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President Donald Trump announced that he ordered federal troops to Chicago, Illinois, in order to fight the surge of violence in recent weeks.
The president made the announcement on Wednesday at the White House East Room.
“No citizens have suffered more from the menace of violent crime than the wonderful people of Chicago, a city I know very well,” said Trump.
“At least 414 people have been murdered in the city this year, a roughly 50% increase over last year. More than 1,900 people have been shot. These are numbers that aren’t even to be believed. Yesterday alone 23 people were shot in Chicago including at least 15 who were shot in a merciless onslaught of gunfire outside a funeral home,” he continued.
“Over the Fourth of July weekend, nearly 80 people were shot and at least 12 people were killed,” the president added before recounting more statistics of the horrific violence in Chicago.
“Behind each of these horrifying statistics is a victim, a family, a loved one, a life cruelly shattered and it’s so sad to see and so sad to look and so sad to see how these lives have been been just torn apart,” he continued.
The president offered comfort to the families of victims of violence that were invited to the White House announcement.
“I am announcing that the Department of Justice will immediately surge federal law enforcement to the city of Chicago,” said the president.
“The FBI, ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service and Homeland Security will together be sending hundreds of skilled law enforcement officers to Chicago to help drive down violent crime,” Trump added. “And murderers and violent criminals are breaking a wide range of federal laws, we have that, it’s as wide as it can be. We will find them, arrest them and prosecute them, they will be in jail for many years to come.”
The president has faced criticism after he sent federal officers to Portland, Oregon, to help quell the violence erupting from protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody. Among the critics were Democratic Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler who said the order was “a blatant abuse of police tactics by the federal government,” and accused the officers of escalating the violence.
“For those people in Chicago and other cities where we’ll be, help is on its way,” the president said.