Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Grudgingly Accepts Federal Law Enforcement Help

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announces the firing Monday, Dec. 2, 2019 of Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has accepted President Donald Trump’s offer of federal law enforcement officials to help fight crime in Chicago — but says they must not patrol protests, as federal officials are doing in Portland, Oregon.

President Trump and Mayor Lightfoot spoke Wednesday evening, after the administration announced that it would surge federal law enforcement agents to Chicago and other cities suffering from a wave of violent crime in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests. The protests have prompted police to scale back patrols — in some cases at the behest of politicians.

Lightfoot claimed that Trump “realized that what he did in Portland was a grave abuse of his presidential power,” though it was not clear that the president had made any such admission. The Department of Homeland Security has sent agents to protect the federal courthouse in downtown Portland, which has been vandalized and firebombed by black-clad rioters associated with Black Lives Matter protests. Some 200 federal officials are expected to be deployed to Chicago.

Earlier this week, Lightfoot compared federal law enforcement officials to terrorists and urged citizens to call 911 if they saw federal officials doing anything that seemed untoward. She seems to have softened her tone — but only somewhat.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News on Thursday morning that Lightfoot should “admit” that she needs the help. Violent crime in Chicago’s African American community has been a problem for years — one that local residents begged President Barack Obama to do something about, but which he neglected during his two terms.

Lightfoot, according to Newsmax, “has accepted additional FBI, DEA, and ATF agents to come to her city to augment and assist local police efforts to control the violence, but the ‘critical difference’ is that the agents will be managed by ‘the U.S. Attorney here in Chicago who I know and trust.'” Lightfoot is herself a former federal prosecutor.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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