President Donald Trump announced that the Department of Justice will “immediately surge federal law enforcement to the city of Chicago.” The announcement comes after a spike in gun violence that left 12 people dead over a single weekend.
Trump told the nation on Wednesday, “The FBI, ATF, DEA, U.S Marshall Service, and Homeland Security will together be sending hundreds of skilled law enforcement officers to Chicago to help drive down violent crime.”
He continued, “But we must remember that the job of policing a neighborhood falls on the shoulders of local elected leadership, never forget that. When they abdicate their duty, the results are catastrophic.”
Later in his remarks, Trump said, “Frankly, we have no choice but to get involved,” before introducing Attorney General Bill Barr and acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf.
President Trump on sending federal agents to Chicago: "We have no choice but to get involved." pic.twitter.com/kPE8VSCt7G— The Hill (@thehill) July 22, 2020
Trump’s decision to move federal agents into the Windy City has already been blasted by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D), who tweeted on Tuesday, “Under no circumstances will I allow Donald Trump’s troops to come to Chicago and terrorize our residents.”
Under no circumstances will I allow Donald Trump’s troops to come to Chicago and terrorize our residents.— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) July 21, 2020
In Portland, Oregon, federal agents have already been present, arresting people off the streets and throwing them into unmarked vehicles. Some of the agents have been shown in videos wearing no identification.
The presence of agents led to a backlash with the ACLU, who said, “Usually when we see people in unmarked cars forcibly grab someone off the street we call it kidnapping. The actions of the militarized federal officers are flat-out unconstitutional and will not go unanswered.”