Laura Ingraham moderates town hall on Chicago violence

This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," September 7, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST: Hi everyone, I'm Laura Ingraham and welcome to "The Ingraham Angle." We have a really special show for you tonight. The first ever "Ingraham Angle" town hall. Now, last week I went to Chicago to discover the reason for the staggering levels of violence. Violence destroying the south and west sides of the windy city. And I wanted to expose the city's impotent political response to it.

So we spoke to victims, politicians, religious leaders, all of whom who are on the ground. What they have to say is going to shock you. But these voices need to be heard. Now, we learned this week that Chicago's Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel, will not be seeking a third term.

Now, one can only hope that a new mayor will bring peace and some healing to a city in desperate need of both. Here's our town hall from Chicago.



INGRAHAM: Good evening everyone, I'm Laura Ingraham and welcome to the first ever INGRAHAM ANGLE town hall. Now, first I'd like to thank the city of Chicago and our audience here for hosting us for an incredibly important discussion.

Chicago is one of the truly great American cities, spectacularly beautiful in the summer and winter. But in recent years, its gang violence problem has reached epidemic proportions, a level of violence just unacceptable for anywhere in America.

The city is on pace for more than 2,000 shootings this year, which will mark the fifth straight year it's topped that grim mark. And just so you get some perspective, since 2011, the year that Rahm Emanuel took office as mayor, there have been over 4,000 murders in this city. That's more than the 3,481 soldiers who were killed in action in operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003 to 2010, if you can believe it.

And it's not just the level of violence in the city that's the problem. It's the lack of justice. According to an analysis conducted by the "Washington Post," Chicago police have made an arrest in only about 27 percent of homicides since 2010. That's the lowest rate of any city "The Post" examined.

For non-fatal shootings, it's even worse. The University of Chicago Crime Lab tells us just 10 percent of shootings resulted in arrests in 2014. And by 2016, the latest year available, that number had dropped to just five percent

The unsolved crimes undoubtedly fuel a vicious cycle of distrust between law enforcement and community. And no one is immune from this violence. Throughout the hour, we're going to talk to members of law enforcement, community activists, religious and political leaders, as well as members of the audience, to try to figure out why this tragedy is unfolding in Chicago and how to stop it.

Let's get started tonight with Anthony Napolitano. He's a former police officer and the sole Republican in Chicago's 50-seat city council. Martin Prieb, who is a member of Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police, and Kevin Graham, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge 7.

Anthony, let's start with you. This is so both heartbreaking and infuriating. We have a world of violence across the globe. Heart breaking stories every day, but as Americans, I can't imagine we find this level of violence in a city as spectacular as Chicago, with its rich history, acceptable. What do we do?

ANTHONY NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: The biggest problem I think right now in the city of Chicago is they're not breaking it down into three different groups of what's plaguing our city. You got an incredible amount of narcotics that come through the city of Chicago. You got an enormous amount of guns on the street that last year alone or (inaudible) 2018 alone, almost 5,200 guns have been recovered.

We have a sale of stolen merchandise there part of a criminal element on the street that it's just -- it's a multimillion dollar industry. So you don't just have gang-bangers running around shooting each other. This is a fight over territory. This is a fight over who's making money on the street right now.

And if you can't get to the streets and say, hey, you got to stop the narcotics that are coming in the boat loads and we have to get more guns off the streets, then we have to realize that the criminal element is using the streets to sell stolen merchandise, we'll never going to get ahead of this problem.

I mean, your number was actually wrong. We had -- we're over the 2,000 mark of people shot in the city of Chicago already and we have 375 homicides. So we have surpassed the number of people shot. I always say if you imagine how many of them missed.

INGRAHAM: Kevin, the police have had their hands full, that's for sure. It's the level of violence. But you see the number of murders solved, suspects arrested and it's a pretty small percentage compared to other cities, as you saw in that analysis. Why?

KEVIN GRAHAM, PRESIDENT, FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE: Well, there's a couple of reasons. The first reason is, first of all, we have had 2,025 shootings in the city up to date as of today. First of all, it didn't start yesterday. It started several years ago when they decided to under fund and underman the police department. We have -- we are still almost 1,000 policemen short where we need to be.

INGRAHAM: Rght, hold on. Everyone is going -- you're 1,000 police officers short in the city of Chicago today?

GRAHAM: We only have half of the detectives that we need. We used to have
2,000 detectives.

INGRAHAM: How many do you have now?

GRAHAM: Just about 1,000.

INGRAHAM: What's the reason for that? What are the politicians saying?

GRAHAM: You're going to have to ask the mayor, Rahm Emanuel, for that answer. You know, he's the one that calls three police stations. He's the one that calls two detective areas. We didn't do that. We have always at the FOP tried to interject our solutions to the problem, but when it requires money, we are shut out.

