Trump Announces ‘Surge’ Of Hundreds Of Federal Law Enforcement Agents To Chicago
President Trump announced on Wednesday that he will flood Chicago with a “surge of federal law enforcement” in order to address ongoing violence in the city, according to The Chicago Tribune.
- Trump, who the Tribune noted once “bragged he could solve Chicago’s crime problem within a week,” singled out the city as the one in most need of federal assistance as he said federal agents would be sent to cities across the U.S.
- Attorney General William Barr said more than 200 federal agents would be deployed to Chicago to engage in “classic crime fighting,” like investigating murders and making arrests, according to the report.
- Those agents will include “members of the FBI, US Marshals Service, the DEA and the Department of Homeland Security, among others.”
The Tribune said officials noted that the Chicago surge differs from the situation in Portland, Oregon, where unidentified agents have arrested protesters and taken them away in unmarked vehicles.
Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf said the agents are being sent to address “an unprecedented rise in crime against fellow citizens” and their mission is “to protect the public from violent crime on the streets.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot earlier this week expressed concern over the potential unlawful use of federal agents against protesters but changed her tone after receiving assurances that the incoming law enforcement agents would work “collaboratively” with Chicago police.
Lightfoot also said she doesn’t “put anything past this administration, which is why we will continue to be diligent and why we will continue to be ready.”
“If we need to stop them and use the courts to do so, we are ready to do that,” she added.
NBC 5 reported that Trump already has sent federal agents to Kansas City, Missouri, and intends to dispatch them to Albuquerque as well “as Trump runs for reelection under a 'law-and-order' mantle.”
Trump has linked the growing violence in the streets with protests over racial injustice, though criminal justice experts say the spike defies easy explanation, pointing to the unprecedented moment the country is living through — a pandemic that has killed more than 140,000 Americans, historic unemployment, stay-at-home orders, a mass reckoning over race and police brutality, intense stress and even the weather. And compared with other years, crime is down overall.
The decision to dispatch federal agents to American cities is playing out at a hyper-politicized moment when Trump is trying to show he is a “law-and-order” president and painting Democratic-led cities as out of control. With less than four months to go before Election Day, Trump has been serving up dire warnings that the violence would worsen if his Democratic rival Joe Biden is elected in November, as he tries to win over voters who could be swayed by that message.