People protesting near Trump Tower, against President-elect Donald Trump, Chicago, IL, November 9, 2016 (Photo: PAUL BEATY, AFP / Getty Images)
CHICAGO – Against the background of an impeachment investigation in Washington and a continuing strike of more than 32 000 teachers and staff at school, Donald Trump is expected to make his first president visit in Chicago on Monday, a city who oh he often made fun of how its leaders deal with violence with a weapon.
Trump is scheduled to attend a fundraiser Monday morning hosted by Todd Ricketts, co-owner of the Cubs and chairman of the Republican National Committee's Finance Chair. He will later speak at the largest annual meeting of law enforcement leaders in the world – the International Conference of Police Chiefs.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, this year's host of the conference, said he planned to boycott the president's remarks, a move that prompted the Chicago Fraternal Police Council to issue a no-confidence motion against Johnson.
"As police officers, our job is to be the voice of the voiceless and the ambassadors of the communities we serve," Johnson said in response to the vote. "I cannot stand with a clear conscience as long as racial slurs and hatred are thrown away. The Oval Office or Chicago has been held hostage because of our views on New Americans. "
Chciago's teachers strike: When will it end?
submit a photo this March 26, 2019, Chicago Police Supervisor Eddie Johnson speaks during a press conference in Chicago. (Photo: Teresa Crawford, AP)
Kevin Graham, President of the Chicago FOP, called the boycott
"I believe that Chief Johnson should not leave the President's speech, especially when the federal government sends federal agents and prosecutors to assist Chicago police with gun and drug problems, "said Graham.
Even when Trump spoke at last year's conference in Orlando, Chicago played a central role in his speech.
"There's no reason for what's going on there," Trump says at the time, adding, "Crime is horrendous for this city."
Trump has often been targeted in Chicago over the years. In a January 2017 interview with the ABC Trump compared Chicago with Afghanistan, saying, "Afghanistan is not like what's happening in Chicago." Trump said he would "send the Feds" to fix the "horrific slaughter" of the city.
"People are shooting left and right, thousands of people in a short span of time," Trump said, adding, "Chicago is like a war zone."
How Chicago Responded to Trump
on an election trip in March 2016. Trump essentially launches himself out of town: Protests at a rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago prompted organizers to cancel the event half an hour before
Protesters Against Anti-Donald T Camp and his supporters confront Trump during a rally at the UIC Palace in Chicago on March 11, 2016. (Photo: TASOS KATOPODIS, AFP / Getty Images)
That year, then-Mayor Rahman Emanuel said that Chicago will remain a sanctuary city, opposing the firm immigration stance of the president-elect. The city later filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department over a plan to waive federal public safety subsidies from sanctuaries.
Chicago's new mayor, Lori Lightfoot, also defended his city from criticism from the president and his supporters. In August, when Ivanka Trump tweeted about a weekend of shootings in Chicago, Lightfoot stepped down, saying that Ivanka Trump misrepresented the events and did not reach out to city officials.
Given Trump's rocky history with Chicago, Johnson may not be the only one to protest the president's visit. Rev. Marshall Hach, pastor at Mt. A worship missionary Baptist from the city's west side gave Johnson a round of applause at a meeting of religious leaders Wednesday.
"This is a chance to send a statement from Chicago. This is one place the president is almost afraid of. come on, ”Hach said. "There is a very active, progressive element in this city. I suspect it will receive the kind of greetings it does not receive in other cities.
Trump's speech may worsen tense relations between police and communities," Sierra Walker-Chamberlin said. minister in the church of the prayer of Jesus Christ and executive director of Live Free Chicago, which works on mass incarceration and violence prevention.
"Here in Chicago, we worked very hard to restore trust between the police and the community and last thing, what we need is through the ID should undermine this with a stern crime speech to police chiefs. If he really wants to help, he has to fund violence prevention programs and support criminal justice reforms, "she said.
A demonstrator awaits the sacred art of a rally with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the University of Illinois at Chicago on March 11, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo: Scott Olson, Getty Images)
The Rev. Michael L. Pfleger, a pastor at St. Sabina Church and an anti-gun activist, said he wrote a letter to the president encouraging him to visit Chicago residents living on the south and west sides.
"Mr. Trump is constantly tweeting and talking in the sounds of Chicago," Pfleger said. "Since it comes, take the time to listen and learn to see how it can help. If he comes just to get money, he needs to stay home."
Nearly 3,000 people have expressed an interest in a Facebook event to protest Trump's visit. The event, called "Get Out of Our House!", Is organized by groups including Sunday Chicago and the Democratic Socialists of America.
"The last time Trump tried to come to Chicago at the UIC Pavilion, the Chicago community showed up, forcing Trump to give up and leave town. We have to do it again, but it will take all of us, "the organizers wrote in the description of the event.
It was not immediately clear whether teachers and staff in Chicago would join the protest Monday, marking their eighth day of strike.  Strikes in Chicago: This is for aides living on less than $ 36,000 a year, the union says
Is Trump right about gun violence in Chicago?
Trump often holds Chicago as a purported example of how tougher gun laws do not prevent
"In Chicago, which has the most stringent gun laws in the United States, you could probably say from afar they have more gun violence than any other y quote," Trump said in the 2016 presidential debate. – the claim that he has since been repeated.
This is not entirely true.
In recent years, Chicago has indeed reported the nation's highest homicides.
But Chicago is also the third largest city in the nation. The homicide rates in Chicago pale in comparison to those in other cities, considering its population of more than 2.7 million.
Even considering the rate of homicides related to firearms Chicago is no different.  "When people say Chicago is the 'capital of the United States' killings, they refer to the number of killings," said Jens Ludwig, director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, which partnered with the Chicago Police Department . "Chicago actually has an average murder rate per capita on average."
The crime rate in Chicago is generally tracked by trends in other major cities in the United States. But that pattern broke in 2016 when Chicago witnessed a unique spike in gun violence and attracted the nation's attention.
“Chicago had a remarkable spike in homicides in 2016, for unclear reasons. But since then, it's been recovering at a high rate, "says Phil Cook, a professor at Duke University's School of Public Policy. "It seemed like an epidemic worldwide in relatively few neighborhoods."
A disproportionate amount of this violence happened in a handful of neighborhoods on the south and west sides of the city. These predominantly African-American neighborhoods suffer from high levels of poverty, few job opportunities and often lack basic amenities such as grocery stores.
But even at its peak in 2016, the homicide rate in Chicago remains lower than in smaller cities such as Detroit, Baltimore, New Orleans and St. Louis. The Chicago killings also remained below their own recent peak in the midst of the cocaine epidemic in the 1990s.
Last year, Chicago again had the highest number of homicides in a homicide involving firearms.
But the city's firearm rate of homicide per capita, towed St. Louis, Baltimore, New Orleans, Detroit, Memphis, Kansas City, Newark and Philadelphia, according to the FBI. In 2018, St. Louis reported a three-fold increase in the number of homicides related to firearms in Chicago.
In the last two years, shootings and killings have declined in Chicago, and 2019 is about to continue the trend.
Several factors can contribute to the downturn, including expected equalization after the spike in violence in 2016, Ludwig said.
"We have gathered some evidence that at least part of the reason is changes in the management of the Chicago Police Department. But there have been a bunch of other gun violence activities in the city throughout the city, "Ludwig Says.
What about the" strictest gun laws "in Chicago?
Experts say that while Chicago is among the states with tougher gun laws, this is not the most restrictive.
Illinois is ranked eighth by the United States for the strongest gun laws, according to the Giffords Law Center on the Prevention of Gun Violence. which became the final state to allow concealed carry in 2013 – has not reached far e other states with regard to regulating arms dealers, restricting the purchase of large-scale firearms, and limiting large-capacity magazines, and its sanctions for violating gun laws are not as strong as those of other states.
Report of the City of Chicago for 2017 found that stronger state and federal gun laws will help reduce gun violence in Chicago, as most of the illegally used or possessed firearms recovered in the city , can be traced to states with less gun regulation, such as Indiana and Mississippi. Subsequent studies substantiate these findings.
"Cities and states cannot unilaterally regulate the problem of weapons because weapons pass so easily through cities and state lines. Federal regulation will really be required, "Ludwig says.
Alexandra Filindra, a professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is critical of Trump's characterization of the city's gun laws.
"It is incredibly naive and simplistic to say that because we have strong violence in one area, it means gun laws are not effective," said Filindra. "Trump has used Chicago as a dog whistle in the past. I think his visit to Chicago will be interpreted the same way.
Follow Grace Hawk on Twitter @grace_hauck .  Read or share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/10/28/trump-chicago-presidential-visit-highlights-gun-crime-violence/4072445002/ records19659064 ]