Our opinion doesn't count. That's part of the problem. And that's what has to change. We certainly want to go out there and do the job that we were hired to do, but because they have decided to have more police oversight, they've accepted the ACLU and their long stop carts because they have decided that we're going to work 12 hour days. We're not going to allow people time off. That all wears on police officers and that is what has contributed to the problems in this city.

INGRAHAM: Let's now go to Melanie Brown, who prefers not to reveal her political party. Melanie, welcome.

MELANIE BROWN, CITIZEN OF CHICAGO: Thank you for having me. All right. So we know that all police aren't bad. You know? But when some of the police officers hurt our community, then we feel like some of the other police officers should come together and try to help the community because they should care about what the community thinks about the police department.

So, I just wonder, whatever happened to the good cop/bad cop, you know, where there's one group of police officers we might be afraid of, but then there's the good cop where they can share, you know, who is murdered, what's the crime or anything like that and we can get more, you know, crime solved for our community and to help everyone.

INGRAHAM: Going back to the issue of trust.


INGRAHAM: Trust between the community and law enforcement. Law enforcement is supposed to keep people safe. When you call the police, you want to have that level of trust and the police want you to trust them, otherwise they're not able to do their job either. Martin?

MARTIN PRIEB, MEMBER, FRATERNAL OF POLICE: As a writer in the group, I would answer that by pointing to one statistic. The city of Chicago has paid over $700 million in police misconduct cases. And many of these cases, these claims against the police are bogus. And they're used to push this narrative of police corruption that is quite often fraudulent.

And the city pays out on these and creates this industry of suing police officers that, in turn, lends itself to more police oversight. And even good police officers and I believe the overwhelming majority of them are good, I think when officers do something wrong, it's generally it's a mistake.

But all officers now in Chicago face an absolutely ludicrous level of oversight and potential lawsuits and criminal charges by a prosecutor that is clearly anti-police. And so this is one of the reasons that the police are unable to do the kind of effective police work that they want to do. Policing is an art and the city has now set up in so many levels --

INGRAHAM: Give us some examples. So, let's say when you brandish your firearm for any particular reason, do you have to write a report on every time you brandish your firearm?

GRAHAM: Not yet, but that's what they're trying.

INGRAHAM: That's what Rahm Emanue wants.

GRAHAM: Let me go back to one of our officers, they were trying to find that he had done something wrong. It was the FOP that dug our heels in and found out that what was going on (inaudible) was, they were trying to hold secret investigations and not divulge the outcome of those to the officer which cleared him.

They wanted to make sure that officers were found guilty. That's unacceptable. I don't care if it's a citizen, that there's a secret investigation going on or it's a police officer. People need to be treated fairly. And unfortunately, police officers are not treated fairly.

INGRAHAM: So you think it's accusation against the police officer they are presumed guilty by the community? So there's distrust between the community and police. Police don't trust the accusations or no?

GRAHAM: It is the investigative body. All cases that involve shootings are sent to the federal, to the FBI and to the state's attorney's office for prosecution.

INGRAHAM: I think what we're getting at, it's painfully obvious, when you have 1,000 detective deficit on a police force, could be lot of things. Is it money is not allocated? Is it the pay is not enough? Is it demoralized police? Is it too dangerous and people feel like for the risk I'm taking, I'm not getting much of a benefit?

You're damned if you do, you're damned if you don't. Why am I going to do this job? Policing should be -- it is a noble profession, but Anthony, you hear two police officers that feel like -- oftentimes they feel like they can do no right. But we have concerned citizens who say we need more of a collaboration here. Got to be able to fix this.

NAPOLITANO: I love to answer that question. I was a police officer myself. I worked the street. I worked in the 15th district and I was a gang enforcement officer. So, to answer this young lady's question, I have done that job.

I have built relationships on the streets with other officers and there was the ability to work crime based off relationships you have, but what's happened is a culture through America now is the police are becoming the enemy. The neighborhoods are kind of closing their doors and don't want to answer the police.

INGRAHAM: Don't be a snitch.

NAPOLITANO: Don't be a snitch because snitches get stitches, and that's the concept on the street.

INGRAHAM: But I have seen that t-shirt.

NAPOLITANO: Yes. And you know what, there's always this concept that there's this thin blue line between officers and they don't talk, the code of silence. That's not even true. The thin blue line is in a certain amount of officers that will take a bullet for each other and protect each other.

The bigger line that is harder to cross is in the neighborhoods when nobody wants to talk about what they saw for many reasons. They don't want to get stitches. But it's part of a big element in the neighborhood throughout the whole city where there's a lot of money being made on the street. So you're hurting an enterprise on the street alone.

