President-elect Donald Trump said in a Twitter message on Monday that Chicago’s mayor must ask for U.S. government help if the city fails to reduce its homicide rate, which hit a 20-year high in 2016.
The city responded that Trump (R) and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) had previously spoken and agreed to ways the federal government could help. The two met in New York last month.
“Chicago murder rate is record setting — 4,331 shooting victims with 762 murders in 2016. If Mayor can’t do it he must ask for Federal help!” Trump tweeted.
Trump correctly reported crime numbers published by the Chicago Police Department on Sunday, but the figures were not record-setting.
Although up about 60 percent from the previous year, the 762 homicides in 2016 were the highest annual toll since 1996, when there were 796, according to police data.
During the campaign, Trump referred to Chicago, America’s third most populous city, as an example of rising inner-city crime. Its numbers increased in 2016 after two decades of decreases.