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What Donald Trump Got Wrong (Again) About Chicago Violence

By Stephen Gossett in News on Sep 27, 2016 2:47PM

Donald Trump's presidential temperament / Getty Images / Photo: Win McNamee

If you happen to see Donald Trump, can you please pass him some Imodium? Because the guy just can’t seem to stop shitting on Chicago.

Monday night’s presidential debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton was rife with memorable moments: Trump lying about his global-warming hoax claim, Clinton’s back-half dig at her rival’s misogyny, Trump turning from orange to red as he ironically defended his temperament. There was also Trump’s familiar use of Chicago as a case study for greater “law and order” (he doubled down on stop and frisk) when asked about race relations by moderator Lester Holt.


"These are people that are bad people that shouldn't be—when you have 3,000 shootings in Chicago from January 1st, when you have 4,000 people killed in Chicago by guns, from the beginning of the presidency of Barack Obama, his hometown, you have to have stop-and-frisk"

Trump’s shooting figures are a little bit high, and totals vary depending on how one differentiates between shootings and shootings victims, but according to Politifact, they qualify as true. But they’re also misleading, as Josh Greenman, of New York Daily News, pointed out, because they ignore an overall decline:

Still, at least he’s walking back the totally bogus claim of 5,000 Chicago murders he peddled for so long.

And as Carrie Johnson, Justice Correspondent for NPR, noted in her fact-check, much Chicago violence remains targeted to certain (underserved) communities. (Trump, on Chicago last night: “Is this a war-torn country?”)


Then there’s stop and frisk, which Trump proposed earlier this month and said last night “worked very well in New York.” Naturally, Trump was unmoved by Holt’s reminder that the practice “was ruled unconstitutional in New York, because it largely singled out black and Hispanic young men.”

He’s also apparently unmoved by that fact that Chicago essentially already had stop and frisk, and it failed. As WBEZ reported earlier this year, the issuance of contact cards spiked dramatically from around 100,000 in 2013 to 600,000 last year. During the same time, the city’s murder-clearance rate actually fell.

And don’t forget that, according to a 2015 study by the ACLU, Chicago’s use of stop-and-frisk was even more extreme than New York City. And, needless to say, it didn’t help police/community relations much.

Chicago-violence-as-conservative-talking-point is sadly nothing new. Residents of the city are all too used to it. But it's still beyond irksome, especially considering Trump was basically run out of the city in March by the very people whose interest he claims.

Chicago social media was't having it, of course:

But it was a man from Baltimore who put it best: