CHICAGO — The Chicago Police Department is reporting new progress in reducing serious crime as the president attacks the city’s top cop once again.
According to the report, for the year through October, murders are down 11 percent compared to a year ago. Overall crime was down 10 percent.
Shootings were also down 10 percent, and for the month of October, the department saw the lowest number of burglaries, car thefts and robberies in 19 years.
Just after 7:30 a.m. Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted: “Chicago will never stop its crime wave with the current Superintendent of Police. It just won’t happen! Thank you to Kevin Graham and all of the GREAT Chicago Police Officers I just had the privilege to meet. Tremendous crime fighting potential if allowed to do your thing!”
Kevin Graham is the president of the Chicago police union.
At a news conference Friday, Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson was supposed to discuss October crime numbers, but instead used the time to give an update on a 7-year-old girl who was shot while trick-or-treating in Little Village Thursday.
When asked about Trump’s tweet, Johnson didn’t want to respond to it directly.
“Look, I’ve been here for 31 years fighting crime in this city. I don’t worry about any external stuff, I worry about what we have in front of us. The fact of it is that numbers do matter, facts matter, and the facts are that we’ve steadily been bringing these numbers down the past few years. So that’s what we need to focus on,” Johnson said.
When Trump was in Chicago Monday for a convention of police chiefs, he criticized Chicago and saved his harshest words for Johnson, who skipped his speech.
Trump said Johnson “more than anyone else” should be at the convention because “maybe he could learn something.” Trump said he wanted Johnson “to change his values and change them fast.”
Johnson responded only by saying ,“I’m not even going to comment on this anymore because we have bigger challenges in this city than to be going back and forth, you know, on stuff like this.”