CHICAGO (CBS) — As President Donald Trump faces criticism for mixing up Toledo and Dayton when addressing this past weekend’s mass shootings in Ohio and Texas, daughter Ivanka Trump took to Twitter to put the spotlight on gun violence in Chicago but got the facts wrong in the process.
“As we grieve over the evil mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, let us not overlook that Chicago experienced its deadliest weekend of the year,” she tweeted Tuesday morning. “With 7 dead and 52 wounded near a playground in the Windy City- and little national outrage or media coverage- we mustn’t become numb to the violence faced by inner city communities every day.”
With 7 dead and 52 wounded near a playground in the Windy City- and little national outrage or media coverage- we mustn’t become numb to the violence faced by inner city communities every day.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) August 6, 2019
The problem is her tweets contained a couple key mistakes, which Mayor Lightfoot noted in a news conference.
To begin with, this past weekend was not the deadliest weekend of the year in Chicago, as Ivanka Trump claimed. On the first weekend of June, eight people were shot and killed, and two more people were killed in stabbings. Eight people also were shot and killed the last weekend of July.
.@IvankaTrump: Your tweet implies that Chicago's weekend violence took place in one shooting. That's not true. The shooting near the playground happened at 1:20 a.m. We went to the neighborhood, here's what we learned: https://t.co/wLzG1b9aGd https://t.co/O2UBrRCEON
— CBS Chicago (@cbschicago) August 6, 2019
More importantly, Trump’s tweets suggested all of the shootings in Chicago over the weekend happened in one place, “near a playground.” That’s not even close to being true.
While there was one shooting where seven people were wounded in an attack near a playground in Douglas Park, that was only one of several shootings in many neighborhoods of the city, and no one died in that particular shooting. In addition, the shooting happened around 1:20 a.m., when it’s extremely unlikely any children would be on the playground. Residents say children often are told to stay inside, regardless.
When CBS 2’s Jim Williams went to the neighorhood this week, Donna Blizzard, who has lived there for 55 years, said, “Your kids can’t come outside and play. I’ve got grandkids. I don’t even let my kids out here.”
In all, there were at least 29 shooting incidents in Chicago from Friday afternoon through early Monday morning, none of which included more than one fatality.
And while the gun violence in Chicago certainly might have been overshadowed by the two mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso, Chicago’s crime problems have hardly gone overlooked, particularly by the Trump administration.
President Trump himself repeatedly has made Chicago the poster child for out of control crime and has claimed a mystery police officer told him he could solve the problem in a matter of days if he was given the authority.
The president’s story about the mystery cop began on the campaign trail in 2016 when he told Bill O’Reilly of Fox News the officer claimed it would take only a week to end violent crime in Chicago.
President Trump’s unsubstantiated claims about the mystery officer have continued as he’s blamed the city’s crime on “bad management.”
Six months after taking office, Trump claimed an officer on a motorcycle detail in Chicago told him the problem could be straightened out in “a couple of days.” Later the same year, he claimed the officer told him, “If they let us do our job, we can stop it immediately.”
The president and his aides have repeatedly declined to identify the officer in his story, and the Chicago Police Department repeatedly has said it has been unable to identify any officer who had a conversation with the president about solving crime.