No one was certain exactly what President Donald Trump meant when he tweeted he’d send in the feds if Chicago didn’t do something about its ridiculous levels of gun violence, but the suggestion alone was enough to garner nearly 200,000 likes.
If Chicago doesn't fix the horrible "carnage" going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2017
Not everyone liked what they read, however. Newsweek, for example, noted that Trump’s tweet had rankled Chicago’s police officers, or at least those running the show.
Hopefully Trump can smooth things over with the police and build a successful working relationship. He might not find it as easy, though, to find common ground with other groups, such as criminals and academics. Not the academics!
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) January 25, 2017
@Newsweek wow he hit the trifecta
— John R. Perchak (@JohnPerchak) January 25, 2017
“One ex-gang member took the tweet as a declaration of war,” writes Josh Saul.
“It sounds to me like he’s trying to gang-bang with us!” Alonzo Lee, a former member of the Gangster Disciple gang in Chicago, tells Newsweek. Lee, who sold marijuana until police raided his house in late 2015, said he thinks Trump’s tweet means he’ll send in undercover agents in unmarked cars. “He’s giving the feds permission to low-key kill us if they see somebody doing something wrong. That’s how I look at it.”
Also unsure of Trump’s meaning was Tray, “a dreadlocked 19-year-old who sometimes stands watch outside a Gangster Disciple drug house in South Chicago.”
We’ll bet Lee really regrets pulling the lever for Trump now, as do all of the university professors across the country. University of Illinois at Chicago professor and Cure Violence founder Gary Slutkin told Newsweek he’d prefer the government treat Chicago’s gang violence as it would, say, Ebola.
“If they were to look at this the way they look at Ebola, with an emergency health response and outreach workers, that would be urgently helpful because it’s been shown over and over that these guys can stop violence,” Slutkin said.
If that’s true, maybe Chicago’s mayor should have cut a check to some outreach workers when he saw the city’s homicide rate heading toward an increase of nearly 60 percent last year … or at least renewed his Newsweek subscription, since Saul also knows why the city’s violence is out of control.
Chicago had more than 700 murders in 2016, more than in New York City and Los Angeles combined. Here's why. https://t.co/Zmz4S55iJk
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) January 2, 2017
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