Kirk, Rush tour violence-plagued Englewood - KMSP-TV

Kirk, Rush tour violence-plagued Englewood

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Sen. Mark Kirk, Rep. Bobby Rush. Sen. Mark Kirk, Rep. Bobby Rush.
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk joined Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush in a tour of a Chicago neighborhood plagued by street gang violence.

Thursday's tour is a result of harsh criticism the Republican senator received earlier this year when he called for the arrest of up to 18,000 Gangster Disciple members.

Rush, a Chicago Democrat, dismissed Kirk's proposal as a simplistic "white boy" solution to a complex problem.

Rush's office said the pair toured the Englewood community as part of an effort to address urban violence and spur economic growth in the area.

In a joint statement, Kirk and Rush say they will work together to solve Chicago's crime problem.

"Chicago has a serious violence problem and we are united in our efforts to solve it. While we may not agree on every idea, we both know that any law enforcement strategy needs effective community-based programs and economic growth plans to succeed. We are united in our efforts to save lives and stop the violence, and we will continue to work together until we succeed," the statement read.

Earlier this month, Kirk said he went on a ride-along with police through Chicago's South Side as part of his pledge to more fully understand the link between gangs and violence.

"I feel like it is actually a great idea, but I know for a fact that the violence is not going to stop because everybody is at war with everybody," one Englewood resident told FOX 32 news.

Other residents thought the well-intended tour would be a helpful first step, but it can't stop there if the pair expects a successful strategy to come of their meeting.

The tour is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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