Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

President Donald Trump signs an executive order to create a commission to study the administration of justice following an address to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) convention on October 28, 2019 in Chicago. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

'Call It the Surge': Vowing Nationwide Crackdown, Trump Touts Tougher and More Militarized US Police

"They didn't want to make you look so tough," the president told a room full of cops on Monday. "They didn't want to make you look like you're a threat."

Jake Johnson

President Donald Trump on Monday said the Justice Department is preparing to launch a sweeping crackdown on crime that he named "the surge," a term commonly associated with the George W. Bush administration's decision to send tens of thousands of additional troops into Iraq in 2007.

"In coming weeks, Attorney General Barr will announce a new crackdown on violent crime—which I think is so important—targeting gangs and drug traffickers in high crime cities and dangerous rural areas," Trump said during the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago. "Let's call it the surge."

The president did not provide any details on the plan but said it is going to be "very dramatic."

"And you're going to see tremendous results very quickly," Trump added.

As if to emphasize his view of America's cities as war zones, Trump went on to tout his administration's success in putting military equipment into the hands of U.S. police officers and claimed "Afghanistan is a safe place" compared to Chicago.

"To help keep you safe, I've made $600 million-worth of surplus military equipment available to local law enforcement," Trump told the audience of police chiefs. "If you remember, the previous administration didn't want to do that... They didn't want to make you look so tough. They didn't want to make you look like you're a threat."

Watch Trump's remarks:

Trump's visit to Chicago, the first of his presidency, was met with massive protests led by Indivisible Chicago and other progressive advocacy groups. Striking Chicago public school teachers also cleared their Monday afternoon schedule to take part in demonstrations against the president.

"We have heard that President Donald Trump might be in town," leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union wrote in an email to members late Sunday. "If any members were inclined to show up outside his fundraiser in red, that would qualify as productive, in our view.”

Thousands of protesters gathered and marched outside the Trump International Hotel and Tower in downtown Chicago, where the president attended a big-money campaign fundraiser after the law enforcement conference:

"We're angry," Marj Halperin of Indivisible Chicago told The Guardian. "He is taking pleasure in the misery of our city. He doesn't know us. He's coming to our city to raise money, largely from people who don't live in this city, without ever having addressed, supported, listened to the people who really need help."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'Do Better,' Say Advocates as Biden Seeks to Double Refugee Admissions

"When thousands of Afghans have been forced to flee their home to find safety, and Haitians are seeking safety on the southern border, the very least the United States can do is set a resettlement goal that meets the moment."

Brett Wilkins ·


Border Patrol Accused of 'Unfathomable Cruelty' for Cracking Whips on Haitians

"It doesn't matter if a Democrat or Republican is president, our immigration system is designed for cruelty towards and dehumanization of immigrants," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Brett Wilkins ·


As Gov. Tim Walz Proclaims 'Minnesota Climate Week,' Ilhan Omar Says 'Stop Line 3'

"The state of Minnesota simply cannot meet our carbon reduction targets if this pipeline goes through," said the Democratic congresswoman. "Our future is on the line."

Kenny Stancil ·


Supreme Court Announces Date for Case Directly Challenging Roe v. Wade

"The fate of Roe v. Wade and legal abortion is on the line."

Julia Conley ·


Avi Lewis Hoping Canadians' Climate Concerns Deliver Electoral 'Upset of Epic Proportions'

"We need to send Avi to Ottawa to shake up the entire political establishment, including his own party, and tip the scales in favor of people and the planet," said environmentalist David Suzuki.

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo