Trump's Chicago Crime Slams: Political Posturing, Federal Overreach, or Legit Assistance?

Mayor and president use their bully pulpits to kvetch at each other. Does it even mean anything?


Emanuel Rahm
John Taggart/ZUMA Press/Newscom

There's plenty of chin-scratching today about President Donald Trump's tweet last night, "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!"

The feds are already involved in Chicago's crime-fighting efforts. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives have agents there attempting to track and fight illegal arms trafficking in the city. And more recently, the Department of Justice has released a massive report detailing unconstitutional behavior and civil rights violations by the City of Chicago's police department.

But of course, that's not what Trump is talking about. Trump has made it abundantly clear that whatever is causing Chicago's crime problems, it has nothing to do with police abuse or violent police behavior. He instead sees a "dangerous anti-police atmosphere" in America and is promising to stop it.

There's also an element of Trump's thin-skinned nature coming to the surface here. Sure, Trump has been running as a "law and order" candidate all along and has a page devoted to law enforcement on the White House site. But on Monday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel used a ribbon-cutting to attack Trump's obsession with crowd sizes. Clearly Trump's tweet was a response. From the Chicago Sun Times:

"You didn't get elected to debate the crowd size at your inaugural….You got elected to make sure that people have a job, that the economy continues to grow, people have security as it relates to their kids' education. It wasn't about your crowd size. It was about their lives and their jobs," the mayor said after cutting the ribbon at a domestic violence shelter in Uptown.

Emanuel advised Trump to do what he did while working as a political operative for former President Bill Clinton and as former President Barack Obama's first White House chief of staff.

"The most important thing you can do is create a relationship between the desk in the Oval Office and the issues at the kitchen table," Emanuel said. "And I don't think in the kitchen tables of America — and I definitely can tell you on Saturday at the parade — people were not talking about the crowd size on Friday. They were talking about jobs, education, health care, security."

But Emanuel himself was responding defensively to Trump invoking Chicago as a hotbed of crime and violence. There's a political spitting match going on here, which helps explain why we don't really know what Trump means when he talks about sending in the feds.

And Chicago isn't even necessarily opposed. They certainly want federal money. The city's finances are a disaster area within a state that is itself a financial disaster area. An infusion of federal cash would pay for more police officers (to satisfy the public) and more "training," which tends to be the urban left's idea of the source of police abuse problems. It's just like public education, where whenever anything goes wrong, the problem is not enough money and training. (See the Department of Justice's plan to fix Baltimore's policing problems.)

The rest of us who aren't posturing politicians who have to live in these environments should be concerned that each side is beating the same drum over and over again. Emanuel wants to blame the problem on access to guns, despite Chicago's infamously restrictive regulations. Trump wants to blame it on "anti-police" attitudes, despite the city's deeply entrenched and widely understood abusive and secretive behavior by its law enforcement officers. He's in favor of "stop and frisk" methods that violate citizens' Fourth Amendment rights to be free of unwarranted searches.

Neither seem all that interested in these exchanges in exploring how the city's failure to hold bad police officers accountable for misdeeds contributes to "anti-police" attitudes and how the local government officials line their pockets via the economic predations of its poorer citizens (remember: Cook County has a soda tax being implemented this summer). Neither side in this fight wants to acknowledge how they are actually contributing to Chicago's crime problem. One side wants to crack citizens' skulls on behalf of vague ideas of "law and order" and violate their Fourth Amendment rights; the other side wants to pick their pockets and violate their Second Amendment rights.

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  1. Mayor and president use their bully pulpits to kvetch at each other. Does it even mean anything?

    No. Any other questions?

    1. Did gangbangers shit their pants at the “I will send in the Feds” tweet? If so, mission accomplished. And nothing else will happen.

      1. For some reason I don’t think the gangs in Chicago worry too much about Trump’s Twitter feed.

        1. “Oh shit, Trump’s comin’! Run, fool!”

          1. “You got Trump’d the FUCK out!”

      2. No, Micro, they get excited at the thought of all those guns the feds will give them.

        1. Barry’s not in charge anymore. You never know.

        2. No no! Those were Mexican gangs!


    1. So the big gang and all the little gangs are forming an alliance?

    2. Of course, this sort of thing almost certainly account Chicago’s crime problem and suggest that federal intervention might have a salutary effect on things.

      1. Didn’t Chicago have a serious crime problem during that other prohibition? You know, the one they actually did a constitutional amendment for, then had to repeal it and still learned nothing?

        1. True. But, barring a rollback in the War on Drugs, making police accountable to the Feds rather than the local political machine (at least in Chicago). might be one of the few things you can do to cut abuse and increase enforcement.

          On a side note. Did some reading on the history of “mafia” in America. The facts are that every ethnicity had their own “mafia” during their immigration wave years and, until the Italians, the “mafia” were almost universally sponsored by the local political machine to maintain control over the local immigrant communities. The Italians just got lucky enough to come around when the government handed organized crime a license to print money.

