Washington, D.C., October 28, 2019 — Brady condemned President Trump’s comments Monday, as he used his first trip to Chicago as President to criticize the city’s leadership and levels of violent crime, stating that “Afghanistan is a safe place by comparison.” The President specifically named Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson when calling out the city’s crime rates and “sanctuary city” policies saying that he puts “criminals and illegal aliens before the citizens of Chicago.”
Brady’s Vice President of Programs Kyleanne Hunter stated,
“As a U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran who has served multiple tours in Afghanistan, I find President Trump’s comments appalling. Comparing Chicago and Afghanistan is a false dichotomy that doesn’t recognize the everyday realities of either location. Trump’s comments undermine the horrific political violence that exists in Afghanistan and the efforts by U.S. service members to bring about political stability and lasting change. There is no doubt that Chicago communities are suffering from gun violence, but increased policing is not the solution. President Trump remains part of the problem until he commits to resource communities such as Chicago and push for comprehensive solutions. Illinois and Chicago lawmakers have put forth great effort in an attempt to protect their communities, but Chicago’s gun laws are only as strong as the laws of neighboring states. If Trump wants to address what’s truly embarrassing in this country, he can start by encouraging Sen. McConnell to bring forth gun violence prevention legislation that has been sitting on his desk for nearly 250 days, and supporting efforts to increase resources for violence intervention and prevention programs.”
Brady Chicago Chapter Leader Delphine Cherry stated,
“This is President Trump’s first time in Chicago and yet he’s saying that law enforcement aren’t doing their jobs? If our lives matter at all he would be doing more to support our city including police departments. We need resources, we need access to trace data — data that is critical to tracing the flow of crime guns into the city. Chicago is not even the most violent city in the United States, and it’s factually inaccurate to compare us to Afghanistan. Superintendent Johnson has been a great ally to gun violence prevention advocates and his time is better spent working on behalf of Chicago’s safety rather than meeting with a president who has shown no indication that he cares about the well being of our city.”
Violent crime in Chicago has been on the decline since 2016, the same year that Johnson was appointed superintendent. In a recent interview Johnson spoke out saying that while the city isn’t where everyone wants it to be, they have made significant progress that seems to have gone unnoticed.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.