INGRAHAM: Now let's go to Reed Willis, a Republican with a question about federal involvement in Chicago, Reed.

REED WILLIS, REPUBLICAN: So my question for the panelists is whether or not they support President Trump's previous calls for the National Guard to be sent here to Chicago? And if so, what would the National Guard be able to do that local police cannot?

INGRAHAM: OK, President Trump, you know, mentioned the National Guard in Chicago. It's been thrown around before.

GRAHAM: Certainly I believe that any time we have federal agents, federal law enforcement agents, they're welcome. And certainly, I have nothing against federal troops. I'm sure that the president meant that is trying to help the city.

I think what we need to do is make sure that politicians realize that they have to spend the money to hire police officers, hire the right police officers, make sure they are trained. Have a facility in which to train them. And then also be out there in the community. We've removed our foot officers through most of the city and we need to put those --

INGRAHAM: Are they shutting down detective offices in these difficult neighborhoods, Anglewood and so forth? I read that, that was another concern by the police.

PRIEB: Well, they did -- they have closed some districts and whatnot. That has been the case, but you know, I really couldn't say about the National Guard or, you know.

INGRAHAM: To me, it's like, this is a local problem and for the most part it has a local solution.

PRIEB: I think it's a bit of a myth though to say that here's complete distrust in communities between the police. There really isn't. There's still a lot of people -- they call us, they rely on us, they want us to help them. You know, a lot of it is gangs. Most of the violence is gang violence and they don't --

INGRAHAM: Fifty-nine major gangs with a lot of off-shoots, 2,400 off- shoots of these gangs and among the most vicious in the country and in the world. Guys, all of you, thank you so much for your input tonight. Chicago's political leadership we just referenced is disastrously failing its residents. One of the men running to turn that around will join us next.



INGRAHAM: As we mentioned at the top of tonight's show, Chicago Democrat mayor Rahm Emanuel announced this week that he will not be seeking re- election. He made the announcement after we taped this next segment, but we thought it was really important to bring out our full discussion about the political failures in the windy city, which perhaps reveals why Emanuel decided not to pursue a third term.



INGRAHAM: The failure of political leadership in Chicago is just simply profound. Democrats have controlled this city for more than eight decades and the disastrous results are impacting residents every day. Chicago is about six months out from its mayoral election, so naturally we invited Mayor Rahm Emanuel to attend this town hall. But not only did he turn us down his office used some fairly ugly language in their response to us.

Well, we think this issue is of critical importance, even if Mayor Emanuel's office does not and does not want to participate. But for more, let's bring in Ja'Mal Green. He's an activist here in Chicago who is running for mayor, Lashawn Ford, a Democrat and member of the Illinois State House of Representatives and DePaul University professor Jason Hill.

It's great to see all of you. Professor Hill, I know you study these issues, seemingly intractable issues of recurring cycle of violence. Today, as you see things now, is there hope for this city?

JKASON HILL, PROFESSOR, DEPAUL UNIVERSITY: I think there is hope, but I think the hope lies in strong leadership. I think the hope lies in a change in governance. I think we have an incompetent mayor who is recalcitrant. I think corruption and violence are part of the political DNA of the city.

INGRAHAM: What does that mean, part of the political DNA? I mean --

HILL: Chicago is the most corrupt city in the United States of America. It has been for a long, long time and there's no getting around that. And we have a mayor who assumed the mayorship and did nothing about it except to look the other way when bribes are being undertaken.

And I think that a change of governance is really necessary. I think there are a couple of things that would make this city very, very difficult to attract businesses for example the high crime rate and the city is the number one issue that --

INGRAHAM: The businesses don't want to, you know, move into to south, the west side because look, too much of a risk? I know Whole Foods opened in Anglewood. I ran into a Whole Foods executive on the plane coming here and he's like yes, we open up a store there. It's not easy. It's not easy being in business there but we did it.

HILL: Well, we have a population that's beating (ph) Chicago on an unprecedented rate. I mean, we have a high crime rate in the city and --

INGRAHAM: But it's overwhelmingly Democrats. And Representative Ford, I think it's 83 percent of the city voted for Hillary Clinton in the last presidential election. About 12 percent voted for President Trump. They keep voting in the same people. Take the parties out of it for a second. I'd say if it was Republican for 70 years and they were failing. If you have a bad basketball coach who doesn't win, you kick him out and get a new one.

So why do we keep returning year after year after year to overwhelming liberal leadership in the city of Chicago when it seems like it's obviously not working for the people who need the most help?

