Trump Says He’ll Offer Federal Crackdown on City Violence
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said he will announce a new federal law enforcement initiative next week focused on violence in U.S. cities.
“The left-wing group of people running our cities are not doing the job they’re supposed to be doing,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday, saying the announcement would involve representatives from the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The president has repeatedly threatened federal interventions amid clashes between police and demonstrators in recent weeks.
Trump and White House officials have also highlighted instances of violent crime in cities like Chicago, accusing Democratic politicians who lead most major cities of failing to act. He’s also attacked the “Defund the Police” movement, which gained traction after George Floyd, an unarmed Black man was killed in Minneapolis police custody. It calls for reallocating part of law enforcement budgets to public services like health care and employment assistance.
“They’re supposed to be asking for help, and they don’t want to ask,” Trump said of city officials. “Maybe they’re proud and maybe they think it’s good for them politically but we can’t have happen what’s happening.”
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has said he does not support defunding the police but has advocated for tying federal aid for law enforcement agencies to ensuring “they meet minimum basic standards of decency” in their policies and procedures.
In an interview with Townhall.com on Tuesday, Trump said he was close to taking “comprehensive” federal action toward cities, including “sending people in to clean it up.” The president said he would act if he saw “carnage and death.”
Crime statistics show divergent trends, with overall crime down 5.3% this year and violent crime down 2% in cities, according to an analysis of Uniform Crime report data conducted by the New York Times. But murder rates are up in 20 of the 25 sampled cities, and high-profile deaths in Chicago and New York have seized national attention.
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