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Trump to Chicago: Stop the Killing!

June 27, 2020 (EIRNS)—President Trump issued a public letter to Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, posted on the White House website on Friday. He began: “I write to you today to call your attention to and urge action on the devastating violence in Chicago. While I have been heartened to see crime reductions nationally the last few years, I have been horrified by the continued violence in this great American city.”

The President quoted from recent Chicago press accounts on the horror in Chicago: Eighteen murders in 24 hours on May 8, the most violent day in 60 years in Chicago, while 85 people were shot and 24 killed the previous weekend, the most in modern history in Chicago. “Your lack of leadership on this important issue continues to fail the people you have sworn to protect. I am concerned it is another example of your lack of commitment to the vulnerable citizens who are victims of this violence and a lack of respect for the men and women in law enforcement.”

“Violence and death,” he says, “which are disproportionately harming young African Americans, are tragic and unacceptable, particularly on such a shocking scale.” He notes another local newspaper that shootings across the city increased by 71% in May.

Trump notes that the Federal government provides significant funds for social development and security in Chicago. “In the absence of any modicum of leadership, however,” he continued, “these substantial sums of taxpayer money are not being turned into results, and the safety of your most vulnerable communities continues to deteriorate.”

He reviews his accomplishments on behalf of disadvantaged communities: the First Step Act in the criminal justice system, Opportunity Zones in 9,000 communities, support to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and “reforms to elevate a noble profession and strengthen the essential bond of trust between police officers and the communities in which they serve.”

He concludes:

“Unlike previous Administrations of both parties, I am willing to tackle unsolved challenges. If you are willing to put partisanship aside, we can revitalize distressed neighborhoods in Chicago, together. But to succeed, you must establish law and order. The combination of crime, high state and local taxes, and onerous state and local government regulations have caused thousands of Illinoisans to flee to other States. Between 2010 and 2019, Illinois lost more of its population than any other state in the nation. If you are interested, I am willing to ask members of my Cabinet to meet with you and help devise a plan to make Chicago safe, since a successful formula has escaped both you and your predecessors.”

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