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Garcia Campaign Blasts Photo Of Gang Leaders As Smear Tactic

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A photograph showing mayoral candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia with two purported gang leaders, according to his campaign, is nothing more than a smear attempt by his opponents.

The photo shows two men on either side of Garcia, their arms around his shoulders. The Chicago Crime Commission has identified them as leaders of the Latin Kings, both in their 50s.

According to the town of Cicero, both gang members were working on a political campaign there in 2012, and were arrested for harassment.

The Garcia campaign said the photo was taken at a campaign event at which a lot of people posed for photos with the candidate.

The campaign said Garcia, a Cook County commissioner, was unaware of any alleged gang ties the men might have, and said Garcia has spent his life organizing to stem gang violence, calling any claims the photo shows he is a gang supporter are nothing more than a cynical attempt by his political opponents to smear the commissioner, and play to the fears of voters.

Garcia's campaign said voters won't fall for such tactics.

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