  2. Chicago’s crime problems, it has nothing to do with police abuse or violent police behavior

    It doesn’t have anything to do with police abuse or violent police behavior.

    Chicago’s crime problems have almost entirely caused by progressive policies that created a permanent underclass.
    The police abuse and violent police behavior is a result of the dangerous combination of throwing those police in the middle of a crime hotbed and then giving the police bullet-proof union protections which essentially eliminate accountability– also created by the same progressive policies (STRENGTHEN THE PUBLIC SECTOR!).

    1. Couldn’t it instead be caused by, you know, criminals?

  3. “He’s in favor of “stop and frisk” methods that violate citizens Fourth Amendment rights to be free of unwarranted searches.”

    Not to quibble, but stop and frisk (or Terry stops) are very much legal. Regardless of what one might say about whether or not they should be legal, they have frequently been upheld. A single court ruling in a single region of the country (NYC) pertaining to a single type of stop and frisk does not make court precedent.

    1. The quote you pulled doesn’t make any claims about the practice’s legality. It is about violation of constitutionally protected rights.

      1. Oh, ‘methods’ is the key word here. The ‘method’ that he proposes is suspect.

        Note, however, that if the Courts have upheld a practice as ‘legal’ then it is in fact ‘constitutional’. Excluding the ruling in NYC, pertaining to a specific type of Terry stop, stop and frisk is, in fact, constitutional.

        1. Well obviously the law is whatever the cop who’s crushing your skull with his baton says it is. But the question is whether stop and frisk is a violation of one’s right to be free of unwarranted searches, and it clearly is.

        2. pertaining to a specific type of Terry stop, stop and frisk is, in fact, constitutional.

          How so?

          1. Terry stops are not unconstitutional by reason of judicial nonsense; this unfortunate fact does not make them Constitutional. The Terry decision is the Dred Scott case of our times.

            1. A Terry stop doesn’t implicitly include a frisk.

              1. The frisk part was in the original decision.

                The name derives from Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968),[1] in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that police may briefly detain a person whom they reasonably suspect is involved in criminal activity;[2] the Court also held that police may do a limited search of the suspect’s outer garments for weapons if they have a reasonable and articulable suspicion that the person detained may be “armed and dangerous”.[3]

                It isn’t required, but the bar for allowing it is laughably low.

                1. Well shit.

                  Ok, fuck me. Super Constitutional as shit. Game set and match.

                  1. “Let me touch your… outer garments. I’ll be gentle.”

                    1. *flees in terror*


                2. a reasonable and articulable suspicion that the person detained may be “armed and dangerous”.

                  Tough luck for stuttering cops.

            2. That is a bit of an exaggeration. There are legitimate reasons why Terry stops are allowed, but limited by certain circumstances. The precedent goes back to the 1960’s. It is not as flagrant as some people perceive it to be.

              I think it is far more flagrant that police are legally allowed to listen to your cell phone conversations in public through technology that allows them to eavesdrop on the conversation (it’s limited to proximity). That is also constitutional, at least as held by the Courts. No warrant needed.


  4. It’s just like public education, where whenever anything goes wrong, the problem is not enough money and training.

    What’s that thing called again where you keep doing the same thing and expect a different result this time? Oh, yeah, government.

  5. I love Chicago but my wife and I are looking for an exit. Between the high taxes, police unaccountability, fiscal insolvency, and increase in violence, we would be crazy to stay here any longer.

    1. Can’t you move to Gary, Indiana? That’s essentially still Chicago, but in a different state. Correct?

      1. Chances are, we are moving to the North Suburbs.

        1. North suburbs are not much better. High property taxes. I have honestly considered moving to northwest Indiana. Just need to convince the wife

          1. Northwest Indiana

            I have a house there… well, it’s more in North Central. Want to buy it? You’ll freeze to death in the winter and then when it warms up a few degrees, tornado warnings every other day. Lovely place it is. I mean, maybe compared to Chicago and Detroit. Not so much compared to anything else.

          2. The only reason why we are considering moving up there is because my wife works in Barrington. Luckily I work in the city but the commute for her is getting more and more annoying for her everyday. I’ve always thought of moving to Ohio where her family lives because it’s much cheaper and the state isn’t nearly as in bad shape as Illinois. But the thing is that she’s from the suburbs of Cleveland. What would be the point of me leaving the People’s Republic of Cook County just to go to the People’s Republic of Cuyahoga County?

            1. Consider Northern Kane County, Ed. We need more libertarians. You can use the Big Timber METRA station.

    2. Yeah, but there’s always the lovely climate.

      1. Indy and north, the sun’s blotted from the sky over half the year. That bugs me. A lot.

        1. Painted black

  6. Well, have to say this is a damn fine article. More Shackford.

  7. There’s a political spitting match going on here

    Is that how you measure the size of your dick? Are we talking about how far it can spit, the frequency, the volume, what? Help me out here, I’ve never really known how you determine the winner of a dick-measuring contest.

