the FBI come and talk to this group.

And in this room you had mayors and police chiefs from dozens cities many of those who have had biggest spikes in crime this year including Rahm Emanuel the mayor of Chicago. You had the police chief in New York City. You had the mayor and police deputy chief from D.C., Milwaukee -- you could go on down through the list.

O'REILLY: Baltimore there?

DAVIS: And 17 U.S. attorneys -- there was Baltimore mayor and police commissioner there as well.

O'REILLY: Right. Ok. So why wouldn't Loretta Lynch, the attorney general want all the press there to convene this? I mean why was it so secret?

DAVIS: Well, there was a few minutes at the very end where they invited the press in and I think it's at that point when they realized I was the only one who had been there for about three hours. There wasn't a whole lot said during that public press conference period.

What was far more interesting was the unvarnished version that took place over the preceding hours when the police chiefs, the mayors all began talking about why they think the crime is going up in Chicago and Baltimore and elsewhere.

And some themes emerged. One of the most interesting here and the one that's hard to quantify but raises the most questions is this idea that somehow police officers are pulling back; are being more conservative in the era of the YouTube video clip, the smart phone videos, the iPhones, taking a picture of every police interaction on a sidewalk.

And this was echoed by about five different cities saying we think that there is something -- there is a national phenomenon here police don't want to stick their neck out. They don't want to be the next one caught in a compromising position whether they are doing their job or not and be blamed and tried in the court of public opinion before there is any actual charges or problem.

O'REILLY: I think it's absolutely true. I know it for a fact here in New York City that the mayor here, de Blasio doesn't support the police. The police are saying we are not going to be proactive like we were. We are not going to do that and therefore bad guys have a lot more room to roam and bad things happen.

Now Rahm Emanuel is quoted as saying in your article, that the police are fetal, what does he mean "fetal"?

DAVIS: Well, we have heard words described like police are being conservative or they're not putting their neck on the line. I think Emanuel in the course of this meeting took about as far as any politician has saying, you know, the connotation was in some way that they were cowering in ways.

O'REILLY: That's going to help morale in Chicago PD, right. The Mayor's saying that Chicago cops are cowering?

DAVIS: He did give an example. He said say it's late at night and you have got a bunch of guys on the sidewalk and is a police officer are going to walk up to them or he's just going to sit in his car and watch them from the car.

O'REILLY: Well, if they're doing bad things then police officers supposedly -- are supposed to walk up to them and say what are you doing here?

DAVIS: Yes. This is the heart of the issue. And so are police officers doing that engaged community policing where they are going out? Whether they are getting an arrest or they're just out gathering intelligence something going on down the street from that group on the corner -- that's the issue at play here.

O'REILLY: Now, one more time I have got to ask you this again because you didn't answer the question. You did good reporting. You followed the Mayor of D.C. You got into a meeting that no other media knew about. Why didn't the other media know about it? Why were they not alerted? Did you ask anybody that?

DAVIS: There was a guidance put out by the Justice Department that day.

O'REILLY: Nobody saw it, come on. Nobody was there it's a big story.

DAVIS: There was a whole lot of press that showed up at the end for what was described as the public press conference. I just happened to get there hours early and I walked in and no one stopped me.

O'REILLY: All right, Mr. Davis. Thanks very much. We appreciate it.

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