Chicago Police

Trump Again Points to Chicago Crime in Discussing Police Reform

President Trump Holds A Press Conference At The White House
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President Donald Trump pointed to the Chicago Police Department's murder clearance rate in discussing police reform Tuesday.

"Every day, police officers make great sacrifices to keep our community secure and safe," Trump said, speaking before signing an executive order on police reform measures as protests continue following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month.

"In 2018, our police arrested nearly 12,000 people for murder, 25,000 people for rape and nearly 1.5 million for assault. Very dangerous criminals. In many cases, local law enforcement is underfunded, understaffed and undersupported," he continued.

"47% of all murders in Chicago and 68% of all murders in Baltimore went without arrests last year. Americans want law and order. They demand law and order," Trump added.

The Chicago Police Department confirmed in a statement Tuesday that its murder clearance rate for 2019 stood at 53%.

Data released by Chicago police at the end of 2019 showed 419 people were killed over the course of the year, a 13% reduction from the 567 who were murdered the year prior. That marked the third consecutive year the city saw a drop in homicides and violent crime, according to police.

Trump has a long history of disparaging Chicago and its violence, most recently doing so in a speech at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference held in Chicago last October.

In that speech, Trump repeated a story he's often told about a conversation he claimed to have had with an unnamed police officer in Chicago who said he could "fix this killing problem" in one day - a story CPD has refuted multiple times since he first told it as a candidate in 2016.

The order Trump signed Tuesday will establish a database that tracks officers with excessive use of force complaints in their records and will give police departments a financial incentive to adopt best practices and encourage programs in which social workers to join police in responding to nonviolent calls, among other reforms.

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