Trump says he's sending federal help to Chicago to combat violence

Trump spokeswoman Chicago crime'driven by morality

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The president said on Twitter that he's "sending in Federal help" as crime and killings have reached "epidemic proportions".

The president, who in January decried the high crime rate in the third most populous US city as "carnage", did not specify what type of help he planned to send.

And police, federal agents and prosecutors will reportedly target repeat gun offenders and illegal firearms.

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On Thursday, authorities confirmed that around 20 additional Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents had been dispatched to the city. At different points, he has said Chicago would solve all its crime problems by letting police get "very much tougher" than they are now, and called for "stop-and-frisk" policies - in which police are able to stop and search anyone they deem suspicious - to be enforced in black communities across the nation. The new agents will join the roughly 35 to 40 ATF agents who are already there as part of an initiative formulated in November, when former President Barack Obama was still in office.

"If Chicago doesn't fix the disgusting "carnage" going on ..." Last year, after then-candidate Trump suggested the violence in Chicago could be stopped in days, Johnson said police would welcome whatever "magic bullet" Trump had. But as the police department released figures that show the number of homicides, shooting incidents and shooting victims has dropped, Collins said "the progress CPD has made this year has happened without any of the new resources from the federal government we requested".

The president tweeted early Friday that crime in Chicago has reached "epidemic proportions", referencing the almost 2,000 shootings in the city so far this year.

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A spokesperson for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was not impressed with the task force, telling the New York Times, "If the president was as interested in taking action on public safety as he is in tweeting about it, we would have seen these resources months ago". "We work very closely with the Chicago Police Department".

Chicago police work at the scene of a shooting that killed multiple people on the Chicago Skyway early Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in Chicago.

The police department said it would welcome help from the newly formed team. "They need to not be a sanctuary city, they need to be protecting the people of Chicago from violent criminals". The Justice Department had previously said that more than 20 additional ATF agents were sent to Chicago, and a spokesman said the department was also considering reallocating prosecutors to the city.

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