'Send In The Feds': Trump Launches Chicago Gun Violence Task Force

President Trump to send federal help to Chicago to curb shooting epidemic

On Friday, the President tweeted again that crime in Chicago has "reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help".

A spokesperson for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was not impressed with the task force, telling the New York Times, "If the president was as interested in taking action on public safety as he is in tweeting about it, we would have seen these resources months ago".

Federal law enforcement officials and the Chicago police confirmed Thursday night that about 20 additional agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are being deployed to Chicago to investigate illegal gun trafficking.

Those ATF agents have joined a team with officers from the Chicago Police Department and the Illinois State Police that will use ballistics technology to solve crimes and get gun traffickers off the streets.

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.

The announcement comes just ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend, often one of the most violent of the year in Chicago.

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According to the Chicago Police Department, however, the number of shootings in 2017 so far is down compared to past year.

Sessions said the anti-crime policies in Chicago have not worked and police "have been demoralized in many ways".

President Trump says he is "sending in Federal help" to Chicago to help curb gun violence.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a statement that law enforcement is "foundationally changing the way we fight crime in Chicago", according to the AP.

"Murders are way, way too high", he said. "They need to not be a sanctuary city, they need to be protecting the people of Chicago from violent criminals". Roughly 40 ATF agents have already been working with local and state police on reducing gun violence in the city. But Chicago was not among them.

The Trump administration has been criticized for calling Chicago a "war zone" and "totally out of control" despite not laying out a long-term vision for America's cities. Our federal partners from the USA attorney's office, the ATF, the FBI need to be much more invested in this overall strategy.

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