Philadelphia mayor torches Trump's claim on rising murder rates
© Getty

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D) ripped President Trump Thursday in an official statement following Trump's claim that the murder rate in the city was on the rise.

“Right now, too many families don’t feel secure,” Trump said earlier in the day. “Just look at the 30 largest cities. In the last year alone, the murder rate has increased by an estimated 14 percent. Here in Philadelphia the murder rate has been steadily, I mean, just terribly increasing.”

Kenney slammed the president, calling the statement false and an "insult" to the Philadelphia police force.

"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 said in the statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

Kenney went on to hit Republicans for not enacting stricter gun control laws.

"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 provide critical witnesses statements that can put dangerous criminals behind bars," Kenney said.

Trump claimed Thursday that the murder rate in Philadelphia was on the rise, but law enforcement data show that violent crime in the city is at its lowest level since 1979.  

There were 277 murders in Philadelphia in 2016, continuing an overall decline during the last decade, according to police data. There were more than 300 murders every year between 2007 and 2012, reaching as high as 391. Since then, there were 246 murders in 2013, 248 in 2014, and 280 in 2015.

Overall, the city's murder rate has declined 41 percent in the last 10 years. The city's all-time high was 500 murders in 1990.