CHICAGO — As bloody as, 2017 is starting out even worse.
Two-hundred-twenty-eight people have been shot so far in January, up from 216 a year ago. Fourty-two of them were homicides, while 34 were a year ago.
“I’m very concerned. I’m very upset about it,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.
And so too, apparently, is the president, who tweeted Tuesday night that “if Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible ‘carnage’ going on… I will send in the feds!”
The tweet came a day after Emanuel had criticized the new president’s priorities.
“This is unsolicited advice. You didn’t get elected to debate crowd size of your inaugural,” Emanuel had said.
That left people here wondering whether the mayor had provoked Mr. Trump’s threatening tweet, or whether the president was actually signaling potential executive action, even martial law.
“If he’s talking federal troops, we don’t want that in Chicago,” said Alderman Pat Dowell.
What Chicago needs, she says, are federal funds for redevelopment, education and job training.
“More jobs, not jails,” she said.
At the White House, press secretary Sean Spicer said the president was talking about more than money.
“There’s other aid that can be extended as well, either through U.S. attorney’s office or other means that will ensure that the people of Chicago can feel safe,” Spicer said.
The federal government already has a large law enforcement presence in Chicago. More violent crime-fighting manpower is something the city and the police would welcome.
Spicer also indicated the president wants to start a dialogue with the city to chart a path forward. He added “I think what the president is upset about is turning on the television and watching Americans get killed by shootings.”
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