Chicago, Convulsed by Violence, Confronts Trump’s Twitter ThreatBy JULIE BOSMAN JAN. 25, 2017CHICAGO — President Trump spent part of Tuesday watching television in the White House and firing off a Twitter post aimed at the nation’s third-largest city. “If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible ‘carnage’ going on,” he wrote, “I will send in the Feds!”Chicagoans spent Wednesday debating what to make of it. From some corners of the city, the post from Mr. Trump brought indignation.“He meant locking up more black and brown folks,” said Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, addressing the City Council here on Wednesday morning. “Just like Republicans, just like right-wingers have always done.”Guns flock to those Sides because of the Tragic Dirt, unlike the Magic Dirt on the North Side.
…And there was some confusion. “The statement is so broad,” Eddie Johnson, the police superintendent, told The Chicago Tribune. “I have no idea what he’s talking about.”Whatever Mr. Trump’s intention, his message put the city on the defensive once again for its escalating problem of gun violence, which has been mostly concentrated in neighborhoods on the West and South Sides.
Just this month, 239 people were shot, 40 of them fatally, a police spokesman said Wednesday. In the same period last year, 227 people were shot, 33 fatally. In 2016, there were at least 762 homicides in Chicago, the highest number in two decades, though the per-capita murder rate remains lower than that of some other major cities, including Baltimore and St. Louis.What could possibly be the common denominator among Chicago, St. Louis, and Baltimore that causes their homicide rate to soar post-Ferguson?I mean, besides #BlackLiesMurder?
Mr. Trump’s Twitter post on Tuesday echoed one he made on Jan. 2 about Chicago’s murder rate. “If Mayor can’t do it he must ask for Federal help!” he wrote.The new post landed on the eve of a City Council meeting, where elected officials parsed the president’s statement and his unspecified threat of federal intervention.“If the president of the United States wants to give us money to help with other crime-fighting improvement methods, we truly welcome that, and we embrace that,” said Alderman Howard Brookins Jr., whose district is on the South Side. “We ask him to send that money tomorrow.” …Chicago, obviously, has been completely deprived of federal sympathy and funds for the last eight years because the only Chicagoan in the previous Administration was Arne Duncan.And Rahm Emanuel.And William Daley.And Valerie Jarrett.And Barack Obama.
Earlier this month, in the final days of Barack Obama’s presidency, the Justice Department concluded a sweeping 13-month investigation of the city’s police practices. Its report described a police department whose officers routinely trampled on the civil rights of Chicago residents, especially Latinos and African-Americans.As opposed to them getting murdered by their fellow Chicago civilians, which is, evidently, a big improvement.
Many officers use excessive force when making arrests or confronting suspects, the report said, and those actions are rarely punished or investigated further by superiors. City officials said they welcomed the report and would pursue a consent decree, even under the Trump administration.What could Trump possibly be thinking of when he refers to sending the Feds to Chicago? It’s not as if there have ever been any television shows or movies about honest federal agents fighting crime in corrupt Chicago …[Comment at Unz.com]