(CBS) — President Donald Trump warned Tuesday he would send in “the Feds” if the city of Chicago cannot reverse its recent surge in violence, but local police challenged his statistics.
“If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible ‘carnage’ going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!” Trump said on his Twitter account Tuesday evening.
He did not follow up that tweet with additional information.
According to Chicago Police, as of Tuesday evening, so far in 2017 there have been 182 shootings in Chicago and 38 killings, up from 33 this time last year. The number of shootings was the same, police said.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, appearing earlier Tuesday evening on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight,” said he welcomes help from the federal government to combat crime. So does his police superintendent, Eddie Johnson.
“The Chicago Police Department is more than willing to work with the federal government to build on our partnerships with DOJ, FBI, DEA and ATF and boost federal prosecution rates for gun crimes in Chicago,” Johnson said through a spokesperson.
Republican Trump threw jabs at Chicago during the presidential campaign, saying the violence-plagued city is an example of failed urban policies. The city is run by Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has defied Trump on immigration issues.
The White House website made a critical reference to Chicago on Friday, as Trump took the oath of office to become the nation’s 45th president.
Civil-rights icon Rev. Jesse Jackson Jr. and activist Chicago priest Michael Pfleger took to social media Tuesday evening to push back on Trump’s tweet.