During a Monday interview, Donald Trump once again claimed that he had met with a “top” Chicago police officer and discussed a plan in which “much of” Chicago’s violent crime could be stopped in a week. According to Donald Trump, the unnamed “top” Chicago police officer he met with reportedly told the GOP candidate that he could, within the span of a week, “stop much of this horror show that’s going on.”
While talking to Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, Donald Trump argued that “tough police tactics” are all that are needed to stop violence in Chicago and other American cities. The outspoken conservative TV personality, however, disagreed with Trump’s assessment and even reminded Donald Trump that Chicago police (and police around the country) have to follow the letter of the law, including obtaining warrants, in order to make arrests, and that they can’t simply “round people up.”
What’s more, a Chicago Police Department spokesman, Frank Giancamilli, told the media on Tuesday that not only is Donald Trump’s assessment of how violence can and should be handled incorrect, no “top” Chicago police officer has ever even met with the GOP candidate.
“We’ve discredited this claim months ago. No one in the senior command at CPD has ever met with Donald Trump or a member of his campaign.”
As reported by NBC Chicago, apparently, the Chicago police and Donald Trump have done this dance before.
The last time Donald Trump and the Chicago police butted heads was around the time of Trump’s aborted Chicago rally. The Trump campaign cancelled the event amid escalating violence at Trump events and fears of extreme violence at the location if the rally were to take place.
According to Donald Trump, he met with the Chicago police before coming to the decision to cancel the event due to “safety risks.” At that time, the Chicago Police Department issued an official statement rebuking and discounting Donald Trump’s claims. According to the CPD, in that instance, not only did no one meet with or advise Donald Trump’s campaign regarding the cancelled Chicago Trump rally, the Chicago police said they never issued any public safety threats with regard to the planned Trump event.
This time around, Chicago police took a more direct tact in refuting Donald Trump’s words. Specifically, the spokesman for the Chicago Police Department addressed Trump’s claim that Chicago police could stop violence “if they were given the authority” to do so.
Giancamilli said that despite Donald Trump’s claims, there is a better way to address crime in Chicago and elsewhere. A way that doesn’t involve people being rounded up and arrested without cause or due process.
“The best way to address crime is through a commitment to community policing and a commitment to stronger laws to keep illegal guns and repeat violent offenders off the street.”
During the O’Reilly interview, Donald Trump claimed that tried to get the “top” Chicago police officer he spoke to some kind of promotion, recognition or job.
“I sent his name in and I said, ‘you probably should hire this guy because you have nothing to lose. Look at what’s going on in Chicago, it’s horrible. This guy felt totally confident that he could stop it in a very short period of time.”
Later, the Trump campaign reportedly told the Chicago Tribune that Donald Trump hadn’t actually mentioned a specific officer that he spoke to by name at all.
“He didn’t say in the senior command. Those are your words. Mr. Trump spoke with some talented and dedicated police officers on a prior visit.”
Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks also clarified what Donald Trump meant when he said that he met with “very top police.”
“Capable, smart and talented.”
What do you think? Do you believe that Donald Trump met with “top” Chicago police who claimed that the city’s crime could be virtually eliminated in a week’s time?
[Image via a katz/Shutterstock]