WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and his administration said they’ll send federal law enforcement officers to several U.S. cities, including Chicago, in order to combat violent crime.
The president specifically mentioned crime stats in New York City, but did not say authorities would be deployed to the area.
Trump said more than 300 people were shot in NYC in the last month, inaccurately saying it was at least a 277% increase over the same period last year.
CompStat data from the NYPD shows there have been 323 shooting victims in the 28-day period ending July 19. Compared to that same 28 days in 2019, shootings were up about 200%, according to NYPD data.
The cities receiving the “surge” in federal authorities include Chicago and Albuquerque, New Mexico. More will be added in the future, according to Attorney General William Barr.
NYC, at the moment, is not on the list of cities to which federal authorities will be deployed.
The officers being deployed are from the FBI; Drug Enforcement Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S Marshals, and authorities from the Department of Homeland Security, Trump said.
The program is titled “Operation Legend,” and is a Department of Justice initiative meant to reduce violent crime in several U.S. cities.
On July 8, Barr launched the initiative by sending more than 200 federal agents to Kansas City, where violent crime is up 40% since last year. At least 100 homicides have taken place in the city so far this year.
Barr said Operation Legend is the result of more than a year of work to create anti-crime task forces in large cities around the country. He said these officers are “classic crime fighters” and are not part of efforts to protect federal property.
However, not all cities have been receptive to the Trump administration’s plan. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has signaled she would not welcome the agents, and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has threatened to file a lawsuit to keep the agents out.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday federal action is not necessary.
- Read more: Cuomo to Trump: Federal action not necessary; state prepared to step in if NYC crime, crowding grow
The governor said during a phone conference that he spoke to the president the day prior regarding federal agents possibly being sent to NYC.
He told Trump he is also concerned about the rising crime in the city, but believes the situation can be managed by the state and he is ready to do so, if needed.
Cuomo also said that if he felt there was a public safety emergency in NYC that would require assistance, he would declare it and the state would send in additional resources to assist the NYPD.
Cuomo and Trump both agreed that if the president had further concerns about NYC, they would talk before any federal action is taken.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea also said Tuesday the agency does not need help from federal authorities to combat a recent uptick in shootings.
The Trump administration has already deployed federal agents to the streets of Portland in the hopes of quelling anti-police brutality protests in the city. The agents’ presence in the city has ratcheted up the intensity of protests in recent days, as agents have deployed tear gas and have been seen hitting and punching protesters.
According to Customs and Border Patrol, its agents were sent to Portland as part of President Donald Trump’s executive order aimed at protecting monuments and statues — not as a part of Operation Legend.
Lauren Cook, Mark Sundstrom, Kristine Garcia and Scripps National contributed.