Trump administration deploys federal agents to Chicago
Trump has reportedly confirmed sending 200 federal agents to stop the protests in more cities beyond Portland.
On July 22, President Trump said that the Justice Department will be sending a couple hundred additional federal agents into cities to control the rise in violence.
Agents will be sent to Albuquerque, New Mexico as well, and added that they will also be seen in New York and Philadelphia. However, Trump said Chicago was the city that was most in need of the additional resources.
“Perhaps no citizens have suffered more from the menace of violent crime than the wonderful people of Chicago, a city I know very well,” Trump said.
The Mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, spoke with the president about the plans that are being set forth, which she described in a statement as “brief and straightforward.”
She also said she is in support of the additional law enforcement that will be collaborating with the Chicago PD, composed of the FBI, DEA, U.S. Marshals, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives agents, as well as officials from the Department of Homeland Security.
However, she did say any extracurriculars from the incoming enforcement will result in legal action.
“Mayor Lightfoot maintains that all resources will be investigatory in nature and be coordinated through the U.S. Attorney’s office. The Mayor has made clear that if there is any deviation from what has been announced, we will pursue all available legal options to protect Chicagoans,” Lightfoot’s office said in a statement.
Earlier in July, unidentified federal agents were sent to Portland in camouflage uniforms to patrol the streets and protect the federal buildings from being vandalized.
The mission for Chicago is different as it is not against civil unrest or to patrol the streets, according to U.S. Attorney John Laush.
“This is working with the Chicago Police Department to do what we can to reduce the staggering violent crime we’re facing right now,” he said.
The announcement came a day after a mass shooting occurred in the South Side of the city outside of a funeral home where, 15 people were injured. A city with high crime rates, last year in Chicago was one of its most violent years in recent history, with 414 homicides, up by more than 50% in the last 12 months.
However, it is hard to believe that their mission does not directly have to do with the protests stemming from George Floyd’s murder on Monday, May 25, after an officer kneeled on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
Attorney General William Barr has blamed the most recent violence on the “extreme reaction” of the events of May 25. Trump at one point has called the movement “radical” in regards to the abolishment and defunding U.S. cities police departments.
As Lightfoot said about the federal agents coming into Chicago, “the proof will be in the pudding.” In Chicago, the mission is to protect the public from violent crime on the streets.