Because of "crime and killings" now at "epidemic proportions," President Trump has sent the feds into Chicago, he tweeted Friday morning. His announcement aligns with previous tweets in which he called the city's murder rate "record setting" and the situation "totally out of control," noting if the "horrible 'carnage'" didn't subside, he'd "send in the Feds!" Per two stories in the Chicago Sun-Times—which notes 1,737 people have been shot this year in Chicago, a bit more than the 1,714 Trump cited in his tweet—20 or so ATF agents will team up with about 40 ATF agents already there to combat gun violence. The group will join the Chicago Police Department and Illinois State Police on a strike force whose goal is to use ballistics technology to crack down on gun traffickers, as well as to get illegal guns and repeat shooters off the streets, per the AP.
"The goal is [to] prosecute as many of these guys as possible federally where they will serve longer prison terms," the head of the Chicago PD's organized-crime unit tells the Sun-Times. Per the AP, Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared on Fox and Friends Friday morning to talk about the initiative, noting "the police have been demoralized in many ways" and stressing that Chicago needs "to not be a sanctuary city" and should start deporting "violent criminals that have been convicted." The strike force was originally brainstormed in November, during Barack Obama's administration, an ATF rep tells the Sun-Times. He adds that unlike previous bureau "surges" in Chicago—where 306 people have already died this year from gun violence—these agents are "here permanently." (Read more President Trump stories.)