Trump sending federal help to fight Chicago violence

Trump sending federal help to fight Chicago violence

Trump tweeted shortly after taking office in January that if city of Chicago did not fix the "carnage", he would send in federal aid.

President Donald Trump declared on Twitter early Friday morning that crime in Chicago had reached "epidemic proportions", part of a coordinated announcement by state, local and federal law enforcement officials that 20 new federal agents had been assigned to Chicago to track gun crimes. Chicago Police Department can not tackle this issue by itself.

The idea of a new strike force was reportedly born last November, and in March, a police official met with Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Washington, D.C.to discuss how to proceed.

Chicago Police officials say the strike force will be a specialized team of city cops, federal agents and IL state troopers who will work exclusively on stemming the flow of illegally possessed guns and targeting repeat gun offenders.

President Trump has often tweeted and spoken at rallies about violence in Chicago and has constantly threatened to send in federal authorities. There were 1,935 shooting victims in the city during the same period previous year.

Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a statement "we are foundationally changing the way we fight crime in Chicago". He adds that unlike previous bureau "surges" in Chicago-where 306 people have already died this year from gun violence-these agents are "here permanently".

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We need to have more federal gun prosecutions in Chicago. The 2016 homicide rate of 27.7 murders per 100,000 was the city's highest since the mid-1990s.

"The Trump Administration will not let the bloodshed go on; we can not accept these levels of violence", Sessions said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

The team will include an additional 20 ATF agents, who arrived in early June, according to a city official, as well as Chicago police officers, IL state troopers, intelligence analysts and state and federal prosecutors.

Sessions is also blaming spikes in violence on so-called sanctuary city policies. Our federal partners from the US attorney's office, the ATF, the FBI need to be much more invested in this overall strategy.

There have been 320 murders in Chicago so far this year.

The Justice Department spokesman said the department will keep working with cities including Chicago under the new crime-fighting program, called the Public Safety Partnership.

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