Ahead of what is historically a violent holiday weekend, President Donald Trump once again put the city of Chicago in his social media crosshairs.
“Chicago Police have every right to legally protest against the mayor and an administration that just won’t let them do their job,” Trump tweeted Friday afternoon. “The killings are at a record pace and tough police work, which Chicago will not allow, would bring things back to order fast...the killings must stop!”
The police union spent the early morning Wednesday setting up transportation to bring officers to City Hall by the busload because they believe the mayor has turned his back on police, NBC 5 reported.
Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi offered a succinct response to the president's tweet.
“Twenty-one percent reduction in shootings this year and 28 percent reductions in shootings last year,” he said in an email, apparently refuting the president’s continued characterization of Chicago as a lawless warzone.
Adam Collins, communications director for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, also cited those numbers--but with some additional color.
"As POTUS flails from Asia to the Middle East and puts allies on edge, he still has time to get it wrong on Chicago and police reform," he tweeted. "Chicago is a Trump-free zone, not a fact-free zone, and we had a 21 percent drop in gun violence in 2017 and a 21 percent drop in 2018. Have a nice weekend!"
The city’s police force cast a wide net ahead of the Memorial Day holiday weekend in a series of raids that aimed at stemming bloodshed by targeting gang-affiliated suspects, it announced Friday.
The police say dozens of people were arrested in a joint operation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Thursday morning.
Seventy-one people were arrested and have been charged with crimes ranging from weapons violations to prostitution and drugs, police said.
An extra 1,000 cops are deployed for the weekend, many along the city’s lakefront and beaches, in a show of force aimed at deterring violent crimes.
At least six people were killed and more than 40 wounded in shootings across the city last year during Memorial Day weekend.