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Rahm Welcomes Federal Help For Chicago, But National Guard 'Out Of The Question'

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Jan 25, 2017 10:57PM

Rahm Emanuel / Photo: Aaron Cynic

Mayor Rahm Emanuel told reporters Wednesday that he would welcome federal assistance when it comes to Chicago's entrenched violence problem, but he would oppose the idea of the National Guard being sent to Chicago—a suggestion that was raised after President Donald Trump ominously tweeted Tuesday evening that he would "send in the feds" if Chicago didn't reverse its violence trend.

Emanuel said that the National Guard's presence in Chicago would be "antithetical to the spirit of what community policing is."

The National Guard "has nothing to do with public safety," Emanuel said Wednesday. "The place you want — if it comes to safety and security when dealing with gangs and guns — you want the federal resources that are set up to deal with that," Emanuel said, according to the Tribune. "That is the ATF, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. That is DEA, Drug Enforcement Agency. That is FBI, the Federal Bureau of Investigations."

Chicago has been a frequent target in Trump's remarks about violence in American cities—but so far Trump and his spokespeople have been particularly vague about solutions. On the campaign trail last year, Trump even said that he would be able to fix Chicago's violence problem in just one week as president. Leaving aside the fact that it will be one week on Friday, and Chicago is already outpacing 2016 in terms of gun violence and homicides, it's unclear what the National Guard could do that Chicago police have been unable to do.

Federal assistance, in the form of either sending more ATF, DEA OR FBI agents to Chicago or allocating federal money to programs that aid Chicago's poorest communities, could certainly help. But to do that, would seemingly need to re-think his plan to cut federal funding to "sanctuary cities" like Chicago that support immigrants' rights.