Chicago, IL – President Donald Trump praised an officer who was shot in the line of duty and accosted the city of Chicago’s sanctuary city policies during his speech at the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police summit on Monday.
"There is one person who is not here today," the President pointed out. "Where is he? I want to talk to him. In fact, more than anyone else, this person should be here because maybe he could learn something, and that's the superintendent of the Chicago Police, Eddie Johnson."
“Here’s a man who could not bother to show up for a meeting of police chiefs, the most respected people in the country, in his hometown and with the president of the United States,” he continued. “And you know why? It’s because he’s not doing his job.”
On Oct. 22, Superintendent Johnson let it be known that although he was hosting the International Association of Police Chief’s conference in Chicago, he planned to skip President Trump’s speech, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“While the superintendent is looking forward to leading the International Chiefs of Police Conference and he’s looking forward to participating in discussions about making our communities safer, he will not be attending the speech of the president because the values of the people of Chicago are more important to him than anything the president has to say,” Chicago Police Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.
The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) issued its own statement shortly thereafter, addressing the superintendent’s decision.
“The FOP would be extremely disappointed if Superintendent Eddie Johnson would disrespect President Trump by not attending the President’s speech at the convention, as has been suggested in the media,” the police union posted on its official Facebook page. “Such a gesture would be an insult to both President Trump and the office of the presidency itself and would be a mark of disgrace upon the city throughout the entire nation, including Mayor Lori Lightfoot.”
The FOP further announced that its board had issued a vote of no-confidence for Superintendent Johnson, but the vote failed to sway the city’s top cop.
President Trump blasted the superintendent for allegedly placing illegal immigrants’ needs and wants ahead of the safety of Chicago’s law-abiding citizens, KVVU reported.
“Those are his values and frankly those values to me are a disgrace," he said. "I want Eddie Johnson to change his values and to change them fast."
The President urged the nation’s police chiefs to help push back against “far-left activists” who advocate for open borders and protections for illegal immigrants, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“We face an onslaught from far-left activists who want to erase America’s borders and nullify our federal laws,” he railed. “We can’t let that happen.”
Illinois Governor J.B. Prtizker recently endorsed a slew of laws to protect illegal aliens, calling them a “firewall against Donald Trump’s attacks on our immigrant communities,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
One new law prohibited immigration detention centers throughout the state, while another banned state and local law enforcement agencies from participating in a program that would bestow police with the ability to enforce certain immigration laws.
“Work with us,” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Matthew Albence told the crowd during the conference. “Find a way to partner with us for the sake of our communities that we have all sworn to protect and for the sake of our country.”
Lightfoot also refused to meet with President Trump during his visit to the city, and said she was standing behind Superintendent Johnson, KVVU reported.
During his address, the President referred to the city of Chicago as a haven for criminals that is “embarrassing” to the entire nation, according to KVVU.
"It's no surprise that @realDonaldTrump brought his insulting, ignorant buffoonery to Chicago,” Lightfoot fired back in a tweet. "Luckily, in this city, we know the truth and we will not let anyone — no matter how high the office — denigrate who we are as a people or our status as a welcoming city."
“President Trump knows as much about policing as he does running a fair and transparent government,” the mayor said in a follow-up tweet, according to the Chicago Tribune. “I stand by the Superintendent for living up to the values of this great city and its residents.”
President Trump also mentioned “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, who police said lied about his claims that he was attacked by Trump supporters earlier this year.
"You have the case of this wise guy Jessie Smollett…and he said MAGA country did it," the President told the crowd, according to KVVU. "It's a real big scam, just like the impeachment of your president is a scam."
One person the President had nothing but praise for was Chicago Police Officer Adam Wazny, who was shot while serving an arrest warrant in West Englewood in September, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Officer Wazny, 41, remained hospitalized for nearly one month, and is now recovering at home.
“As you know, in recent years our country has seen a dangerous trend of criminals assaulting police. We don’t like that,” President Trump told the crowd. “Last month, Chicago Police Officer Adam Wazny was serving an arrest warrant for a man suspected of shooting a woman when the suspect opened fire and shot Adam multiple times.”
“He was very, very badly hurt. Adam’s fellow officers chased down the gunman while Adam stemmed the bleeding from his wound, almost died,” he continued. “After a month in the hospital and multiple surgeries after that, Adam recently came home to his wife, Annie, and to his two young children, so badly hurt.”
President Trump said he was “profoundly grateful” that Officer Wazny survived the attack.
“Officer Wazny, we commend your tremendous bravery,” he continued, as the crowd roared with applause. “Thank you.”
Officer Wazny, who attended the speech in his wheelchair, said that he was honored that the President addressed him during the event.
“It was a very great honor. It was very surreal. I was very humbled and appreciative that the president even mentioned my name,” Officer Wazny told the Chicago Tribune. “That was huge. I never expected, and then when it happened, it was an honor.”
President Trump also honored several other officers for their heroic work.
“To all the terrific officers here today, thank you for your unwavering courage, your unbreakable devotion,” he said. “Today and every day I vow to stand proudly, loyally and faithfully with the men and women in blue.”
During a press conference on Monday afternoon, Superintendent Johnson told reporters that the President’s disparaging comments proved to him that he is doing well in leading his department, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“Comments like that being made just lets me know I am doing the right thing and moving Chicago in the direction it should be going,” the superintendent claimed.