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Trump Calls Out Chicago Crime 'Epidemic' Ahead Of New Task Force Announcement

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jun 30, 2017 2:40PM

Getty Images / Photo: Pool

It felt like old times on Friday morning as President Donald Trump tweeted about Chicago violence, although there was at least some tangible action to accompany this one. The president said on Twitter that he's "sending in Federal help" as crime and killings have reached "epidemic proportions." Law enforcement officials on Friday are expected to announce a new Chicago Crime Gun Strike Force.

Trump in January infamously threatened to "send in the feds" to fix Chicago's "carnage." So what are the resources? According to a report by the Sun-Times' Frank Main, the strike force will bring in 20 extra Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents deployed to the city. Federal assistance also includes a mobile ballistics van to help track shells and test guns on the spot, which officials announced on Monday.

"The ATF agents are working with about 20 counterparts from the Chicago Police Department and Illinois State Police on a strike force whose mission is to solve shootings and hunt down gun traffickers through ballistics technology," writes the Sun-Times.

The ballistics van has been in the city for three weeks but is only scheduled to remain through July, although Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Sen. Dick Durbin will ask the DOJ to keep it in Chicago until Labor Day, according to DNAinfo.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a statement that law enforcement is "foundationally changing the way we fight crime in Chicago," according to the AP. And police, federal agents and prosecutors will reportedly target repeat gun offenders and illegal firearms.

The announcement comes just ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend, often one of the most violent of the year in Chicago.

Trump tweeted last July that crime in Chicago and other "inner cities" is "not good." He claimed in August he could solve Chicago crime in one week. He also singled out Chicago crime during the presidential debates, when he called for a return to stop and frisk.