Philadelphia Mayor Slams Trump’s ‘False Statements’ About City’s Murder Rate

iStock/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) — Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney didn't take too kindly to Donald Trump's claim Thursday that the City of Brotherly Love's murder rate is increasing.

"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," Kenney said in a statement Thursday, following remarks the president made at the annual GOP policy retreat in Philadelphia.

Trump said at the retreat, "Here in Philadelphia, the murder rate has been steady — I mean just terribly increasing. And then you look at Chicago, what's going on in Chicago? I said the other day, what the hell is going on?"

Defending the city's crime rate, Kenney said in the statement, "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."

Kenney added, taking a jab at the Republican party's stance on gun control, "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."

According to statistics from the Philadelphia Police Department charting crime over the past decade, there has indeed been an overall decline — with some fluctuation — in homicide victims. In 2016 there were 277 homicides, which is fewer than the 280 homicides in 2015. But 2016 did have more homicides than 2014 (248 homicides) and 2013 (246 homicides). But the remaining years that make up the past years all had significantly more homicides, with 391 victims in 2007, 331 in 2008, 302 in 2009, 306 in 2010, 326 in 2011 and 331 in 2012.

But 2017 has begun on a more deadly note, with 27 homicides as of Thursday night — a 37 percent increase from last year at the same time.

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