President Donald Trump tweeted last night about Chicago’s violence, saying he will “send in the Feds!” if the city “doesn’t fix the horrible ‘carnage’ going on.” The Chicago Tribune reports that the tweet refers to a line in his inaugural address about “the crime, and the gangs, and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.” The tweet cited numbers — “228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016)” from Tribune data used in a story Monday about violence in the city so far this year. As of last night, there had been at least 247 people shot in Chicago, with at least 44 people killed.
Police statistics are lower because they do not include shootings on expressways, police-involved shootings, homicides in which a person was killed in self-defense, or pending death investigations. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said federal agencies including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives already help the city, but more could be done. “There’s a lot the federal government can do,” Emanuel said, 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.” In August, candidate Trump said “very top police” in Chicago had told him the city’s crime problem could be stopped in a week with tougher tactics.