The Department of Homeland Security will deploy about 150 agents to Chicago, Illinois, to help local law enforcement quell the increased violence in the city, the local Chicago Tribune newspaper reported on Monday citing sources familiar with the matter.
The city was informed of the plan but was not given any details as to what the agents will be doing specifically.
The plan is reportedly an expansion of Operation Legend, announced by the Justice Department in early July to assist local enforcement officials in fighting the surge in violence, starting with Kansas City.
Chicago has recently seen a spike in deadly crimes. Over the weekend, at least 63 people were injured in shootings throughout the city, 12 of them died.
Earlier on Monday, President Donald Trump said he is seeking to send more federal agents to other major US cities experiencing an uptick in violence, such as New York City. Last week, federal agents were deployed to Portland to help quell the unrest there.
The mayors of Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, Kansas City and Portland have protested the move in a letter to US Attorney General William Barr and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, saying that the unilateral deployment of these forces in US cities is “unprecedented” and “violates fundamental constitutional protections and tenets of federalism.”
On 8 July, Barr announced the launch of Operation Legend, named after four-year-old LeGend Taliferro from Kansas City who was killed while he slept early in the morning.
“President Trump has made clear: the federal government stands ready and willing to assist any of our state and local law enforcement partners across the nation responding to violent crime.
Operation Legend will combine federal and local resources to combat the disturbing uptick in violence by surging federal agents and other federal assets into cities like Kansas City, a city currently experiencing its worst homicide rate in its history”, Barr said in a statement.
Kansas City has had 100 homicides so far this year, which is a 40 percent increase compared to the same period last year, the release said.
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