Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney criticized President Donald Trump's claims that the city's murder rate is on the rise. Trump made those comments during an address to congressional Republicans in the city on Thursday.
In his address, Trump said, "Here in Philadelphia murder has been steady — I mean just terribly — increasing."
Mayor Kenney issued a statement scolding Trump over his assertions.
"President Trump’s false statements today were an insult to the men and women of the Philadelphia police force — the very same men and women who are working long hours today to ensure his safety."
The Democratic mayor's statement continued: "Our police officers have worked tirelessly and with great personal sacrifice to get Philadelphia’s crime rate down to its lowest point in forty years."
Kenney touted what he described as law-enforcement efforts to "strengthen police-community relations" and "uphold the rights" of Philadelphia residents.
Trump made support for law-enforcement officers a key part of his campaign platform. That message has continued in his fledgling presidency. He often cites crime rates in urban cities as examples of a need for a stronger policing agenda.
Read Mayor Kenney's full statement below:
"President Trump’s false statements today were an insult to the men and women of the Philadelphia police force—the very same men and women who are working long hours today to ensure his safety. Our police officers have worked tirelessly and with great personal sacrifice to get Philadelphia’s crime rate down to its lowest point in forty years, while also successfully implementing reforms to strengthen police-community relations and uphold the rights of all our residents. Our homicides are, in fact, slowly declining, and while we are not satisfied with even our current numbers, we are handicapped by Republican refusal to enact any kind of common sense gun control and by their obsession with turning our police officers into ICE agents – which will prevent immigrants from coming forward to report crimes or provide critical witnesses statements that can put dangerous criminals behind bars."
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