Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is in over her head trying to deal with rising violence and after she proposed cutting $80 million from her city’s police budget last year, she is now publicly pleading with the feds to help beef up the ranks of the city’s cops.
Lightfoot called on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to send agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to Chicago for six months to try and stop the violence, the New York Post reported.
“We cannot continue to endure the level of violence that we are now experiencing,” Lightfoot said during a 40-minute speech. “I feel the urgency every day.”
The number of 2021 Chicago shooting victims reached 4,270 on Dec. 19, up from the 3,930 people shot during the same period in 2020, according to police statistics obtained by the Chicago Tribune. Homicides have increased 5 percent from 749 to 783, making Chicago the deadliest city in the U.S.
“Right now, today, there are simply too many violent people walking our streets and wreaking havoc in our neighborhoods,” Lightfoot said.
In July 2020, ex-President Donald Trump wanted to send federal troops to Chicago to aid the city during a surge in crime. Lightfoot rejected the offer.
In a four-page letter to Trump, Lightfoot asked Trump not to send federal agents to the city and instead asked him to help the city address violent crime by getting tougher on the proliferation of illegal guns across the country, NPR reported.
Lightfoot urged Trump to provide meaningful support — instead of playing “games.”
“What we do not need, and what will certainly make our community less safe is secret, federal agents deployed to Chicago. Any other form of militarized assistance within our borders that would not be within our control or within the direct command of the Chicago Police Department would spell disaster,” the mayor wrote.
The mayor’s latest request for federal police didn’t get much sympathy on Twitter.
“But she emphatically said NO to Trump when he offered help. How many lives could have been saved?” asked TH (@tharv10).
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Others claim Lightfoot’s call for ATF agents is merely attention-seeking.
“Even her move to ask U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to send federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents to Chicago to help stem the flow of illegal guns here was a rehash. Just five months ago, the ATF announced it set up a new gun trafficking strike force, charged with the duties Lightfoot now calls for,” stated an editorial in The Chicago Sun-Times.
The editorial pointed out that the ATF already has had a field office in Chicago that has been there for almost a century, dating back to when the agency was the IRS’s Bureau of Prohibition led by Eliot Ness, pursuing notorious Chicago criminal Al Capone and bootleggers in the 1920s.
Photo: Police tape off a Chicago street as officers investigate the scene of a fatal shooting in the city’s South Side, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)
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