CHICAGO (CBS) — President Trump, speaking at a FBI Academy graduation ceremony on Friday, reissued his blistering attack on Chicago’s gun violence.
“What the hell is happening in Chicago?” asked Trump, saying that one person is shot every three hours in the city. The president said somebody is shot in Chicago, on average, every three hours.
Also Friday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department will be adding three new assistant U.S. attorneys to help prosecute violent crime. Sessions also said he would ask for more money from Congress to boloster the department’s Project Safe Neighborhood initiative nationwide.
According to the Chicago Police Department there have been 2,702 shootings in 2017 (as of Thursday.) There were 3,411 shootings in 2016 and 2,317 in 2015. For a shooting to occur, on average, every three hours, Chicago would need to have 2,920 shootings.
According to an Associated Press reporter, some in the crowd laughed.
Trump has issued similar attacks on Chicago’s ongoing gang violence, both during the his campaign and also since he entered the White House.
Around the time Trump was speaking, Police Supt. Eddie Johnson was defending the department and the city as he touted significant changes at CPD this year. The superintendent said a lot of the criticism of the city’s gun violence is unwarranted.
“I don’t like the fact that our cops are getting poked at and this city is getting poked at, because a lot of that narrative as incorrect,” he said.
Johnson noted that, while some critics have called Chicago the murder capital of the U.S., because in recent years it has had the largest number of murders of any city, many smaller cities have a larger murder rate per capita.
“When you look at crime per capita, Chicago isn’t at the top of the list,” he said. “But you look at our reduction numbers; we have 21 percent reduction in shootings this year, 14-15 percent reduction in murders. That’s progress. It’s not success, but we are tamping it down, and if we build on that and get the same reductions in 2018, we’ll be looking pretty good.”
“I’m hoping to appeal to the U.N. to actually come to Chicago and meet with victims of violence, and maybe even possibly help out in terms of peacekeeping efforts, because I think it’s so critical for us to make sure that these neighborhoods are safe,” Richard Boykin said at O’Hare International Airport on Thursday.
“Listen, I appreciate the commissioner’s energy, but I think that first of all the U.N. has no jurisdiction in Chicago, none. I think that that energy will be better spent building bridges and relationships in the city; and with our local partners, state partners, and federal partners here to address violence,” Johnson said.
Just this past weekend, five people were killed and 14 others wounded in shootings.