Thomas Gallatin / Oct. 29, 2019

Trump and Officers Blast Chicago's Top Cop

Police Chief Eddie Johnson stubbornly boycotts Trump's speech in Chicago.

President Donald Trump visited Chicago on Monday to speak at the conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Controversy preceded Trump’s visit when Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson publicly declared that he would boycott the president’s speech. Johnson self-righteously asserted, “As police officers, our job is to be the voice for the voiceless and ambassadors to the communities that we serve. I can’t in good conscience stand by while racial insults and hatred are cast from the Oval Office or Chicago is held hostage because of our views on new Americans.”

Johnson was referring to Chicago’s “sanctuary city” policy, which he fully embraces. But he erroneously and intentionally conflates legal immigrants, who can actually become “new Americans,” with illegal aliens, who are by definition law-breaking non-Americans. The irony is stupefying — the city’s top law-enforcement officer, whose primary role is to serve and protect the citizens of the city, is blatantly promoting lawlessness. With attitudes like this, is it any wonder that Democrat-run Chicago is notorious for its high crime rate?

Johnson’s virtue signal was so offensive that even Chicago’s own members of the Fraternal Order of Police voiced their opposition with a vote of “no confidence,” while FOP President Kevin Graham issued a statement deriding Johnson’s self-serving false narrative. “[Donald Trump] is the president of the United States,” he said. “There are plenty of times I’ve sat listening to speeches that I didn’t care for, and I certainly didn’t walk out on them.” Graham also noted how ATF agents have been a big help to “prosecute [violations of] our gun laws because our local prosecutor hasn’t done the job.” That federal help has “driven down the crime,” he said. “Last month we took a thousand [illegal] guns off the street. Last month alone.”

As for Trump’s speech, he loudly condemned Chicago’s feckless Democrat leaders over their refusal to work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement: “Chicago is, unfortunately, the worst sanctuary city in America. Chicago protects criminals at a level few could even imagine. Last year, in Cook County alone, ICE asked local law-enforcement people to ‘…Please detain 1,162 people. Please.’ But in each case, the detainer was denied.” Trump then took aim at Johnson: “People like Johnson put criminals and illegal aliens before the citizens of Chicago. … And, frankly, those values, to me, are a disgrace. I will never put the needs of illegal criminals before … the needs of law-abiding citizens.”

Finally, Trump added, “So when Eddie Johnson, and many other people from lots of other regions and areas, support sanctuary cities, it’s really, in my opinion, a betrayal of their oath to the shield, and a violation of his duty to serve and to protect the courageous police officers of Chicago.” Trump is correct. While Johnson’s virtue signal is cheered by anti-Trump leftists and open-border advocates, everyday Americans are rejoicing in the fact that the president is honestly calling out the corruption and hypocrisy in the Windy City.

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