Trump sending federal agents to Chicago, Albuquerque

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr announced Wednesday that federal agents will be deployed into Chicago and Albuquerque, New Mexico, to help fight rising crime, The Associated Press reported.

”Today I’m announcing the DOJ will immediately surge federal law enforcement to the city of Chicago,” Trump said as he announced Operation Legend.. “The FBI, ATF, DEA, US Marshal Service, and Homeland Security will together be sending hundreds of skilled law enforcement officers to Chicago. Today I’m announcing a surge of federal law enforcement into communities plagued by violent crime.

“Frankly, we have no choice but to get involved.”

The president singled out Chicago as the city most critically in need of more resources to help stem violence, the Chicago Tribune reported. The move comes a day after 15 people were wounded in a shooting near a South Side funeral home.

“Perhaps no citizens have suffered more from the menace of violent crime than the wonderful people of Chicago, a city I know very well,” Trump said. “The citizens of Chicago are citizens of America.”

Chicago has experienced 414 homicides this summer, compared to 275 at the same time last year, the Tribune reported. That represents a 51% increase over the 2019 statistics, according to the Chicago Police Department.

Usually, the Justice Department sends agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or the Drug Enforcement Agency. However, today’s surge effort will include at least 100 Department of Homeland Security Investigations officers working in the region, according to the AP.

“In recent weeks there’s been a radical movement to defund, dismantle and dissolve our police departments,” Trump said at a news conference. “Extreme politicians have joined this anti-police crusade and relentlessly vilified our law enforcement heroes.

“This bloodshed must end. This bloodshed will end.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the president’s actions “a political stunt.”

“The President has been on a campaign for some time against Democratic mayors ... do you see a common thread?” Lightfoot said at a news conference after Wednesday’s City Council meeting. “There has been no goodwill from this president.

“Denigrate, divide and disparage. That’s not leadership.”

Trump said 35 agents would be sent to Albuquerque, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

“Under Operation Legend we will soon send fed law enforcement to other cities that need help,” Trump said at his news conference. “Other cities need help, they need it badly. They should call, they should want it. They’re too proud or they’re too political to do that. One of them is Albuquerque, New Mexico.”

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said if the president wants to assist local law enforcement, it would welcome the conversation.

“If the Trump administration wishes to antagonize New Mexicans and Americans with authoritarian, unnecessary and unaccountable military-style ‘crackdowns,’ they have no business whatsoever in New Mexico,” Lujan Grisham wrote in a statement. “An exercise meant only to escalate tension in New Mexico communities would be flatly unacceptable.”