State Watch

Chicago mayor urges Trump not to send federal officers amid violence

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) urged President Trump on Monday against sending federal law enforcement officials to her city, arguing it would create a “disaster” rather than help keep the city safe. 

Lightfoot’s plea was made in a letter to Trump sent the same day the president warned that he might send federal law enforcement officials to Chicago and other cities. 

Trump also praised the work federal agents have done in Portland, Ore., despite criticism of their presence in that city from local officials. 

The Chicago Tribune reported Monday that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is planning to send 150 federal agents to Chicago this week. 

“What we do not need, and what will certainly make our community less safe is secret, federal agents deployed to Chicago,” Lightfoot wrote. “Any other form or 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 added that federal agents may be “unfamiliar with the unique circumstances of our neighborhoods” and would not be effective and will “foment a massive wave of opposition.” 

“Deploying resources like we have seen in Portland, Oregon, does not make residents safer, particularly when gun violence plays a significant role in Chicago’s loss of life,” she wrote. 

Instead, Lightfoot urged the president to enact “common-sense” gun safety reform, including passing a universal background checks bill. She also urged him to support community-based outreach programs to help the city mitigate gun violence. 

Trump sent a letter last month to Lightfoot and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) accusing the Democrats of failing the city amid a string of violent incidents in Chicago. Lightfoot hit back in an interview on MSNBC last week, stating that gun violence in her city is a direct result of Trump’s failure to take action on gun reform legislation. 

Federal agents have reportedly apprehended protesters in Portland without identifying themselves and some have been held for hours without being charged or read their Miranda rights. 

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (D) sued federal agencies last week over the detention of protesters, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a similar lawsuit against federal agencies over deploying the agents to quell demonstrators in Portland. 

The ACLU and other civil rights groups also filed a lawsuit earlier this month against the Trump administration and the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department over the forcible clearing of Lafayette Square on June 1.

Three House Democratic chairs sent a letter to government watchdogs on Sunday calling for an investigation into the use of federal force in U.S. cities.  

Tags Chicago Donald Trump Illinois Lori Lightfoot

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