Amid a surge in violent crime in large cities across the United States the Trump Administration announced plans to deploy more federal agents to quell the violence. Mayors of the affected cities, all members of the Democratic party, opposed federal action and engaged in back and forth Twitter battles with the President.
The deployment of federal agents to cities was an extension of Operation Legend, a Justice Department initiative named after LeGend Taliferro, a 4-year old child killed in his sleep by gunfire last month in Kansas City, MO according to USA Today. The Operation began in Kansas City. The federal personnel came from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the US Marshals Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed her opposition to the Trump Administration’s plans on Twitter. ‘Under no circumstances will I allow Donald Trump’s troops to come to Chicago and terrorize our residents,” she tweeted. She’s a Democrat. I’m going to be nice,’ Trump responded. ‘She’s making a big mistake. People are dying in Chicago and other cities and we can solve the problem. They have to ask us but we can solve the problem.’
Murders in Chicago increased 34 percent over last year to date, while shootings were up 45 percent according to CBS Chicago. Last evening, Tuesday July, 21, fifteen people were shot in Chicago after over 60 shots were fired at a funeral for a man who was fatally shot last week. The injured parties were taken to local hospitals where their conditions ranged from serious to critical.
Unrest and violence in Portland, OR has continued for weeks. The Department of Homeland Security sent agents to the city recently, a move that drew ire from Mayor Ted Wheeler. After an offer of help from acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf the mayor tweeted, “The best thing they can do is stay inside their building, or leave Portland altogether. Our goal is to end these violent demonstrations quickly and safely.” Portland had 46 shootings in May, 59 shootings in June, and as of July 12 has 42 shootings this month.
The city of Albuquerque, New Mexico was also mentioned as a destination site for federal assistance in combatting increased violence. Local officials there rejected the idea of federal help. “There’s no place for Trump’s secret police in our city,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said. “If this was more than a stunt, these politicians would support constitutional crime fighting efforts that work for our community, not turning Albuquerque into a federal police state.”
None of the mayor involved in the feuds with the President offered any new plans or initiatives to combat the increasing violence. Efforts to remove funds from big city police departments were still underway across the country.
In response to a question on Sunday from Fox News’ Chris Wallace about the reasons behind the surge in violence in big cities, President Trump said, “I explain it very simply by saying they’re Democrat-run cities, they are liberally run. They are stupidly run.”