LASHAWN FORD, DEMOCRATIC MEMBER, ILLINOIS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE: Well, that's a good question. I'm one vote and my people need help in Chicago. Black people need help if we really want America to be the greatest that it can be. And we need stronger black leaders. We need a black mayor in Chicago. There's no way we're going to be able to deal with the issues in Chicago unless you have a mayor that really understands the critical issues that is impacting the people of Chicago.

The black issue is the number one issue in the city of Chicago. And until we have a mayor in this city that understands how to remedy those problems and understands fairness and equity and attacks those problems, we're going to continue to see problems like this.

INGRAHAM: I mean, you are basically saying it has to be a black mayor. That's kind of a wild thing to say. I mean, it could be an Asian mayor that comes in and is able to heal wounds and get police together with the community activist or a black or a white or I mean --

FORD: I'm going to say that right now we need a black mayor. I can't back down from that because, you know, the last time we had a black mayor, Harold Washington, things were improving. And white people -- white people are good and I want to work with white people but I think --

INGRAHAM: Well, I'm here. I'm trying to figure it out. I'm trying my best.

FORD: I have nothing against white people, but what I do know is that we need to work alongside white people, blacks and whites. No one can really solve black people's problems better than blacks.

INGRAHAM: Well Ja'Mal, it could be you. You can be the next mayor. I mean, you're 26, 27?


INGRAHAM: Twenty-three?!

GREEN: Yes, ma'am.

INGRAHAM: OK, so you've had your own issue, run-in with the police. I (inaudible) this whole saga. We don't have to go into it. It involved you and getting into a dust up with a police officer and you plead down on misdemeanor. But tell us, you know, you are the next generation. It's you guys who are going to have to solve this problem, so, what to do?

GREEN: Well, you're exactly right. You know, I'm from these communities. I understand it. I saw people being shot in front of me as a young kid, you know, hiding behind bushes, hoping that the gun man didn't shoot me. I have seen and experienced these problems first hand. From poverty, from having to light candles because my mom couldn't pay the light bill.

And we need someone who has experienced these problems because we understand and have the passion to actually change them when we get into these positions. These are the types of people that care, right, for all issues in the city of Chicago and that's why I'm running for mayor.

INGRAHAM: So many young people leave their house in the morning. Not in, you know, fancy areas of Chicago. Not in the rich suburbs so much. But in the neighborhoods that are hurting the most, they don't know if they're coming home. Now, I grew up in a town outside of Hartford, Connecticut and it was very middle class, but I never worried about getting shot when I left the house in the morning.

I didn't have a lot of money, but we didn't worry about getting shot. I don't think most people across the country can understand how that feels. And I got to tell you, I think you're right. Until you live that --


INGRAHAM: (Inaudible), but until you live that fear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You'll never understand it.

INGRAHAM: It is -- I can't put myself in your place. Look, we might not agree on a lot of political issues, but I like the fact that you're getting involved here. By the way, we have a question now from Maze Jackson, political independent. Maze?

MAZE JACKSON, INDEPENDENT: So my question is, with violence off -- with violence out of control, with black unemployment the highest in the country, and with blacks leading in the -- last in the economic indicators, will the black community vote for Rahm Emanuel again?

GREEN: Well, that's a good question. We saw that in the last election, where, you know, overwhelmingly blacks voted for Rahm Emanuel and put him back in power. I think now, with the (inaudible) cover-up and how he covered up the murder of a 17-year-old who was shot 16 times. That has exposed so many different things going on in the city.

INGRAHAM: The case is on going.

GREEN: The case is on going, but lot of different police reforms and people like Attorney Madigan stepping up with the consent decree, the CPS, sexual abuse scandal that has been uncovered.

INGRAHAM: You heard the police. They feel beleaguered too. I mean they feel-- think about if you had half the number of people trying to teach 2,000 kids in public schools or trying to be a detective on the street, and you're outnumbered and sometimes you're outgunned. So Rahm Emanuel campaigns in the city, right? He goes down to these areas and walks these streets? Do you see him down there? Is he?

GREEN: No, I don't. The only thing that he does is --

INGRAHAM: He wouldn't come here tonight. Instead he sent us a nasty note.

GREEN: The only thing that he does in our community is he come and dances at CHA festivals.


GREEN: Chicago Housing Authority.


GREEN: He just comes and dances and takes pictures and act like he care about --

INGRAHAM: Dances? Oh, because he was a ballet dancer.

GREEN: He was a ballet dancer. And that's why he's trying to win back this election, is by dancing. We don't need another dancer. We need solutions on how we're going to solve these problems and I don't think he could do it.

INGRAHAM: Professor.

HILL: You know, I have written a book called "We Have Overcome" and laid (ph) some solutions for what I think are some of the problems in this city. I think parts of the city has to be placed military receivership.

