The Latest: Trump In Chicago For Visit Amid Protests

Associated Press
October 28, 2019 - 11:25 am

President Donald Trump speaks at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Convention Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and his visit to Chicago (all times local):

12:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the Justice Department will begin a stronger crackdown on violent crime in the United States.

Trump spoke Monday at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago.

The president says the crackdown will target gang members and drug traffickers in high-crime areas. He says: "Let's call it the surge."

Trump says the crackdown will be announced by Attorney General William Barr in the next few weeks. He says the best way to combat gun violence is to put criminals with firearms behind bars.

The Justice Department has prioritized reducing violent crime and encouraged prosecutors to take a strong stance against repeat offenders and felons in possession of firearms.

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11:55 a.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump is scheduled to sign an executive order at the International Association of Chiefs of Police gathering in Chicago that aims to address the root causes of crime.

The White House says the order will establish the first presidential commission on law enforcement in half a century, and calls for establishing a framework for better training, recruitment, and retainment of law enforcement officers.

The commission is tasked with studying issues like substance abuse, homelessness, and mental illness.

In the order, Trump calls for the commission to deliver recommendations to him within a year.

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11:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump is criticizing Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson for declining to attend a conference of police chiefs from around the country.

Johnson said he will not attend the speech because he opposes the administration's immigration policies.

But Trump claims that Johnson is putting criminals and those people living in the country illegally before the citizens of Chicago.

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 U.S. illegally. Proponents say Chicago's efforts encourage cooperation between local police and immigrant communities.

Trump says "more than anyone else" Johnson should be at the conference because "maybe he could learn something." Trump says he wants Johnson "to change his values and change them fast."

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11:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump is in Chicago for a speech and fundraiser, and protesters by the dozens were streaming toward the Trump International Hotel and Tower hours before a planned demonstration outside.

Waiting for them, it seemed, was an equal number of uniformed police officers.

Metal temporary fencing and city snowplows blocked Wabash Avenue, preventing anyone from crossing the Chicago River to stand directly in front of the hotel.

Some carried signs with the words "Impeach Trump" and "Trump is a traitor" and other slogans. And a few wore Trump masks, something that was popular last Halloween.

The president is holding a closed fundraiser at the hotel after delivering a speech to a gathering of police officers.

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1:00 a.m.

President Donald Trump's visit to Chicago is stirring up a tempest even before he arrives. It's a city that he's derided as the poster child of urban violence and dysfunctional Democratic politics.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is the host of a gathering of police chiefs' from around the country that Trump is to address on Monday. But Johnson says he won't attend the president's speech because he is opposed to the administration's immigration policies.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot also says she won't meet with Trump. She's criticized him in the past for proposing a rule that would allow federal contractors to make employment decisions based on religious convictions. She's also pushed back against tweets from the president's daughter Ivanka Trump about the city's gun violence.

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