Donald Trump addressed the issue of Chicago’s 2016 murder spike on Monday, suggesting that mayor Rahm Emanuel may need to ask for help from the federal government.
The Windy City’s 762 murders in 2016 are a 57 percent increase from 2015, when 480 people were killed. The 2016 figure is the highest since 1996, when 796 people were murdered.
Trump did not elaborate on how the feds might help deter Chicago crime. But federal resources were deployed to help fight crime there in 2014. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives added seven agents to its Chicago office. The FBI added 20 agents of its own that year following an outbreak of violence over the July 4th holiday.
While the cause for the increase in violence has been widely debated, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson recently attributed part of the spike to criminals who are “emboldened” by a “national climate against law enforcement.”
“In many instances, the individuals who chose to pull the trigger are repeat gun offenders emboldened by the national climate against law enforcement and willing to test the limits of our criminal justice system,” Johnson said at a press conference on Sunday.
In September, Emanuel, a former chief of staff to President Obama, announced plans to hire nearly 1,000 new Chicago police officers.
Emanuel and Trump met last month at Trump Tower, where the president-elect has been meeting with potential cabinet nominees and other guests. According to reports following the meeting, the pair discussed immigration issues.