INGRAHAM: Military receivership.

HILL: That's right. I think --

INGRAHAM: You want uniformed military?

HILL: Who is on the ground, National Guard, the Navy?

INGRAHAM: Won't that make people feel like they're more under siege or you're saying it will make them feel safer?

HILL: It will make them feel safer.

INGRAHAM: OK, guys, when we return, religious and civic leaders from Chicago will join us with their plans to help save their city. Don't go away.


INGRAHAM: Welcome back to our town hall from Chicago. And as we discussed in our previous segment, this city's political class has utterly failed its citizens while crime threatens their future. So what are the religious and civic groups doing that politicians apparently can't?

Joining us now are Corey Brooks and Ira Acree, who are both pastors, along with Tio Hardiman, executive director of Violence Interrupters and also a professor. It's great to see all of you. Thanks so much for being here tonight. Wonderful city. Love coming here. Always do. Tough problems. Reverend Acree, tell us what your thoughts are. You've heard the conversations both from the police perspective and the political perspective. Again, we invited Rahm Emanuel to come. We really wanted him to come, open to all. Wasn't going to be part of this. No other primetime show is in Chicago doing this show, by the way. Your reaction?

REV. IRA ACREE, GREATER ST. JOHN BIBLE CHURCH: I always say if a house is on fire, it's my responsibility to get out of the house. But it's the police, rather the fire department's responsibility to put the fire out, not to come on the scene and lecture. Was somebody playing with matches?
Whose fault is it? No. There's a responsibility that the fire department must do, and that's put out the fire.

And that's what we really need. All institutions must put all hands on deck. We certainly need the mayor to lead the way. Right now here in Chicago we have a tale of two cities. We have economic disinvestment on the south side and the west side. On the north side you have economic boom. You have first class schools. On the south side and west side you've got 50 schools that are closed. This anger is fueled from the poverty and the disinvestment, which ultimately leads to the violence.

INGRAHAM: It's a cycle, though, is it not, Pastor Brooks? This is a cycle, because when a community becomes dangerous, business doesn't want to go in. And if business doesn't go in, you don't have the opportunity, you don't have the stores. Stores bring a sense of community as well. So with that cycle, which is very depressing to a lot of people, how does the faith community step in and say, guys and gals, there's another way?

REV. COREY BROOKS, NEW BEGINNINGS CHURCH OF CHICAGO: Well, we have to do our part. We are constantly always playing the blame game in our community, blaming everybody for our situation. But I really do believe we have to step up to the plate and take responsibility and stop waiting for people to come in an save the day for us. We have to start developing businesses. We have to start training individuals. We have to start making sure we have schools that are properly educating our children in our neighborhood. And then someone has to say to our parents, look, we have to take responsibility for our children. We cannot allow our children to run rampant and unharnessed and not deal with them and discipline them. We have to do a better job in our community making sure that we cover all bases. And we cannot continue to blame anyone for those issues. We have to take advantage and start doing the things for ourselves.


INGRAHAM: Personal responsibility. Professor Hardiman, the level of fatherlessness in our society at large crosses all economic spectrums, crosses all racial backgrounds. It especially is difficult in Chicago and especially in the poorest neighborhoods. Young men without role models, mothers doing their very best, working hard. They seek role models in all the wrong places. And the gangs are there to fulfill their roles. What about that, the family part of this equation?

TIO HARDIMAN, PROFESSOR IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Back in the 1950s 70 percent of African-American households had the fathers in the household. The year 2018, 70 percent of the families do not have the fathers in the household. Black death is a hustle. That's the basic problem of being in Chicago. Every time you have a high level of shootings and homicides, the police have to do overtime. You've got all these community groups, they need millions of dollars. As a matter of fact, Arne Duncan received $130 million. With $130 million I can hire every black man in Chicago for the next 30 years, OK? Black death is a hustle.


HARDIMAN: The police have not been trained to stop killers on the front end. Police get involved after the crime has been committed. That's a big elephant in the room nobody wants to talk about.

INGRAHAM: How would they do that?

HARDIMAN: I would like to propose training the police in the areas of conflict resolution. I can train the police. I am the president of Violence Interrupters Incorporated. I have a proven track record in the area of reducing shootings and homicides in Chicago.

INGRAHAM: Across the globe, though. You've actually had incredible success with your program. Early intervention, police are involved. Families have to be involved, too, though. A police officer can't come in and fix the family situation, can maybe help on the margins, though.

HARDIMAN: I agree with you. It's incumbent upon the black family to unify. You will not need a program.


