President Trump is expected to announce Wednesday afternoon that he is deploying federal officers to Chicago to quell a spike in violent crime.
The decision follows a surge in shootings in the third-largest US city, which Trump has called more dangerous than Afghanistan.
But the boost in law enforcement isn’t welcome by the city’s Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
“Under no circumstances will I allow Donald Trump’s troops to come to Chicago and terrorize our residents,” Lightfoot said Tuesday.
Trump threatened federal intervention in Chicago since 2017 and slammed the recent rise in murders. Last weekend, 58 people were shot in Chicago and nine died.
Trump’s plans were first reported by Fox News. He’s expected to announce the move during a White House East Room address, and also will deploy officials to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Chicago Tribune reported Monday that 150 officers from the Department of Homeland Security would be deployed to protect federal buildings in Chicago. The White House did not immediately confirm that report.
Since last week, DHS has deployed officers to suppress rioters in Portland, Oregon, and to help address crime in Kansas City, Missouri. The deployments are dubbed Operation Legend, after LeGend Taliferro, a four-year-old shot dead in Kansas City.
The moves are strongly opposed by Democrats in Washington.
“Trump & his stormtroopers must be stopped,” Pelosi tweeted about the Portland deployment.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Tuesday cited a section of law that she said allows Trump to deploy the officers to protect federal property.
“When a federal courthouse is being lit on fire, commercial fireworks being shot at [officers], I think that that falls pretty well within the limits of 40 US Code 1315,” the Harvard Law School graduate said.
Other major cities including New York are experiencing a surge in violence following national unrest over the killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police. Trump on Monday threatened to “do something” in New York if local leaders do not.
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