CHICAGO – Chicago’s top cop joined a guns violence summit in the nation’s capital following another deadly weekend in the city where more than 40 people were shot and 10 were killed.
In brief public remarks on Monday, President Biden made no mention of gun control legislation. Instead, he talked about moving quickly to help local law enforcement.
The news comes as men and women on the front lines of America’s violent crime surge on Monday visited the White House.
“We can’t continue to respond to symptoms. It’s time to respond to the underlying causes of violence in our cities,” said Eric Adams, candidate for New York City Mayor.
The meeting provided an opportunity for President Biden to discuss solutions. The president urged local agencies to draw on $359 billion in funds from his coronavirus relief package to support law enforcement.
Additionally, the president is directing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to speed up its work revoking licenses of gun dealers who fail to run background checks.
On another front, the Justice Department is launching firearms trafficking strike forces, including one in Chicago.
“One of the things we discussed was the sense of urgency around violence, the things we can do in the near term now, the strike force being one of the things we can start doing now,” said Chicago police Superintendent David Brown.
Brown said he had a separate conversation with U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“Attorney General Garland and I had conversations before the meeting started. We had some commitments from him to help out Chicago,” Brown said.
Activist Pastor Donovon Price said he has a unique view of Chicago’s violence challenges. On the bloody Fourth of July weekend, Price says he visited 43 of the city’s 100 shootings.
“There’s constant shootings all night long. There’s no on time. There’s no off time,” Price said. “There’s no too hot, too cold. There’s no pandemic that can slow it down. There’s nothing that can slow it down. So that means that there needs to be something inside of the people that are on the solutions side and inside the people who are on the problem side. They need to be touched, reached, dealt with, or something.”
Republicans accuse Biden and his party of being soft on crime. But he has refused to embrace the calls from some of the left to defund the police. Biden, in fact, has called for more police funding.