HARDIMAN: If black people unify, there will be no need for programs. It's incumbent upon us as black men and women to step up to the plate and help save our city. We have a mass exodus of African-American people moving out of Chicago because of the violence and nobody is stepping up because black death is a hustle. Everybody is making money off the crimes in our community and we have to stop it today.

ACREE: Here's the thing. When you look at our community, when you see a community struggling like our community is, you have some failure in multiple institutions. Although we have to have personal responsibility, we still have a taxpayer base. We have to have taxpayers that pay taxes, get the responsibility. And we must also get the services that the government is supposed to give. We must have that.

When you look at the homicide rate, it's 17 percent for 2017. I'm convinced that it's not an urgency for this administration. When 83 percent of the people who are murdered, people are still running the streets, that's a problem. We need to get these murderers off the streets, and that means increasing the capacity of the detectives unit. There's only 1,100 detectives. In 1990 when we had 2,000 detective, we have 65 percent homicide clearance rate.

INGRAHAM: Wow, so it's not a third, basically, of what it was.

ACREE: But it looks like the major has a strategic plan of gentrification, because as long as the homicide rate is 83 percent -- pardon me, 83 percent of the people are still free that commit murders, you're going to still have black people from the south side and the west side running out of town. People downtown are still going to be safe. People on the north side are still going to be safe. And so it seems like a strategic plan of gentrification by this administration.

INGRAHAM: Wow, that's quite a charge. I wish the mayor were here to respond to that, but he's obviously not here. Hold on one second. Nicole Vaughn who identifies herself as a Democrat has a question for us. Nicole?

NICOLE VAUGHN, POLITICAL AFFILIATION, DEMOCRATIC: Yes. So in the effort to cure violence in Chicago, why isn't economic development a priority, particularly in underserved communities?

BROOKS: Well, part of it is, we keep doing the same thing over and over.
In our community, everybody is voting democrat. And you would think these same individuals are not creating economic development in your community, you would think that we would start to look in other places. And I think until we start to diversify how we are viewed politically ourselves, we're going to continue to get the same thing all the time.


INGRAHAM: It's not working. I think the question about economic development is a great one. Again, going back to the primary problem that we came here to discuss tonight. If the streets are unsafe, if people are afraid to walk out on the street, you're not going to get big businesses moving in to have those good paying jobs to keep young men and women feeling like there's another way except to join a gang. So it's a cycle of a nightmarish cycle without safety.

All of you, thank you very much. Incredible conversation. Up next, FOX News political analyst and Chicago native Gianno Caldwell investigates some of the worst affected areas of the city ravaged by violence. He'll be there. Don't miss it.


INGRAHAM: Welcome back to this "Ingraham Angle" town hall. Chicago's violence is hitting close to home for FOX News political analyst Gianno Caldwell who has watched in dismay as violence increasingly plagues his native city. This week Gianno he went to some of the worst impacted neighborhoods to ask residents how the mayhem is affecting their daily lives. Here's a sample.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right here. Like, what? It go down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you've been shot? How many times have you been shot?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been shot two times bro. Right there, bro, you feel me.


INGRAHAM: Joining us with more is Gianno Caldwell. We're all joined by Vic Maggio who is a citizen journalist who chronicles how violence is affecting these communities. Both of you, it's great to see you.

Gianno, this is obviously near and dear to your heart. You're from here. You're infuriated. I'm not even from here and I'm getting more angry as we've gone on in this town hall. But we have to channel this to answers and solutions. Tell us what you -- if there's one thing that could change in the worst affected neighborhoods to make a real difference, what would it be?

GIANNO CALDWELL, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: First, two things. I want to thank you and coming and bringing the show to Chicago, doing this town hall.


CALDWELL: I know your heart. I know this is something you really care about. This isn't political, so I thank you for that.

INGRAHAM: Thank you.

CALDWELL: The second thing, because we're having conversations about solutions. We need to have an open dialogue. There was a guest in the first block who said that there is a myth about distrust between police and community. That's a false narrative. Certainly Laquan McDonald proves that out in terms of data.

But in terms of this, your question, if there's one thing that can change, it's always going to end up with jobs and opportunity. And as I interviewed a number of residents throughout the city of Chicago, that was one thing that they yelled. There were so many that were married to the life because they had no exposure to anything else. So outside of saying I want jobs and opportunities, there no path to get there. And that's honestly something that needs to be worked on sincerely.

VIC MAGGIO: When I realized how bad the problem was, when I first started going into the streets, I was sitting at a stoplight, and I have a squad car that I drive. And there was a young boy about five years old with his mother sitting underneath one of the bus enclosures. And I waved to the young man, and I started playing with the radio. And when I looked over at the young man he went like this to me. He was five years old. I realized how deep this problem really was.

