Source: CBS 2 Chicago
Ohio Pastor Claims Chicago Gangs Want To Work With Trump To Fight Crime
The founder and pastor of a megachurch in Ohio told President Donald Trump he has spoken to gang leaders in Chicago who want to work with the White House to reduce violent crime.
Dr. Darrell Scott, senior pastor of New Revival Center in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, was a guest of Trump’s at an African-American History Month meeting at the White House. He said he is a “black Trump supporter,” and claimed he was “contacted by some of the top gang thugs in Chicago for a sit-down.”
Taking a swipe at former President Obama, who began his political career as a community organizer in Chicago, Scott said the gangs “want to work with the administration … they believe in this administration; they didn’t believe in the prior administration. They told me this outta their mouths.”
“They reached out to me, because they’re associating me with you. They respect you. They believe in what you’re doing, and they want to have a sit-down about lowering that body count. So in a couple weeks, I’m going into Chicago,” Scott said. “I said we’ve got to lower that body count. We don’t want to talk about anything else; get that body count down, and they agreed that the principals that can do it – these are guys straight from the streets, no politicians, straight street guys – but they’re going to commit that if they lower that body count, we’ll come in and we’ll do some social programs.”
Trump said, “I think that’s a great idea, because Chicago is totally out of control.”
“If they’re not going to solve the problem — and what you’re doing is the right thing — then we’re going to solve the problem for them, because we’re going to have to do something about Chicago, because what’s happening in Chicago should not be happening in this country,” Trump added.
Chicago had more than 760 murders in 2016, the highest number in 19 years. The first month of 2017 saw that trend continue, with 51 homicides in January, one more than January 2016.
Scott said the gang members who reached out to him want to work with Trump.
“They see hope with you,” he said.
Trump said, “I think that’s great.”
Last week, Trump threatened in a Tweet that he would “send in the feds” if Chicago couldn’t get a grip on its violent crime issues.
Scott’s comments prompted an angry response from community activist Jedidiah Brown, who has taken part in anti-Trump protests, but also has been a frequent critic of the Chicago Police Department and the Emanuel administration. In a series of Tweets on Wednesday, he accused Scott of exaggerating his claims about speaking to top gang members in Chicago.
Brown said the people Scott spoke to are “no longer in streets” and don’t have any control over gangs that would allow them to decrease violent crime in Chicago.