Local officials, groups call on Lightfoot to oppose plan to send more federal agents to Chicago

Chicago News
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CHICAGO —  Three dozen state and local lawmakers joined dozens of community groups to call on Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart to stop cooperating with federal agents sent to Chicago by the Trump administration Monday. 

State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) was among the many lawmakers and leaders who signed a strongly-worded open letter that states they do not trust any promises that President Trump and administration officials have made in announcing a surge of federal officers to help drive down violent crime.

“When it came to this letter, it’s one part protecting people, one part protecting organizers, and one part protecting our reputation from our president who constantly attacks Chicago and has made it a part of his political agenda,” Peters said.

Lightfoot reiterated her stance against any military-style occupying force or anything similar to what was seen in Portland Monday. She said her understanding is federal agents will be additional resources to partnerships that already exist between Chicago police and federal agencies, such as the FBI, ATF, DEA and U.S. Marshalls.

“These are not troops, that’s not what’s coming to Chicago… I draw a very firm line against that,” Lightfoot said. 

The letter points out Chicago has more police officers per capita than any other major U.S. city, and it has not made it the safest city by any measure. Instead, the letter suggests the city must invest in jobs, housing, schools and healing, not prisons and police and, “definitely not cooperation with a dangerous, racist and repressive presidential administration.”

“The best way for us to get out of it is investing in the people in the community. We need resources and support,” Peters said.

Lightfoot said Monday afternoon she still had not seen the letter, and declined to comment on the matter. Dart said he doesn’t have any comment on the letter at this time. 

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