President Trump says he is "sending in Federal help" to Chicago to help curb gun violence.
The Chicago Police Department and Department of Justice's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will announce Friday a new task force aimed at decreasing the spread of illegal guns throughout the Windy City.
The Strike Force became operational June 1, 2017, and consists of 20 additional permanent ATF special agents, 6 intelligence research specialists, 12 task force officers from the Chicago Police Department (CPD), 2 task force officers from the Illinois State Police, and 4 NIBIN specialists (National Integrated Ballistics Information Network).
The team will include an additional 20 ATF agents, who arrived in early June, according to a city official, as well as Chicago police officers, IL state troopers, intelligence analysts and state and federal prosecutors.
Trump tweeted Friday morning that "Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help".
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Trump has tweeted about Chicago in the past, in January he said, "If Chicago doesn't fix the frightful "carnage" going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!". According to the police department, there have been 1,703 shooting victims.
"And I am confident in Celinez Nunez, the new Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago office of ATF, who has experienced the tragic consequences of gang violence firsthand".
"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", Collins said in an email. Per the AP, Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared on Fox and Friends Friday morning to talk about the initiative, noting "the police have been demoralized in many ways" and stressing that Chicago needs "to not be a sanctuary city" and should start deporting "violent criminals that have been convicted". Last year, more than 60 people were shot and four were killed around the holiday. There were 320 murders in Chicago through Thursday, according to the Sun-Times, slightly fewer than the 322 over the same time period in 2016.
There have been over 30,000 gun-related incidents across the USA in the first six months of this year, according to figures from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA).