During a conference of police chiefs held in Chicago on Monday, Oct. 28, President Donald Trump lashed out at Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who angered Chicago’s police by skipping President Trump’s first appearance in the city as president.
“More than anyone else he should be here, because maybe he could maybe learn something,” President Trump said, adding Johnson puts the needs of illegal immigrants above the needs of the law-abiding residents of Chicago.
Johnson is the host of a gathering of police chiefs’ from around the country. But Johnson said he won’t attend the president’s speech because he is opposed to the administration’s immigration policies.
“Those are his values and frankly those values to me are a disgrace,” President Trump said, vowing to never to give priority to the needs of illegal immigrants. “I want Eddie Johnson to change his values and to change them fast.”
Chicago is a “sanctuary city” where local authorities do not cooperate with immigration officials, denying information that would help them round up for deportation people living in the United States illegally.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) October 28, 2019
Johnson’s decision to skip President Trump’s address angered the city’s chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, which said in a Facebook post, “Such a gesture would be an insult to both President Trump and the office of the presidency itself and would be a mark of disgrace upon the city throughout the entire nation, including Mayor Lori Lightfoot.” Lightfoot has also refused to meet with President Trump while he is in her city.
Then FOP Lodge 7, which represents rank-and-file Chicago police officers, announced that it had cast a vote of no confidence in Johnson.
Johnson, meanwhile, is under internal investigation after he was found sleeping in a city-owned vehicle earlier this month. Lightfoot said the superintendent, who called for the investigation, told her he had “a couple of drinks with dinner” before he fell asleep at a stop sign while driving home. Johnson blamed the episode on a change in his blood pressure medication.
President Trump has frequently criticized Chicago for its crime problems and status as a sanctuary city, one of scores of cities around the country that refuse to work with federal authorities to round up people who are living in the United States illegally.
“It’s embarrassing to us as a nation,” President Trump said at the conference. “All over the world they’re talking about Chicago. Afghanistan is a safe place by comparison.”
At the conference, President Trump signed an executive order creating a presidential commission on law enforcement to study issues like substance abuse, homelessness, and mental illness, the White House said. The order calls for establishing a framework for better training, recruiting, and retaining law enforcement officers.
The president also announced that the Justice Department will begin a stronger crackdown on violent crime in the United States, targeting gang members and drug traffickers in high-crime areas.
Includes reporting from the Associated Press