INGRAHAM: Talk about distrust.

MAGGIO: And the next question I had was, who taught him that?

INGRAHAM: Gianno, that's powerful. And again, it's Laquan McDonald, it's that narrative, and that means it's the whole relationship. That subsumes everything else in what can be actually a really positive and necessary relationship between a community and law enforcement.

CALDWELL: That's true, too. But there has to be honesty I think when we're having these particular dialogues. I think there's so much we can do. And I know you've been advocating for President Trump to come in and do a town hall. We're having it. He does haven't to come here to do the town hall. He can just bring the solutions, sincerely, and that's what we're looking for.

And you need help. We need mental health services. There's so much that's needed in this community. I think Mace (ph) Jackson rightly pointed out that the unemployment rate for African-Americans in the state of Illinois is the highest in the country. That's been the case. If you are an African-American man in the city of Chicago between the ages of 18 and 24, 47 percent of you are unemployed and out of school.

INGRAHAM: In a booming economy.

CALDWELL: In a booming economy. That survey was done a couple years ago. But the numbers I'm sure --

INGRAHAM: The lowest African-American unemployment on record.

CALDWELL: Correct, nationally. But for the state of Illinois it's definitely, and the city of Chicago obviously more African-Americans --

INGRAHAM: Gianno, you found out more in your reporting on the street. What did you find?

CALDWELL: Absolutely. We went into the Austin community, Englewood, we went all across the city of Chicago where the violence is at its highest. And we heard some interesting things from some of the gang members that were in the community perpetrating the violence. Let's watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We ain'ts supposed to be out here doing all this. Street shows up. I was like, you know, run up, get this, get that. I can't keep them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are going to do what they need to do to survive. They're going to rob, sell drugs, do whatever to survive. This is life. You got people who want to change and people who want to stay in the streets. And the people who try to change, it's even harder on them because they ain't used to a legit life. Like me, I'm trying to change but I ain't used to no legit life. This is what I'm used to, selling drugs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If somebody were to give you a job, would you get out of the life?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got jobs and opportunities for you, resources. So if you get a job, if I help you get a job, you would get out of the life? You would no longer be involved in the gangs, 100 percent?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On live national television, you are saying you would get out of the game if you had that opportunity?


CALDWELL: All right, we're going to make it happen.


INGRAHAM: To see those young men, Vic the hope is there. Everyone here tonight could be anywhere. They decided to come and watch this show and chew over some ideas, frustration, solutions. But there's a desire for a better way.

CALDWELL: And he just demonstrated that in the last clip. He said if you help me get a job an opportunity, I'll leave the life. I talked to a dear friend who is in the audience, Charles McKeever. I talked to him about it. He said, listen, I'll hire him. He spoke to him already, so he's already hired, this guy that you just saw in that last piece. So I think that speaks to, if you bring the resources to the door step, a lot of people will take them. But those resources have to be there.

INGRAHAM: But Vic, you have to show up at a job with a sense of yourself. You have to put yourself together. You have to have skills, basic skills that you learn in school or from your parents. That's part of it. You can't just show up and say give me -- you have to show up and want a job and get the proper training to do that. And that's a great sense of fulfillment to get your first pay check, even if it's not as much as you want, if it's taxes and everything else, but to get your first pay check and it's legitimate. That's a great feeling. Who wants to be in a gang? It's not a good life. You'll end up dead, most likely.

MAGGIO: But do you know what built these neighborhoods in Chicago were major corporations.

INGRAHAM: Well, industry.

MAGGIO: They built the structure. And when you go into these neighborhoods today you see vast swaths of land empty, empty. Why this mayor is not incentivizing businesses to come back here so that they can rebuild, give them the proper tools to rebuild these communities, and then everything else will fall around these industries that come into these communities. Property values will go up. What's happened is the industries left and the complete opposite effect --

INGRAHAM: The tax base is gone. The tax base is gone.

MAGGIO: It is a huge thing, the economy in these neighborhoods, they're desolate.

CALDWELL: But it's not just the government solution because there's a deficit of personal responsibility. And I met a man yesterday, Tyrone Muhammad (ph), who has a group, he has 300 ex-cons that he brings in to stop the violence. So we need to take advantage of the opportunities that exist in our community and we need to exercise what we have to stop the violence.

INGRAHAM: A strong righteous man can do a lot to inspire young, dejected, disoriented young men. One righteous man.

CALDWELL: With courage.

INGRAHAM: And I bet you go in there, Gianno, you start talking to these guys, they're like he looks pretty cool. I want to be more like him.

CALDWELL: I came from the same neighborhood of poverty.

INGRAHAM: It doesn't matter. You came and you succeeded because you worked hard. Your nose to the grindstone.

CALDWELL: My grandfather exposed me to different things.

INGRAHAM: A father figures.

CALDWELL: My father exposed me.

MAGGIO: Your individual choice. That's what it comes down to.

CALDWELL: Personal responsibility.

INGRAHAM: Fantastic, thank you, Gianno. Love your piece, great to meet you. Great to see you.

And coming up, it's one of the most horrific acts of Chicago gang violence today. The aunt of Demetrius Griffin joins us to speak about the murder of her 15-year-old nephew after this.


INGRAHAM: We've talked a lot tonight about the causes of and potential solutions to Chicago's violence. But we also want to hear directly from a family member who has been deeply impacted by the mayhem. Even by Chicago standards the death of 15-year-old Demetrius Griffin Jr. is almost beyond comprehension. Demetrius was murdered in September of 2016 and a gang had tried recruiting him. Police say Demetrius was burned alive, his remains discovered in a 55-gallon drum in an alley. That's the kind of evil that society has had to deal with.

Demetrius aunt Rochelle Sykes joins us now. Rochelle, thank you for being here. I know this is so hard. And I know some of Demetrius' friends and the family is here tonight. How is Poly, his mom, doing?

ROCHELLE SYKES, AUNT OF TEEN KILLED BY GANG: Basically, she's distraught. She's basically not functioning. That was her only son. That was my only nephew. He was 15-years-old. There was nothing he could have ever done to anyone that would want someone to do that to him. He was about four-seven in height, about 97 pounds. They burned him alive in a garbage can. He wasn't in a gang. He didn't do drugs. What is it that he could have done so bad that a monster would take his life like that? And then two blocks from his home?

We have to pass that lot every time we visit my mom. I can't go into the house without hearing him saying, titi, I did this, titi, I did that. He was looking so forward to high school. He only did two weeks of high school. He wanted to be on the swim team. He loved dogs. He loved animals. Why would you do that? Why would you burn someone alive? And then why is there such a code of silence that you did not hear him hollering for help, and did nothing?

INGRAHAM: No one saw anything?

SYKES: No one saw anything.

INGRAHAM: No one said they saw anything.


INGRAHAM: No leads in this case at all?

SYKES: No leads.

INGRAHAM: So he's another statistic in the outrageous clearance rate in this city, meaning people not apprehended, not prosecuted, not jailed.

SYKES: No suspects, nothing.

INGRAHAM: My heart breaks for you, for Poly, for all his friends, schoolmates. Again, until -- you can't put yourself in a mother's place who has to go through this in America.

SYKES: Right. And we did fundraising. We're still doing fundraising. We raised $10,000 with the help of leaders as well as Outraged Citizen and some of the people in the area, $10,000. Two years, $10,000. Nothing. Thank you so much. Thank you so much.

INGRAHAM: I'm so sorry.

SYKES: It's just that we have to protect our children. And if we have people that are leading our city not concerned with the protection of our children, then where do we stand as people?

INGRAHAM: You need some new leadership in the city.

SYKES: Yes, we definitely do.

INGRAHAM: And it's not about Democrat, someone who knows how to run this city.

SYKES: Someone who cares. We call the office for 30 days straight. We dialed 311. We called the mayor's office to get some acknowledgement. Superintendents, we reached out for them.

INGRAHAM: Did Mayor Emanuel call you?

SYKES: No, we have not heard from either one of them yet.

INGRAHAM: Is that acceptable to any of you?

SYKES: Not yet have we received --

INGRAHAM: A boy is burned alive and left in a 55-gallon drum and no one from city hall picks up the phone and says, we're going to find who did this. Until we turn over every stone, we're going to find who did this.

SYKES: We got a resolution 16 months later.

INGRAHAM: A resolution, yes, that's helpful.

SYKES: Nothing. Not anything. We did not receive nothing.

INGRAHAM: Your story, as horrific as it is, it's sadly repeated, not the same details, not the same level of suffering, thousands of times. And this has got to stop. Thank you for being here tonight. Thank you for sharing your story.

Final thoughts when we come back.



INGRAHAM: Before we go, we owe a huge thank you to the participants in this town hall and the Chicago community for welcoming us. And we certainly hope that we did something to get us closer to some resolution. Discussions like this are just a start. We need more of them. And we certainly need a lot more trust, a lot more cooperation. And we have to do some self-reflecting along the way. This is not a story that ends for us here.

You can be sure that we will continue to highlight the violence ravaging one of America's great cities, the heroes who are trying to stop it, and the innovators who are coming up with solutions. On behalf of the entire "Ingraham Angle" crew, I'm Laura Ingraham. Good night from Chicago.



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