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

Posted July 01, 2017

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

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement late Thursday that federal and Cook County prosecutors plan to develop new strategies to prosecute gun crimes and offenders.

The president tweeted early Friday that crime in Chicago has reached "epidemic proportions", referencing the almost 2,000 shootings in the city so far this year. Per two stories in the Chicago Sun-Times-which notes 1,737 people have been shot this year in Chicago, a bit more than the 1,714 Trump cited in his tweet-20 or so ATF agents will team up with about 40 ATF agents already there to combat gun violence.

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Friday to tout federal involvement.

"If Chicago doesn't fix the awful "carnage" going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!" he wrote. "I will send in the Feds", he tweeted four days after his inauguration.

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Though Chicago is not among the nation's most violent cities on a per capita basis, Trump has repeatedly singled out the city for its appalling gun violence statistics.

Officials with the mayor's office said that the additional ATF agents come from a request the city made to the Obama administration last summer.

"Six months ago we made it clear that we would welcome additional federal support, and six months later we appreciate the 20 new ATF agents that are now arriving", Adam Collins, a spokesperson for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, said in an email.

A law enforcement official told CNN Friday that the eight Federal Bureau of Investigation employees have left the city.

The task force will work with the Chicago police department's Organized Crime Bureau and the ATF's Chicago field office.

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There have been over 30,000 gun-related incidents across the U.S. in the first six months of this year, according to figures from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA).

"We'll have an impact in reducing shootings in Chicago", he said, while saying police there are "demoralized" and city policies are not working.

According to the Chicago Tribune, that number is actually 1,760, but is lower than it was at this time a year ago.

The homicide rate, however, has remained flat.

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