President Donald Trump tweeted Friday afternoon to throw his support behind Chicago police officers who protested against Mayor Rahm Emanuel this week, saying he has turned his back on law enforcement.
“Chicago Police have every right to legally protest against the mayor and an administration that just won’t let them do their job,” Trump wrote. “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!”
Emanuel spokesman Adam Collins slapped back at the president with a tweet of his own: “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. Chicago is a Trump-free zone, not a fact-free zone, and we had a 21% drop in gun violence in 2017 and a 21% drop in 2018. Have a nice weekend!”
About 200 Fraternal Order of Police members marched outside City Hall on Wednesday, blasting Emanuel and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability over what they see as unfair rulings that have left them uncertain about when they are allowed to use deadly force.
They also slammed the mayor for the ongoing consent decree negotiations that would could give a federal judge power to enforce police reforms recommended by the Obama Administration’s Justice Department.
“We 100 percent agree with that statement and appreciate the president’s support,” said Martin Preib, second vice president of the FOP. “The police would like to be able to do their jobs.”
Trump sent out the tweet about an hour after the City Council voted to approve a funding appropriation for a new $95 million police and fire training academy in West Garfield Park — a project that has drawn criticism from community groups and Chance the Rapper as an example of the mayor’s misplaced priorities.
The mayor has maintained the the academy will serve the entire city, spur economic development on the West Side and help “execute” the Obama Justice Department report, which Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration declined to pursue.
Since his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump has used Chicago and Emanuel as political punching bags over the city’s staggering yearly homicide numbers, as well as its sanctuary city status.
Soon after taking the oath of office, Trump took to Twitter to decry the “horrible carnage” of Chicago shootings, vowing to “send in the feds.” Twenty new ATF agents were assigned to Chicago last summer, but city officials were quick to note that a decrease in 2017 shooting statistics “happened without any of the new resources from the federal government we requested.”