Chicago Mayor Asks DOJ for More Resources to Fight Surging Crime, Gun Violence

Chicago Mayor Asks DOJ for More Resources to Fight Surging Crime, Gun Violence

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks at the U.S. Conference of Mayors 88th Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., January 23, 2020. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday asked U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to send additional federal resources to Chicago amid a troubling surge in crime and gun violence.

Lightfoot delivered a 40-minute speech addressing resident’s safety concerns on Monday, in which she asked Garland to send more agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to Chicago for six months to “increase the number of gun investigations and gun seizures” and to send additional federal prosecutors to the city to bring additional criminal cases at the federal level.

Lightfoot requested that Garland also send more federal marshals to Chicago to assist the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and Chicago Police Department in tracking down thousands of individuals wanted on warrants.

The mayor urged the federal government to act quickly, saying the city needs the additional resources “well in advance of summer.”

The number of shooting victims in the city is up year-to-date through Sunday to 4,270, from 3,930 through the same date in 2020, according to the Chicago TribuneHomicides — not including killings that occurred in self-defense — have jumped to 783 from 749 last year. The report adds that expressway shootings have increased as well, to 249 this year from less than 130 in 2020, while care jacking are up through Sunday, to 1,781 this year from 1,352 in 2020.

To address Chicago’s problems with gun violence, Lightfoot asked the Department of Justice to form “multi-jurisdictional task forces to stop illegal gun trafficking across state lines from southern states like Mississippi, up the interstate, through Indiana, and over the border to Chicago.”

She added that the city must remain focused on getting ghost guns, which have no serial numbers and are untraceable, off the streets. The Chicago Police Department is on track to seize 12,000 illegal guns off the streets of the city — more than New York and Los Angeles combined, according to the mayor.

Lightfoot said CPD will increase the number of officers who investigate gangs, as well as the number of homicide detectives.

She also suggested the city must address the “root causes” of crime, including poverty and neglect.

“Many of the communities that are most plagued by violent crime also have high incidences of poverty, high unemployment, homelessness, drug addiction and other ills that tear away at the fabric of community,” Lightfoot said.

The mayor sought to reassure residents that keeping them safe is “not one of, but the first and primary priority.”

“I wake every morning with this as my first concern and I push myself and all involved to step up and do more and better because we cannot continue to endure the level of violence that we are now experiencing,” she said.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

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[By: Brittany Bernstein

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