U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk repudiates his mass arrest idea

July 19, 2013

(Photo courtesy of Senator Mark Kirk)
Sen. Mark Kirk in Washington speaking about funding against gang violence.

Illinois U.S. Sen. Kirk made headlines at the end of May when he proposed arresting 18,000 members of the gangster disciples.

Representative Bobby Rush responded by telling the Chicago Sun-Times Kirk’s idea was "headline grabbing" and an "upper-middle-class, elitist white boy solution to a problem he knows nothing about."

In the wake of the heated exchange of words, Kirk and Rush met and Kirk has pulled away from his anti-gang proposal.

“Bobby Rush has been somewhat correct in his criticism of me that a mass arrest all at once is not actually that practical,” Kirk said Thursday in an interview with WBEZ.

Kirk says his proposal was a reaction to the outrage he experienced due to the death of Hadiya Pendleton, the young woman who was shot and killed shortly after participating in Presidential inauguration festivities in Washington, D.C.

Kirk says he’s still focused on whittling away at the Gangster Disciples gang and is pushing for $500 million in extra federal spending on law enforcement.