“Afghanistan is not like what’s happening in Chicago.”
President Donald Trump repeated a threat that he would “send in the feds” if law-enforcement officials in the nation’s third-largest city fail to reduce the crime rate.
During an interview with ABC News’ David Muir on Wednesday night, Trump asserted that “carnage” in Chicago is getting out of hand.
“People are being shot left and right, thousands of people over a short period of time,” the president said. “This year, which has just started, is worse than last year which was a catastrophe.”
Trump has previously urged Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to seek US help if the city fails to reduce its homicide rate. January could become a record-setting month for shootings and homicides in the city.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson issued this response to a tweet on Chicago violence that was sent from Trump’s personal account one night earlier: “The Chicago Police Department is more than willing to work with the federal government to build on our relationships with DOJ, FBI, DEA and ATF and boost federal prosecution rates for gun crimes in Chicago.”
Trump continued during his ABC News interview on Wednesday: “If [Chicago] wants help, I would love to help them. I will send in what we have to send in.”
During and after the presidential election, Trump often labelled urban cities like Chicago as the centres of crime and violence, while touting his intentions to usher in an era of “law and order.”
Civil rights groups have interpreted Trump’s rhetoric on the matter as a call for increased policing in large urban centres. The same groups insist that such areas are already over-policed. Some advocates have pointed to the record numbers of black citizens who have been killed during police encounters as evidence of that.
During his ABC News interview Wednesday night, Trump also suggested that reducing crime in Chicago could include methods that are less “politically correct,” a suggestion that civil-rights advocates have interpreted as a call for more heavy-handed policing.
Watch a portion of Trump’s ABC News interview below:
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