In remarks at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida, President Donald Trump announced that he has directed the attorney general's office take a more active role in curbing Chicago's wave of gun violence, and said he has recommended the Justice Department work with local authorities to implement "stop and frisk" in the city.
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“There's no reason for what's going on there,” Trump said, adding that the controversial practice where police are able to stop, question and pat-down individuals they deem suspicious works when it is “properly applied.”
“The crime spree has a terrible blight on that city, and we will do everything possible to get it done,” Trump added. "It works and it was meant for problems like Chicago. It was meant for it. Stop and frisk."
Trump has often credited New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, now his personal lawyer in the Russia investigation, with rolling back New York's crime rate through aggressive police practices like "stop and frisk."
"Rudy Giuliani when he was mayor of New York City had a very strong program of 'stop and frisk' and it went from an unacceptably dangerous city to one of the safest cities in the country," Trump said Monday. "And I think the safest big city in the country. So it works."
But data collected by groups like the New York Civil Liberties Union show that between 2002 and 2017 there was little to no correlation between the number of "stop-and-frisk" interrogations and the city's drop in violent crime.
A federal judge in 2013 ruled that New York City's implementation of "stop and frisk" violated the constitutional rights of minorities, and civil rights groups have since pushed back on Trump's past suggestions that such a policy could effectively stem Chicago's gun violence epidemic.
The use of "stop and frisk" has since been dramatically reduced in New York, with fewer than 11,000 stops reported in 2017 compared to more than 680,000 in 2011.
As a candidate, Trump even went as far as advocating a nationwide "stop-and-frisk" policy for law enforcement, but after heavy criticism clarified that he was just specifically referring to Chicago.
In a statement to the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sought to shoot down the president's idea as out of touch with the city's real needs.
"The failed policies he’s talking about have no place for a city that’s working together with communities about how to build -- not only trust but a collaborative and cooperative relationship," Emanuel said. "So, while resources are always welcome, the idea of what President Trump is talking about is not only not welcome -- it’s antithetical to what we’re working on, and that is about a strong, pro-active, professional police department."
The Chicago Police Department referred all media inquiries on the president's comments to the mayor's office.
Just last week Chicago PD reported that for the first nine months of 2018 there were actually 102 fewer homicides and nearly 500 fewer shooting victims compared with the first nine months of 2017.