Trump Uses Fatal Shooting Of Chicago Woman To Boast About His Own Campaign

by Bryce Covert –

On Friday afternoon, Nykea Aldridge, who was the cousin of basketball star Dwyane Wade, was shot and killed while pushing her baby in a stroller. By Saturday morning, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was using the incident as proof of his campaign’s future success.

Donald J. Trump

 @realDonaldTrump

Dwyane Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!

Without taking a moment to express sympathy for the family, Trump said in his tweet, “Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!”

Trump deleted the original tweet, which misspelled Wade’s name, but Tweeted the same message again later in the day with the correct spelling.

DWade

 @DwyaneWade

My cousin was killed today in Chicago. Another act of senseless gun violence. 4 kids lost their mom for NO REASON. Unreal.#EnoughIsEnough

Aldridge, who was a mother of four children, had been on her way to register them for the school year. She was not the intended target of the shooting, police believe, but was stuck in the head and arm by gunfire being exchanged by two nearby men.

Donald J. Trump

 @realDonaldTrump

Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!

Chicago has long dealt with gun violence. There have been 2,739 victims of gun shootings this year so far not including Aldridge, according to the Chicago Tribune, already nearing the total number of shootings for last year, which was 2,988.

Trump has been outspoken in his opposition to gun control measures, including magazine bans and expanded background checks. And conservatives often use Chicago as evidence that gun control policies don’t work, given that the city has relatively strict regulations.

But that line of argument doesn’t hold up. A report from the Chicago Police Department and Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) found that the majority of guns recovered in the city’s crimes between 2009 and 2013 were originally bought in other states. Illinois’s neighbors have much more lax regulations, and even Illinois has looser laws than the city itself.

Overall, cities throughout the country with weaker laws do in fact have more gun violence than those with strong ones.

Trump has also been speaking recently about what he would do for the African-American community and painting a bleak picture of their lives. “Right now, you walk down the street. You get shot,” he said this week, even though violent crime has been declining for decades.

This is far from the first time Trump has used a tragedy to tout his own campaign. Hours after the horrific shooting at nightclub in Orlando, Florida that left 49 dead, he tweeted about “the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.”

That’s the tenor he’s taken on Twitter in the wake of a number of tragedies, including the terror attacks on Paris and Brussels last year, the San Bernardino shooting, and the shooting in a church in Charleston, South Carolina.

This post has been updated to reflect that Trump deleted and then retweeted his message with the correct spelling of Dwyane Wade’s name.

Reprinted with permission from Think Progress, a branch of The Center for American Progress