President Trump issued a threat through Twitter that he would “send in the feds” if Chicago cannot reduce its violent crime rate Tuesday night.
If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible “carnage” going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2017
The tweet came a day after the city’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel made statements critical of the president for emphasizing the size of the crowd attending his inauguration ceremony last week. Emanuel is a longtime ally of former President Barack Obama and once served in his administration.
“There’s a lot the federal government can do,” Emanuel said according to the Chicago Tribune, citing gun control, use of federal resources to track illegal guns and federal prosecutions. “And also, fundamentally, in my view, also help fund additional police officers.
“Over the years the federal government’s stepped back their resources, which we have stepped up. The federal government can be a partner, and to be honest they haven’t been for decades.”
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson responded late Tuesday, saying: “The Chicago Police Department is more than willing to work with the federal government to build on our partnerships with DOJ (Department of Justice), FBI, DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) and boost federal prosecution rates for gun crimes in Chicago.”
But civil rights activists have balked at the notion of Trump’s suggestion.
We need a plan, not a threat. We need jobs, not jails. #Chicago
— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) January 25, 2017
Last week the Justice Department released a report on problems between the police and the community in Chicago, citing poor training and heavy handed tactics which resulted in widespread abuses and even deaths like that of LaQuan McDonald. Emanuel agreed to a consent decree on executing reforms.
But the message to Chicago is not new. Trump made “law and order” a part of his campaign platform and even changed part of the language on the White House website to focus on how police would be kept safe.
“The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong, reads WhiteHouse.gov, seemingly making a veiled threat to Black Lives Matter and other social justice movements. “The Trump Administration will end it.”
With Associated Press