CHICAGO (CBS) — Three Illinois congressmen are sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, outlining their expectations for federal agents being deployed to Chicago.
U.S. Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Danny Davis, and Bobby Rush – all Democrats – are asking for some assurances from the Trump administration that federal law enforcement will coordinate with Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. JB Pritzker.
The congressmen also want guarantees agents deployed to Chicago will wear uniforms and use clearly marked vehicles.
President Donald Trump earlier this week announced his plan to send “hundreds” of federal agents to fight crime in Chicago, insisting it’s the only way to calm recent violence.
Krishnamoorthi said he and his fellow congressmen sent their letter to Homeland Security in hopes of avoiding what is happening in Portland, Oregon.
“We cannot tolerate that. That would lead to chaos, and would lead to unnecessary violence, and quite frankly I believe it’s unconstitutional for the federal agents to perform any kind of routine state or local law enforcement duties,” he said.
The congressman added, if Homeland Security doesn’t make the commitments they are seeking, there could be support for House Democrats to increase scrutiny over the department’s budget.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf has said the federal agents’ mission in Chicago will be protecting the public from violent crime, while the mission of agents in Portland has been to protect federal property.
Lightfoot has expressed cautious optimism about the plan to send hundreds of federal agents to Chicago to help fight crime, noting the agents will be overseen by U.S. Attorney John Lausch, a friend of Lightfoot’s for more than 20 years. Lightfoot herself is a former federal prosecutor.
“If those agents are here to actually work in partnership on support of gun violence and violent cases, plugging into existing infrastructure of federal agents, not trying to play police in our streets, then that’s something different, and that may add value, but the proof is going to be in the pudding,” she said earlier this week.
The mayor also said if Trump does try to use federal agents in Chicago in a similar manner to how they’ve been used in Portland, she’s prepared to go to court to stop him.
via CBS Local
July 24, 2020 at 05:04PM