President Donald Trump on Monday said his administration will send more federal law enforcement personnel to major cities facing a surge in violence.
“New York and Chicago and Philadelphia and Detroit and Baltimore … we’re not going to let this happen in our country,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “We will have more federal law enforcement. That I can tell you.” He also said Oakland, California, could see federal agents.
“All run by Democrats … very liberal Democrats,” he added.
Those cities in recent days, following weeks of Black Lives Matter protests and a wave of anti-police sentiment, have experienced a spike in shootings.
Trump on Monday specifically said Chicago is in need of federal help. Over this past weekend, at least 10 people were killed and 70 were shot in separate incidents across the city, while over the Father’s Day weekend last month, more than 100 people were shot.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot told the Chicago Tribune that she is concerned about the federal government sending agents to the city. It came after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents were sent to Portland in light of weeks of riots and other civil unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.
“They grab ’em, a lot of people in jail, their leaders, these are anarchists, these are not protesters … these are people who hate our country and we’re not going to let it go forward,” Trump said of the arrests made in Portland.
Governors, mayors, and senators are “physically afraid of these people,” he added, referring to individuals that he described as violent anarchists.
Unconfirmed reports claimed that about 150 DHS officials will be sent to Chicago to deal with the city’s crime. The agency, however, has not made an official announcement about the reported plan.
“We don’t need federal agents without any insignia taking people off the streets and holding them, I think, unlawfully,” Lightfoot said.
Following arrests that were made in Portland, Oregon, the agency said that agents are identifying themselves Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials.
“The CBP agents identified themselves and were wearing CBP insignia during the encounter,” the DHS said in a statement. “The names of the agents were not displayed due to recent doxing incidents against law enforcement personnel who serve and protect our country.”
The agents weren’t wearing name tags, citing recent attempts online to identify police and other officials as an intimidation strategy.
Trump has decried the demonstrators in Portland as “anarchists” and said on Sunday that he is trying “to help Portland, not hurt it.”
“We must protect Federal property, AND OUR PEOPLE. These were not merely protesters, these are the real deal!” Trump added.
Portland’s Democratic mayor, Ted Wheeler, alleged that a small group of violent agitators are trying to use the Black Lives Matter protests to cause mayhem.
He said that the federal government shouldn’t send agents there because it would exacerbate the unrest.
“Keep your troops in your own buildings, or have them leave our city,” Wheeler said last week.