In January, President Trump tweeted that he would “send in the feds” if Chicago did not reduce its “carnage.” Trump has continued to raise the issue in his first months in office. “We’re just an example of what he sees are just the numbers,” said Jeff Mayes of the Chicago Sun-Times Homicide Watch at a forum sponsored by the Columbia Journalism Review and the Chicago Reporter, the journalism review reports. “I don’t think he has any idea of what’s really happening in the city as to the cause of this violence. The problems are much deeper rooted than just people running around the city shooting. There’s reason those people are out there shooting. There’s reasons people are getting shot.” Last year, 764 people were killed in Chicago, up from 485 in 2015.
Chicago Tribune columnist Dahleen Glanton said Trump hasn’t offered a solution. “My mission has been … to make people aware of the fact that he’s not offering any real help,” she said. “People have opened the door to him. He doesn’t want to talk about services.” Reporter Chip Mitchell of WBEZ said the underlying causes of the violence need to be addressed. They “have to do with poverty and segregation and joblessness, especially among young men, especially among those young African-American men. I don’t see any signs that’s what [Trump] has in mind. It could be also that he doesn’t have anything in mind. He’s appealing to a political base … Maybe that’s the only thing going on here.” Glanton said the Tribune tries to balance daily stories tallying the city’s homicides with more reflective pieces. “The reason we do those daily stories about the numbers is because that’s what people want to read, and they get a lot of clicks. But we have a responsibility to go behind those numbers, and that’s what I try to do.”