Chicago Violence

Lightfoot Says Agents Coming to Chicago but ‘We Don't See a Portland-Style Deployment'

Lightfoot said that, as of now, the Trump Administration will not be deploying "unnamed agents" to Chicago's streets, but rather FBI, DEA and ATF agents

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot confirmed Tuesday that federal agents are being sent to Chicago, but so far the city doesn't "see a Portland-style deployment coming."

Lightfoot said that, as of now, the Trump administration will not be deploying "unnamed agents" to Chicago's streets.

Rather, agents from the FBI, DEA and ATF, along with other "additional resources," will be sent to the city to "help manage and suppress violent crime," she said.

One major difference between what is expected in Chicago and the deployment that made headlines in Portland is that those agents will be in contact with and partially managed by U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch, Lightfoot said.

"In Portland they ignored the U.S. Attorney, put these agents on the street and I don't think anyone can quibble with the fact that what happened was not only unconstitutional, it was undemocratic," Lightfoot said at the start of an unrelated press conference Tuesday. "I've been very clear that we welcome actual partnership but we do not welcome dictatorship, we do not welcome authoritarianism and we do not welcome unconstitutional arrest and detainment of our residents. That is something we will not tolerate."

She noted, however, that she is "not naive" and the city will be ready should plans change.

"You can't put anything past the Trump Administration," she said Tuesday.


Concerns first sparked after President Donald Trump tweeted over the weekend what some have taken as a veiled comment that federal help could be sent to multiple cities, including Chicago.

"Look at Portland, where the pols are just fine with 50 days of anarchy," he tweeted. "We sent in help. Look at New York, Chicago, Philadelphia. NO!"

The Trump administration deployed militarized federal agents to Portland despite protests from local officials.

The mayor of Portland demanded Friday that Trump remove the agents after some detained people on streets far from federal property they were sent to protect.

The ACLU of Oregon said the federal agents appear to be violating people's rights, which “should concern everyone in the United States.”

Lightfoot said she had "great concerns" following Trump's tweet and sent a letter to the president Monday, blasting his "unhelpful" rhetoric and outlining ways she believes the federal government can help Chicago reduce violence.

"Such a deployment of secret, federal agents who arrest, and detain residents without any cause and them deprive those residents of due process is clearly unconstitutional," Lightfoot said in her letter. "It is a bad idea and I urge you not to do it."

"We've made numerous requests for titularly in our efforts to address the mid level and upper level criminal networks, drug and gang networks and we have great relationships with our local federal partners and we hope to continue that to address some of the things that are happening," Supt. David Brown said during a press conference Monday.

More than 60 people were shot in gun violence across Chicago over the weekend. At the same time, clashes near the Christopher Columbus statue in the popular Grant Park resulted in 49 officers being injured and a dozen individuals being arrested, according to Chicago police officials.

Four protesters were also hurt during the confrontation, which led local elected officials and activists to condemn the officers’ tactics.

Chicago officials cited "vigilantes" who infiltrated protests with sparking much of the violence that erupted at an otherwise peaceful event. Police also said the demonstrations forced the department to "divert precious resources" to the large gatherings instead of working toward "deterring violence."

Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara also wrote a letter to the president asking for federal help in addressing violence in the city.

The statue of Christopher Columbus at Chicago's Grant Park was vandalized following a Friday night Black Lives Matter protest.

Trump has repeatedly threatened to send in federal assets to help combat violence, even recently penning a letter to Lightfoot and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker in June, criticizing them for a “lack of leadership” in addressing violence.

“Your lack of leadership on this important issue continues to fail the people you have sworn to protect,” he said. “I am concerned it is another example of your lack of commitment to the vulnerable citizens who are the victims of this violence and a lack of respect for the men and women in law enforcement.”

Lightfoot blasted the letter as a “litany of nonsense,” calling for the president to push for meaningful actions to address violence, including gun reform legislation.

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