Waukegan, IL ~ Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Thank you, John for that generous introduction and thank you for your dozen years of service to the Department of Justice.
On behalf of President Donald Trump—I want to thank your staff and all of the federal officers who are here with us today.
And so I want to thank:
Waukegan Police Chief Wayne Walles and
State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim
Thank you also to the Mid-States Organized Crime Information Center.
So I am here to tell you this is urgent.
They deserve the same protection as every Chicagoan.
But we have children being gunned down every day and it is our duty to do everything in our power to stop it.
And that is why I am here today. Your work has never been easy.
Colossal mistakes have been made by politicians and leaders that have had particular catastrophic consequences for the people of cities like Chicago, ...
From 1991 to 2014, we saw an historic nationwide decline in violent crime. Murder dropped by half. Violent crime overall dropped by half.
Rape decreased by more than a third, and robbery plummeted by nearly two-thirds.
But nationally in the last two years of the previous administration, the trends ominously reversed.
From 2014 to 2016, the violent crime rate went up by nearly seven percent. Assaults and rape went up nearly 10 percent.
Sadly, this was a nationwide phenomenon. But Chicago is, without a doubt, the most dramatic example.
In 2014, the police here came under intense criticism. A year later, the ACLU issued a report on “Stop and Frisk in Chicago”...
In the aftermath, the city’s leadership rushed into an irresponsible consent decree with the radical activists and the ACLU.
765 people were killed in Chicago, the most the city had seen in 20 years. Over the previous decade before the consent decree, the average was 454.
More people were murdered in Chicago in 2016 than in New York and Los Angeles combined—
The situation was so bad that nearly a quarter of the nationwide increase in homicide that year happened in Chicago alone.
So what happened?
According to a study by two professors from the University of Utah—one of whom is a former federal judge
The professors found that the increased crime cost a staggering $1.5 billion and noted that 78 percent of its victims were..
The ACLU consent decree required police officers to submit a detailed report to the ACLU, a former federal judge, and a publicly available database after every single Terry stop.
And he noted that as a result, by January 2016, “the city was on fire” because “the rule of law, law enforcement, had been delegitimized.” That is a devastating analysis.
But tragically, it was not obvious to the politicians, the media, or the activists.
The professors who studied Chicago call it “the ACLU effect.” Policing went down and crime went up.
But the disastrous consent decree is still in effect.
This is why—sadly—Chicago has become a cautionary tale for leaders across America.
But Chicago is not alone. Good and decent people of other cities have also suffered from leadership and politics...
One of the most tragic examples is Baltimore.
After the death of Freddie Gray, violence and riots followed. City leadership signed a consent decree with the ACLU. The results were the same as in Chicago.
Arrests fell dramatically and arrests on outstanding warrants dropped by half.
Meanwhile, homicides in Baltimore increased by 62.5 percent. Rape more than tripled.
St. Louis has gone through a similar ordeal.
In St. Louis, after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in 2014 in nearby Ferguson, there were riots and police pulled back from the community.
In 2016, it had a murder rate more than 10 times the national average and double the murder rate of Chicago.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Think about the example of New York City.
In 1990, there were 2,605 murders in New York City. Last year there were 292.
Results like these don’t happen by accident. This was the work of smart and diligent policing.
NYPD monitors crime rates block by block.
Los Angeles has also shown how to reduce crime.
The proof is in. It can no longer be denied: disrespect and lack of support for police officers has real world consequences.
President Trump is a lifelong New Yorker.
And he saw Rudy Giuliani and Bill Bratton save his hometown and the prosperity that has followed.
Under his strong leadership, we are respecting police again and enforcing our laws.
We believe that law enforcement is a noble profession and one that demands respect.
But we will not malign entire police departments. We will not try to micromanage their daily work all the way from Washington.
They are crying out for safety and they are right to do so.
The work ahead of you is difficult, but it is not hopeless. It may take some time, but Chicago can choose a better future.
Chicago cannot accept an image as a violent, crime-ridden city. If it does, then it continues down the vicious cycle of crime, poverty, and low growth. Chicago’s population has declined for three years in a row.
And so I would urge that the city take on a great mission to recognize the mistakes of the past and develop a plan for the future.