Trump Boasts He Could Stop Chicago Violence 'In One Week'
By Gwendolyn Purdom in News on Aug 23, 2016 3:27PM
Nevermind the deeply-rooted structural barriers to socioeconomic change, the long history of police mistrust or the lingering effects of institutionally-segregated urban planning: according to Donald Trump, Chicago's epidemic of violence is an easy fix. The Republican presidential nominee didn't actually give any specifics on how he would solve the complex issue that's affected thousands of Chicagoans—at least 2,000 people have been shot in our city so far this year—when he told Bill O'Reilly on O'Reilly's Monday night show, essentially, that he knows a guy.
"I know police in Chicago," Trump said on the show. "If they were given the authority to do it, they would get it done."
When O'Reilly pushed for specifics, Trump went on to say that when he was in Chicago once he met some "very top police" who assured him they could stop the violence in one week. "And I believed him 100 percent," Trump said. "Tough police tactics," (though he didn't explain what he meant by that exactly), Trump said, would get the job done. When O'Reilly countered that a police officer doesn't have the authority to just beat people up and arrest them without cause, Trump doubled down.
"I could see by the way [this unspecified 'top cop'] was dealing with his people, he was a rough, tough guy. They respected him greatly," he said. "I said, 'How do you think you do it?' He said, 'Mr. Trump, within one week, we could stop much of this horror show that's going on.'"
In this exchange, O'Reilly tries gamely to get specifics out of Trump in how he'd lower inner city crime. pic.twitter.com/7XafQnuy7Y— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) August 23, 2016
This isn't the first time Trump's weighed in on Chicago's struggles. Last month, he Tweeted with his signature eloquence that what is going on in the city is "not good." When Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was pressed on CNN Monday night as to why Trump isn't doing more to connect with minority communities, Lewandowski cited Trump's history with Chicago as well.
Lewandowski said Trump doesn't reach out to those communities because they are not "safe environments for him":
“Look, that is a black community. He went to the heart of Chicago to give a speech to the University of Chicago (Editor's note: It was actually the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, and Trump cancelled the rally before he showed up.) in a campus that is predominately African-American to make that argument. And you know what happened? The campus was overrun and it was not a safe environment.”
Perhaps because Trump both doesn't feel safe in our city and seems to think he's got Chicago's issues under control (or just about, once he sets his aforementioned magic cop friend free to do as he pleases), he didn't think his VP would need to visit either? According to the Tribune, vice presidential nominee Mike Pence has cancelled a scheduled Tuesday night campaign dinner in Chicago. No reason was given for the change of plans.