President Donald Trump has strategically used the gun violence on Chicago’s South and West sides as a means to convince the public that urban areas are home to “carnage” and practically begging for more policing. Last night, he continued to push this narrative as he tweeted that he’d “send in the Feds!” if the city doesn’t do something.
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
Trump claims that there have already been 228 shootings and 42 killings, but the Chicago Police Department reports there were actually 38 homicides and 182 shooting incidents. While these numbers are still horrifying, it shows that the president continues to release “alternative facts” to support his own agenda.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is reportedly open to more federal involvement, according to CNN. He’s actually listed out areas in which he thinks the city could benefit from it.
“Over the years the federal government’s stepped back their resources, which we have stepped up,” Emanuel told WTTW’s Chicago Tonight. “The federal government can be a partner, and to be honest they haven’t been for decades.”
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has even gone as far as to call Trump’s bluff about having a magic cure-all for Chicago’s gun problems in the past. But he did say he’s open to cooperating with federal authorities.
While President Trump clearly has a personal stake in Chicago’s violence, it should be noted that he’s gone on the record in support of the second amendment. Which means that instead of cutting off the stream of accessible guns in the area, he’d rather introduce racist stop-and-frisk practices.
“A policy like stop-and-frisk could save thousands of lives in a city like Chicago, just like it saved thousands of lives in New York. Overwhelmingly, this will save African-American and Hispanic lives — citizens who are entitled to the same protections as every American,” Trump said at a September rally.
Trump’s history with Chicago is a complicated one. Just last year, he came into the city for a campaign rally that was cut short because of the presence of passionate protestors who weren’t in support of his message.
This past weekend, Chicago had one of the largest gatherings in the world as part of the Women’s March, which doubled as an anti-Trump protest.