CHICAGO (AP) - The Latest on a local and federal initiative to curb gun violence in Chicago (all times local):
Authorities say a growing partnership between federal law enforcement and the Chicago Police Department already is paying off.
Acting U.S. Attorney Joel Levin told reporters Friday that his office already has prosecuted more federal gun cases this year than in all of 2016. And in 2016, his office prosecuted more such cases than it had in a decade.
Levin spoke during a news conference in which it was announced that 20 more bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco , Firearms and Explosives agents have been permanently assigned to Chicago.
The announcement came hours after President Donald Trump tweeted that he was sending more “federal help” to the city to combat crime that he says has reached “epidemic proportions.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions later said he’d also send more federal prosecutors.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the Justice Department will send more federal prosecutors to Chicago to focus on ending gun violence in the city.
Sessions said in a statement Friday that the prosecutors will “prioritize prosecutions to reduce gun violence,” and that federal officials will work alongside local law enforcement to “stop the lawlessness.”
His statement comes as officials announce a new collaboration to stem the flow of illegal guns into Chicago.
President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that Chicago crime is at “epidemic proportions.”
Sessions is also blaming spikes in violence on so-called sanctuary city policies. He says the Trump administration will work to ensure local jurisdictions cooperate with federal immigration authorities “and protect our citizens, rather than protecting the criminal illegal aliens who prey upon them.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office says the city welcomes the 20 additional federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms who have been sent to help combat the city’s rampant gun violence.
Adam Collins made his comments after President Donald Trump tweeted Friday morning that “Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help.”
Collins said in an email that the mayor’s office has for months said it would welcome additional federal support and that city police have made progress even “without any of the new resources from the federal government we requested.”
Police figures show that the number of shooting incidents and victims have dropped from last year, although the number of shooting deaths is basically the same.
Chicago police and federal agents are collaborating in an initiative to stem the flow of illegal guns in the city as part of efforts to curb rampant violence.
President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that “Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help.”
His tweet came ahead of an announcement by Chicago police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives about the Chicago Crime Gun Strike Force. The Chicago Sun-Times reports 20 additional ATF agents have been sent to Chicago.
Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a statement “we are foundationally changing the way we fight crime in Chicago.”
State police, intelligence analysts and state and federal prosecutors will target illegal guns and repeat gun offenders.
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