Homicides in Chicago decreased by nearly 16 percent in 2017 from the 20-year high in 2016, CNN reported. This positive news is no thanks to President Donald Trump whose only solution to the city’s violence was a threat to “call in the feds.”
“Hard work by officers, adding more sworn personnel, investing in new technology to drive out smart policing strategy, and increasing partnerships” were credited for the decrease in murders and shootings, the Chicago Police Department said. But what’s often overlooked is the contributions of community activists. Ja’Mal Green pointed that out in his criticism of the president.
Chicago recorded 771 murders in 2016, which was higher than New York and Los Angeles’ homicide rates combined. In 2017, the city recorded 650 murders. The number of shooting incidents also decreased from 3,550 in 2016 to 2,785 last year. Trump used Chicago’s unfortunate high level of violence during his campaign to stir fear and gain political support, calling the city a “war zone.” However, he has failed to follow that bluster with a comprehensive long-term plan to address urban violence.
“Chicago is a part of America,” Green reminded the president whose campaign promise to make American great obviously didn’t include the entire nation. “If you want to be a part of the solution, do it or stop talking about us!” he added. The activist also urged Chicago residents to “step up” and do their share because “the state isn’t doing their job.” While beefing up the police force and retraining are part of the solution, neighborhoods plagued by violence also need jobs, improved schools and housing, the Rev. Jesse Jackson has said. Many dismiss the need for comprehensive solutions to the crisis of violence in some cities.