CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — Gov. JB Prtizker said Illinois will resist any efforts from the federal government to address a recent increase in violence in Chicago.
Pritzker said he spoke with the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Wednesday morning and said he welcomes legitimate resources from the federal government, but “will not stand for U.S. civil rights violations like in Portland.”
In the wake of more than 50 days of protests and riots on the streets of Portland in the wake of the death of George Floyd, President Donald Trump sent in federal law enforcement agents to defend federal buildings.
Agents have fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators and arrested about 43 people since July 4, mostly for minor offenses. Agents in unmarked vehicles with generic “police” patches on their camouflage uniforms arrested people at night without identifying themselves.
Pritzker said Wednesday that “there is no transparency” in those actions and said any efforts from the federal government to do the same in cities like Chicago, where nearly 50 police officers were injured in a clash with protesters over the weekend, would be met with “resistance from the state.”
The Trump administration has said it plans to send agents to Chicago to respond to gun violence, and Trump says federal agents could be deployed elsewhere as he makes law and order a central element in his reelection campaign.
The president of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police wrote a letter to Trump last weekend, asking for federal help dealing with the city’s violence epidemic.
On Wednesday, Pritzker said “If you want to fix a problem, you start with the roots of the problem,” and said that can mean getting guns off the street, but also investing in schools and mental health institutions.
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