Trump says Chicago violence 'worse than Afghanistan by far' as he threatens to send federal police to more cities

UN reports at least 100,000 civilian casualties in Afghanistan since 2010

Graig Graziosi
Tuesday 21 July 2020 09:12 BST
Portland clashes continue over federal agents

Donald Trump said the violence in Chicago is “worse than Afghanistan“ in a recent interview and suggested he may send federal officers into additional cities.

Mr Trump, seated in the Oval Office and speaking with reporters, claimed that the violence in Chicago this summer has been ”worse than Afghanistan, by far”.

“This is worse than anything anyone has ever seen,” Mr Trump said.

Mr Trump praised the work of federal troops he sent to Portland and claimed that more would be on the way, potentially to other Democrat-run cities like Chicago.

“We’re going to have more federal law enforcement [in Portland],” he said. “They grab them, a lot of people in jail. These are people that hate our country.”

Mr Trump has frequently compared Chicago to Afghanistan, and has been incorrect each time he has made the comparison.

For reference, the United Nations reported that there have been at least 100,000 civilian casualties in Afghanistan since 2010. The US invasion of Afghanistan began in 2001.

While Chicago’s homicide rate per 100,000 people is higher than Afghanistan’s – 21 to 7, respectively – those numbers do not include war deaths.

According to a study the BBC conducted in 2019, an average of 74 men, women and children were killed each day in Afghanistan throughout the month of August.

More people are killed in a month in Afghanistan than are killed in an entire year in Chicago, once war-related deaths are included.

The protests in Democrat-run cities that were sparked by the killing of George Floyd by police in Minnesota and have continued through the summer. Demonstrations flared again when federal officers invaded Portland, sparking resistance from the local protesters that has escalated into increasingly heavy-handed crowd-busting by federal officers.

Images from the protest include federal officers clubbing a peaceful protester with a baton, abducting protesters into unmarked vans, and spraying gas at a line of mothers who’d come out to support the protesters. Activists lit a police union headquarters on fire and clashed with the occupying federal officers.

Ted Wheeler, the mayor of Portland, said he wanted the federal officers to leave his city.

“Their presence is neither wanted nor is it helpful and we’re asking them to leave,” he said. “In fact, we’re demanding that.”

The Department of Homeland Security has indicated it has no plans to leave Portland until the “violence” is at a level the federal government deems appropriate.

On Sunday, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows indicated that the deployment of federal troops into Democrat-run cities may soon include Chicago and Milwaukee.

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