Donald Trump just showed how little he actually cares about Chicago

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On Tuesday, Donald Trump tweeted that he would "send in the Feds" if the violent crime rate in Chicago isn't "fixed."


Trump's tweet appears to have been prompted by a segment on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor which cited those crime statistics and referred to the situation as "carnage." Yes, that's right: the president of the United States is contemplating crafting interventionist federal policy based off of Bill O'Reilly segments.

What's more, The Washington Post reports that the numbers Trump (and O'Reilly) cited don't actually match up with official police statistics, because they appear to be taken instead from a tally put together by the Chicago Tribune:

The newspaper's tally differs from the official Chicago Police Department statistics, because the Tribune includes other killings such as justifiable homicides and shootings on the expressway that the police do not include.

According to a police department spokesman, there have been 38 killings through Tuesday night, up from 33 at the same point last year. Shootings were even, with 182 shootings through this date both years.

Throughout the 2016 election, Trump cited Chicago repeatedly as part of his tough-on-crime campaigning. He's said that he thinks tactics like "stop and frisk" should be used to "save thousands of lives in a city like Chicago, just like it saved thousands of lives in New York." (That point about New York is not actually true, by the way, and the city's use of the tactic was ruled unconstitutional by a judge in 2013.)

"Overwhelmingly, this will save African-American and Hispanic lives–citizens who are entitled to the same protections as every American," Trump said in September at a Florida campaign rally.


What doesn't appear to concern Trump, or his Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions, is the Department of Justice report about Chicago police that was released days before Trump took office. (In fact, Trump has previously said he wants Chicago cops to be "tougher.")

The damning report found widespread civil rights abuses and police brutality in the city (with use of force 10 times more likely to be used against black people than white people). It also found 30,000 complaints about police misconduct over five years. Fewer than 2% of those cases resulted in repercussions for officers involved.


Sessions is a noted critic of the federal consent decrees that cities often enter into after such reports are released. Apparently, that is not the sort of federal intervention the Trump administration wants to see.