‘Epidemic proportions’: Trump pledges ‘federal help’ to stop violent crime in Chicago

‘Epidemic proportions’: Trump pledges ‘federal help’ to stop violent crime in Chicago
US President Donald Trump says he is sending “federal help” to fight the “crime and killings” in Chicago.

The president made the announcement via Twitter Friday, saying violent crime had reached “epidemic proportions” and citing the figure of 1,714 shootings in Chicago this year.

Trump has yet to specify what type of federal assistance he plans to provide.

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Trump has been critical of the city’s crime rates in the past, warning he would “send in the Feds!” shortly after his January inauguration to fix the “horrible ‘carnage’ going on.”

In 2013, the then-businessman and TV personality labelled the Midwestern city a “shooting disaster” and called for a non-optional “stop and frisk” policing system to be implemented.

Last year was the most violent in Chicago for the past 20 years. The number of shootings cited by the president is slightly less than that of this time last year when there were 1,790 reported shootings, according to the Chicago Tribune.

There have been over 30,000 gun-related incidents across the US in the first six months of this year, according to figures from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA). Of that figure, 174 incidents were considered mass shootings.

A mass shooting is defined as an incident involving four or more people.

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Some 7,581 people have died in gun violence in the first half of this year, including 337 children aged 11 or under and 1,616 young people aged 12-17.

America’s gun homicide rate is more than 25 times the average of other developed countries, according to data collected over five years by gun safety organization Everytown.

Last year Mississippi, Louisiana and Alaska were found to have the highest number of gun deaths per 100,000 people.