Mayor Rahm Emanuel is blaming his city's murder rate on what he calls "the chilling effects of high-profile protests against police brutality and officers' fear of cell phone videos of their actions going viral," according to CNN.
"We have allowed our police department to get fetal and it is having a direct consequence," Emanuel said last week at a meeting of the nation's top law-enforcement officers and elected officials, the Washington Post reported. "They have pulled back from the ability to interdict … they don't want to be a news story themselves, they don't want their career ended early, and it's having an impact."
Emanuel became the latest in a string of leaders who claim that law-enforcement officers are under siege as protests over police violence have resulted in a "torrent of anti-police rhetoric and a string of deadly attacks against officers," fueling crime in many American cities, the report says.
The protests come in the aftermath of high-profile police-involved killings of unarmed black men and women in cities across the nation, including Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York City, whose death was recorded on a cellphone video that went viral.
Still, Emanuel's claim fails to address crime numbers in Chicago, which in 2012 was dubbed the "murder capital" of the U.S., a label that came long before protests erupted over police violence.
Further, FBI 2014 statistics released last month showed that Chicago had 411 killings, more than New York City's 333 murders and Los Angeles' 260 murders, the report says. Chicago has a smaller population than both of those cities.