News & Politics

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Finally Comes to Her Senses and Accepts Federal Help

Twitter/Screenshot

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has engaged in some tough Twitter talk about President Trump’s plan to send additional agents to the city to help quell the ongoing violence. While she was speaking at a press event to reject the notion of federal assistance, 15 people were shot at a local funeral home.

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Here was one of her wilder assertions: federal assistance is misogynist or something. Mayor de Blasio and Mayor Wheeler are unavailable for comment.

Fake stories about “secret police” operating in Portland, Ore., fueled Lightfoot’s objections. The officers working there are additional DHS officers from a specialized unit named BORTAC. They are there to prevent the federal courthouse in the city from being burned to the ground. Journalist Andy Ngo documented last night’s insanity for anyone who is still confused.

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Federal agents already operate in the city for several agencies as they do in major American metros. Mayor Lightfoot has publicly objected to federal resources via Twitter and public statements. However, it appears she has had a change of heart. The mayor and President Trump spoke last evening, and she has agreed to the mission as outlined.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times:

Trump “reached out to Mayor Lightfoot this evening to confirm that he plans to send federal resources to Chicago to supplement ongoing federal investigations pertaining to violent crime. The conversation was brief and straightforward.

“Mayor Lightfoot maintains that all resources will be investigatory in nature and be coordinated through the U.S. Attorney’s office.

“The Mayor has made clear that if there is any deviation from what has been announced, we will pursue all available legal options to protect Chicagoans.”

The federal help arrives as the city continues to struggle to contain gun violence, with the latest tragedy on Tuesday night, with a shooting outside a gang funeral that left 15 people wounded. Trump noted the Tuesday shootings.

It makes sense that assistance and support get tailored to each struggling city. Portland’s Mayor Ted Wheeler has told his law enforcement agents to stand down. There is little federal agents could do to support them directly, especially since Wheeler is the top cop.

In Chicago, law enforcement is overwhelmed, but Lightfoot has not handicapped them the same way Wheeler has in Portland. There is also not a continuing assault on federal property in the city that needs to be addressed. The chaos has caused contentious exchanges among city leaders.

 

Bolstering federal agents in cooperation with local police who know the city seems like a mutually agreeable option:

Lightfoot, who said she would sue to stop Trump from sending the forces, later backed off slightly and suggested the president bolster existing federal agencies like the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Lightfoot said she sent a letter to Trump seeking collaboration on quashing the violence.

“There are some things the federal government is uniquely qualified to handle. We would welcome that,” she said in an interview Tuesday with MSNBC’s Joy Reid.

The approach endorsed by Lightfoot for Chicago seems to be the approach that the federal government has already undertaken in Kansas City in Operation Legend. Attorney General Barr announced the launch of this operation on July 8, to little fanfare.

“President Trump has made clear: the federal government stands ready and willing to assist any of our state and local law enforcement partners across the nation responding to violent crime.  Operation Legend will combine federal and local resources to combat the disturbing uptick in violence by surging federal agents and other federal assets into cities like Kansas City, a city currently experiencing its worst homicide rate in its history,” said Attorney General Barr.  “The Department’s Operation Legend is named in honor of one of Kansas City’s youngest victims, four-year old LeGend Taliferro who was shot in the face while sleeping in his bed.  LeGend’s death is a horrifying reminder that violent crime left unchecked is a threat to us all and cannot be allowed to continue.”

As part of Operation Legend, Attorney General Barr directed federal agents from the FBI, U.S. Marshal Service, DEA and ATF to surge resources to Kansas City in the coming weeks to help state and local officials fight the surge of violent crime.  They will be working alongside state and local law enforcement agencies. Department of Justice assets will include over 100 FBI agents, U.S. Marshals, DEA agents, and ATF agents.

The freakout over Portland that has been presented inaccurately and in an inflammatory way ignored the support already given to Kansas City. Portland is also a unique case. Mayor Wheeler has allowed an actual insurrection to flourish on his city streets. Perhaps when they storm his house, as they did to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, Wheeler will come to his senses.

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Other cities like New York, Chicago, and Baltimore are struggling with an increase in violent crime. In these circumstances, the additional investigatory support and the use of federal laws to charge violent criminals can help tamp down the carnage.

It may also provide a reality check to the mayors who have so willingly caved to the mob in reducing the funding of their law enforcement agencies. Fewer police officers mean more crime. If they can’t make that correlation, they need to be removed from office at the ballot box.

Federal help should be temporary. Lightfoot and the other mayors owe their law-abiding residents a plan to maintain peace after the federal agents return to their regular offices.