Chicago Mayor Lightfoot asks federal government for help fighting city's crime

Chicago community hires private security to curb crime surge in the city

Chicago Alderman Brian Hopkins on Bucktown, Chicago residents hiring private security in the wake of the crime surge.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is calling on the federal government for help in combating crime and violence in the Windy City. 

In a news conference Monday, the Democrat mayor asked U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to send in agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for six months to ramp up the number of gun investigations and gun seizures, according to Fox32 Chicago. She also asked for more federal prosecutors to handle the criminal cases those agents will investigate, as well as federal marshals to assist local law enforcement with tracking down thousands of suspects wanted on warrants, the station added. 

“We need these additional resources well in advance of summer,” Lightfoot reportedly said. 

Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Obama Presidential Center at Jackson Park on September 28, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.
(Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

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The plea comes as the number of shooting victims in Chicago this year — as of this past Sunday — was at 4,270, compared to 3,930 in 2020, the Chicago Tribune reported, citing police statistics. 

Homicides have risen to 783, up from the 749 recorded during the same time period in 2020, the newspaper also said. 

“Keeping you safe is my priority — not one of, but the first and primary priority,” the Tribune quoted Lightfoot as saying. “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.” 

Chicago police officers work at the scene near where two officers were shot at 63rd Street and Bell Avenue in Chicago on Aug. 7, 2021. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
(Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Federal law enforcement resources have been involved with the crime situation in Chicago in recent years. 

Last summer, Fox News reported that then-President Donald Trump was sending in 100 federal agents to Chicago as part of Operation Legend. 

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Then in September 2020, then-Attorney General William Barr said the number of homicides in Chicago plunged 50% after the Trump administration’s actions. 

But Lightfoot, while noting the city was “grateful for the additional federal charges and prosecutions,” according to the Chicago Tribune, pushed back against Barr’s claims, suggesting the violence had begun to subside before federal law enforcement had arrived. 

Fox News’ Jonathan Garber and Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report. 

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