The Trump administration, Justice Department, and Homeland Security are expanding deployment of federal law enforcement agents from the FBI, US marshals, DEA, HSI, and ATF into additional cities to quell violent protests.
Plus, where will federal law enforcement agents be deployed next, and what’s behind the rise in violent crime?
Deployment of federal law enforcement agents expanding to more cities
In an effort to quell protests that have turned violent and have escalated into destruction and rioting in Democrat-run cities across the nation, where leaders seem to be standing idly by and allowing the mayhem to continue, federal agencies are joining together to bring an end to the anarchy.
A cooperative effort called “Operation Legend” between the Trump administration, Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is expanding the deployment of federal law enforcement agents to additional cities that officials have deemed to be “plagued by recent violence,” Daily Wire reported.
Where are agents deployed and where are they going next?
US Attorney General William Barr said that in addition to being deployed in Portland, Oregon, 200 agents have already been sent to Kansas City, Missouri, the BBC reported. Barr said that Chicago, Illinois in Albuquerque, New Mexico are next and that the agents would be involved in “classic crime-fighting,” as opposed to the work of DHS agents defending against riots and mob violence in Portland.
Trump has previously hinted that New York City could be next if Governor Andrew Cuomo doesn’t take action to reduce the crime wave there.
According to comments made at the White House, the Justice Department plans to expand the initiative to Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee over the next three weeks, Fox 8 reported.
Crime rates have also spiked in Indianapolis and Las Vegas.
What is causing the spike in crime?
The Police Executive Research Forum, a law-enforcement nonprofit said that one factor behind the uptick was various jurisdictions granting early release to inmates to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in prisons, ABC reported.
Criminal justice experts also speculate that the massive unemployment as a result of the coronavirus pandemic may also be a significant factor, while the chief of the New York Police Department, Terrance Monahan, believes that “anti-police rhetoric” is also to blame.
After back-and-forth twitter spats and rants against President Donald Trump, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is now welcoming federal assistance to the city. The $3.5 million the federal government is giving her city may also have something to do with her change of attitude.
Lightfoot said on Tuesday: “We welcome actual partnership, but we do not welcome dictatorship.”
According to reports, the DOJ is sending 100 federal investigators from the FBI, DEA, and ATF to Chicago to supplement state and local law enforcement there. In addition, the investigation efforts will be supplemented by over 100 members of the US marshals service. The DHS is also committing at least 100 agents from the agency’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to the city that will focus on gangs, narcotics traffickers, violent offenders, and firearms traffickers.
The Bureau of Justice assistance has allocated $3.5 million to help reimburse the Chicago Police Department and city of Chicago to supplement the work of local law enforcement with federal task forces.
The DOJ is sending over 25 federal investigators from the FBI, DEA, and ATF to Chicago to supplement state and local law enforcement there. Up to 10 HSI agents will be deployed. The DOJ is also allocating $1.5 million for the hiring of local law enforcement.
The Bureau of Justice assistance has allocated $1.4 million to reimburse the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s office and Albuquerque Police Department for the work of local law enforcement with federal task forces.
Federal officers in Portland may have been permanently blinded by lasers
As crowds of over 1000 violent protesters in Portland have attacked law enforcement for more than 50 consecutive nights, in a variety of ways, one tactic may have been using is to shine lasers in the eyes of officers.
Officials are reporting that at least 3 federal officers may have been permanently blinded due to lasers being shined into their eyes earlier this week.
Portland Mayor shows up to support protesters, crowd turns on him, now warns “somebody’s going to die”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, who has been vehemently criticizing federal authorities for their deployment in the city against violent protesters, decided to show up and join a large crowd of protesters late Wednesday night. But instead of being greeted with camaraderie, the angry crowd turned against the mayor, cursing him, throwing things at him, aiming leaf blowers in his face, and telling him to resign.
After the protest was declared a riot, federal authorities deployed teargas and the mayor was among those on the receiving end. Still, the mayor doubled down on his criticisms of Trump and federal law enforcement, USA Today reported.
“President Trump needs to focus on coronavirus and get his troops out of the city,” Wheeler said. “My biggest fear is that somebody’s going to die. I want them to leave. This is going to come to a city near you if we don’t stop it.”