CHICAGO (CBS) — Police Supt. Eddie Johnson has not considered inviting President Donald Trump to take a first-hand look at how Chicago police officers do their jobs, but he said he’d “invite anyone that wants to come here and see what Chicago is doing.”
Trump repeatedly has blasted Chicago’s violent crime problems, calling the city “out of control,” rankling Johnson and other city officials.
During a luncheon at the City Club of Chicago on Thursday, the superintendent was asked if he has considered inviting the president for a ride along with Chicago police officers, without his Secret Service escort, “to see the real news that you spoke about, and not the president’s ‘fake news.'”
“That is a great question,” Johnson said.
The usually gregarious police veteran chose his words carefully.
“No, I have not considered that,” he said.
Johnson admitted he’s weary of the false impressions many people have about crime in Chicago.
“When I get off the plane and walk through airports, people say to me, ‘Wow. How do you all survive up there?’ And that really chips me, because it’s a false narrative that the entire city is on fire. That’s just not true. You know, we have pockets in the city where we have violence challenges. So I wish that people would come here to actually see what we’ve done,” he said. “I’ll invite anyone that wants to come here and see what Chicago is doing. I’ll invite anyone to come and take a look at it.”
The superintendent noted that 700 fewer people have been shot this year compared to 2016.
“That’s huge. It really is. It’s not success, but it’s progress. So I think that we have to do a better job of just pushing that narrative out there, that we are seeing progress and gains in the city, in terms of violence reduction,” Johnson said.