But the mayor wasn't in Chicago. He was in Washington raising political cash and planned to grab some more national media face time in the New Jersey Senate campaign of Democrat Cory Booker.
So with blood on the streets of Chicago, and that 3-year-old shot in the face, Emanuel wasn't in town to hold the news conference. Instead, police Superintendent Garry McCarthy held the news conference, spinning the news by demanding the feds do more.
"Illegal guns, illegal guns, illegal guns drive violence," McCarthy said. "A military-grade weapon on the streets of Chicago is simply unacceptable."
It sounds good, but the problem is that the cops aren't buying it, especially the cops in Englewood and other war zones. They're exhausted. They need more officers, but the city says it doesn't have the money to hire them.
I asked a respected veteran cop what he'd do about the gang wars. He said this:
Increase hiring, bring back the citywide units, like the mobile strike force, to overwhelm the gangs. And demand that judges and prosecutors lock up the thugs, and demand that the state prisons don't release the thugs early.
The mantra of Emanuel and McCarthy has been to criticize the people in the neighborhoods for not cooperating with the cops. But the people know the truth of things. The bad guys get out early. And when they're lectured by politicians, they become even more resentful.
They want to feel safe on their streets and in their parks. They don't need promises of a gourmet food store. And they don't much care how the mayor does on Letterman or how great he'll do in the Robert Redford documentary about how hard he works.
Emanuel is a skilled and often-brilliant political street fighter. Yet he thinks like an operative. Too often, he acts as his own chief of staff. He acts as his own press secretary.
And he doesn't have people around him who can tell him, "No."
Every mayor needs people who can say "no" to him. Even Richard M. Daley had that. And when Daley lost the people who said "no," Daley began to lose it.
With the gang wars raging and Chicago murders in national headlines, with the schools on shaky ground, with his re-election approaching, Mayor Rahmfather might want to ask himself some more questions:
Where is Chicago going? And what is he going to do about it?