Civil rights activist and regular MSNBC pundit the Rev. Al Sharpton announced over the weekend that he plans to move temporarily to Chicago later this year to personally address and turn a national spotlight on gun violence in the city.
According to WGN, Sharpton announced his plan while discussing a new youth mentoring program in Chicago.
Sharpton said he will return to the city in September and rent an apartment. He plans to work closely with the Rev. Ira Acree of Greater St. John Bible Church, where he spoke Sunday, as well as with other community leaders, according to Fox Chicago.
Sharpton told the Associated Press the idea somewhat mirrors what Martin Luther King Jr. did in the mid-1960s, when the iconic civil rights leader rented an apartment in Chicago.
“We don’t have all the answers, but we need to raise all the questions publicly and consistently,” Sharpton told the AP. “Consistent attention forces a consistent change.”
Though homicides and shootings in Chicago are down after surging last year to a height that garnered widespread national media attention, some critics have questioned whether the city's anti-violence policing strategies -- including relying on police to work overtime in 20 of the city's most violence-plagued neighborhoods -- will be sustainable as the year goes on into the hot summer.