    1. The only way to win is not to play.

    2. I’ve never really known how you determine the winner of a dick-measuring contest.

      Its Warty. It is always Warty. With the Doomcock.

  8. “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!”

    Couldn’t this be interpreted as a threat to investigate the mayor’s office?

  9. Trump’s goal is to increase the crime rate to use as an excuse to bomb them. Think: Putin and Assad bombing Aleppo. It’s a bit ironic that the violence is worse than from illegals or terrorism. But it’s all good.

    The real cause of gun violence is the “War on Guns” to begin with. Violence always spikes after they do ‘gang raids’ where they arrest people for ‘gun possession’ and ‘casting spells’ and stuff like that so they can get them caught up in the criminal justice system where they can be radicalized in prison to a life of crime or be taught that they have PTSD or some other illness that makes them do naughty stuff.

    1. Nah, being as he’s a Nazi and all, he’ll probably just nuke them. I hope they move the Field Museum first, it’s the only reason to ever visit Chicago.

      1. When sarcasm becomes prophecy….

        1. Shreek, you been reading that Left Behind series or something? I thought you weren’t religious.

  10. OT: just ran into a Hihnfestation on another site. Ugh.

    1. *injects robc with serum and anteebeeotiks*

      (emails bill, walks away laughing)

      1. I think you need the old-fashioned mercury treatment to get rid of that level of “gleet” infection.

        1. Boric Acid, if we’re going Old School Sawbones. Which, by the by, was injected directly into the urethra during The Civil War era and beyond, until Fleming discovered his lunch was mouldy and offensive to even samples of broth colonies.

          1. The mercury was also injected in that fashion. Heh.

            1. Hihnfections are notably resistant to mercurial TXs. What do you think this is, homeopathy?-)

  11. LOL. It’s just master-level trolling. LOL.

    1. Well, it’s going to be all the fault of you glibertarians when the real Trumpocalypse finally appears, because ya’ll just keep giving Trump a free pass on everything.

    2. It did get a lot of ink spilled over something that probably won’t even happen.

      The media has another nut to chase while Trump quietly dismantles the regulatory state. I can’t complain.

      1. ^Wins a Kewpie Doll

      2. while Trump quietly dismantles the regulatory state

        Do hold your breath.

    3. Always a possibility, but I think this is one of his pet projects that he actually cares about. So don’t be surprised if he attempts to follow through in some way.

  12. heh. Nice pic and alt-text, Shackleford. Thanks for the morning laugh.

  13. Sort of OT: On Facebook I a friend signed up for a tax protest in Grant Park in Downtown Chicago and I got incredibly excited. I was like, “It’s about time residents started to protest the ridiculous tax rates in Chicago-Cook Cook County. I looked a little further and it’s a protest about Trump not issuing his tax returns to the public.

    Got my hopes up.

    1. Ha, ha. But I bet you’re now going to get more reposts from Kos, DU, etc on your feed.

      “Cut and Paste, do not forward. You’ll reach more people that way.” Which is your clue that it originated with one of those sites; many people have those blocked, but blocking only detects the original site not the content.

      1. I’ve had to unfollow a lot of friends on Facebook after the election and more after this past Friday’s inauguration. I don’t mind reading different views and discussing politics with my Liberal friends, but what we’ve been witnessing for the past couple of months is a different beast. People who I respect for their rationality are even losing their shit over Trump and making it like it’s the end of the world.

        It’s kind of depressing because nothing good can come from this sort of behavior.

  14. You got elected to make sure that people have a job, that the economy continues to grow, people have security as it relates to their kids’ education

    Rahm admits Trump was elected to do exactly the opposite of what Hillary would do?

  15. He instead sees a “dangerous anti-police atmosphere” in America and is promising to stop it.

    This is a legitimate concern. I do not like it. And I do not like that Trump has that slimy bastard Ghouliani whispering in his ear. He spoke approvingly of stop-and-frisk during the campaign. Maybe he wants to send in the National Guard to patrol the South Side.

    1. “I just grab them by the Posse Comitatus.”

    2. There have been a few Aldermen that have been asking for the Guard for some time.

      Or the State cops…..o-streets/

      I am glad I retired. Kabul, Basrah and Baghdad were enough, thank you.

  16. I’m surprised no progs have yet jumped to the worst-case scenario of “martial law” and flooding the city with troops.

    I am amused though that based on the quote I saw, the superintendent of the Chicago PD seems perfectly happy to drop the mess in someone else’s lap.

  17. Pretty sure this is Trump’s first salvo in fucking over Mike Madigan and his monkey named Rahm.

    Note that Obama did the same to Rauner.

    1. Madmartigan?

  18. Statists gonna state.Would be a good place to test complete police privatization.

  19. Or couldn’t it just be, you know, a crime wave? And isn’t it possible that the local police there are so bad they should be supplanted by [snicker] the state’s? Or [serious] the feds?

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