Claiming sending secret militarized federal agents to Chicago “would spell disaster,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday sent President Donald Trump a letter instead urging him to support new laws to help get illegal guns off the streets.
CBS News has learned the Trump Administration will be sending 175 federal agents to Chicago this week to assist police in curbing violent crime. The agents will come from Chicago, Detroit, St. Paul, Nashville, and likely Atlanta.
The agents will focus on illegal gun sales, gun violence, and outstanding warrants, according to one of the sources.
* CBS sources aside, there’s a growing worry in Chicago that the White House will try to repeat its Portland approach. From the Washington Post…
The Oregon attorney general filed a lawsuit late Friday night alleging that the federal government had violated Oregonians’ civil rights by seizing and detaining them without probable cause during protests against police brutality in the past week.
The legal action comes after days of intensifying clashes between the Trump administration and Portland officials, who have accused federal agencies of heavy-handed tactics that inflame unrest and threaten citizens.
Department of Homeland Security agents have swarmed the city in recent days, arguing that they are needed to restore order after nearly two months of demonstrations. But local officials, including Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D), have implored the agency to step down, with the mayor calling the police force President Trump’s “personal army” and suggesting its tactics are only making things worse.
At an unrelated news conference Monday morning, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she has great concerns about the general possibility of President Donald Trump sending feds to Chicago based on what has happened in Portland. […]
“We don’t need federal agents without any insignia taking people off the streets and holding them, I think, unlawfully,” Lightfoot said.
* From Lightfoot’s letter to the president…
“…What is needed more than anything in an operation to protect lives is a clear mission, a detailed operations plan, and a chain of command. Secret, federal agents who do not know Chicago, are unfamiliar with the unique circumstances of our neighborhoods and who would operate outside the established infrastructure of local law enforcement would not be effective, regardless of the number, and worse will foment a massive wave of opposition.”
“Deploying resources like we have seen in Portland,” she wrote, “does not make residents safer, particularly when gun violence plays a significant role in Chicago’s loss of life.”
In a statement, a Lightfoot spokesman said, “Should the Trump Administration foolishly try to usurp our local authority, (Lightfoot) will not hesitate to take decisive action to stop this unwanted and dangerous intrusion.”
* The governor was asked about the White House plan today at a Metro East press conference…
My job is to protect the civil liberties of the people of Illinois. This is a wrongheaded move on the part of Donald Trump, on the part of the Department of Homeland Security.
I have put a call into the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. He’s refused to call me back telling us that he couldn’t possibly get back to me until about 48 hours from now. That’s ridiculous.
They’re thinking about sending agents in, Federal Protective Service agents into the state of Illinois. They need to answer to the governor of the state to the mayor of the City of Chicago, to the attorney general of the State of Illinois.
We’re going to do everything we can to prevent them from coming. And if they do come, we’re going to do everything we can from a legal perspective to get them out.
Take a very deep breath before commenting.
…Adding… Two things are going over peoples’ heads in comments. 1) The Federal Protective Service is not a police unit. It guards buildings. It’s not capable of police work. 2) The governor has said he doesn’t want that unit deployed in Illinois. He and Mayor Lightfoot never said they wouldn’t welcome other sorts of help from the feds. So, stop reading what you want to read and instead read the actual words in front of your face.
*** UPDATE *** Like I said, some of y’all were getting all huffy for no good reason…
President Donald Trump will be sending federal law enforcement agents to help police and the U.S. attorney’s office fight Chicago violence and the city intends to cooperate, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. […]
Still, she was careful to say her understanding of the situation “at this point” is that the Trump administration won’t be “foolishly” deploying unidentified troops but will be sending additional agents with the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to Chicago.
Unlike what happened in Portland recently, Lightfoot said, the city will get resources that will plug into “existing federal agencies” that already work with Chicago.
“We welcome actual partnership, but we do not welcome dictatorship, we do not welcome authoritarianism, and we do not welcome unconstitutional arrest and detainment of our residents,” Lightfoot said.