Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot sent a letter to President Trump Monday, blasting his “unhelpful” rhetoric and outlining ways she believes the federal government can help Chicago in an effort to reduce violence.
In the letter, Lightfoot, who has often criticized the president, said the federal government has the “unique ability to step up in the following areas:” common sense gun safety reform, public safety support, community outreach and community investment.
Combating gun violence in the city, the mayor stated, requires leadership at all levels of government and genuine efforts to “unite us and collaborate, not more conflict and division.”
Lightfoot also took aim at President Trump’s stance on gun reform and the possibility he could send federal agents to the city to help quell spiking violence and protests.
The president tweeted over the weekend what some have taken as a veiled comment that federal help could be sent to multiple cities, including Chicago.
“Such a deployment of secret, federal agents who arrest, and detain residents without any cause and them deprive those residents of due process is clearly unconstitutional,” Lightfoot said in her letter to the president. “It is a bad idea and I urge you not to do it.”
More than 60 people were shot in weekend gun violence across Chicago. At the same time, Clashes near the Christopher Columbus statue in the city’s popular Grant Park resulted in 49 officers being injured and a dozen individuals being arrested, according to Chicago police officials.
The statue of Christopher Columbus at Chicago’s Grant Park was vandalized following a Friday night Black Lives Matter protest.
Trump also penned a letter to Lightfoot and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker in June, criticizing them for a “lack of leadership” in addressing violence.
“Your lack of leadership on this important issue continues to fail the people you have sworn to protect,” he said. “I am concerned it is another example of your lack of commitment to the vulnerable citizens who are the victims of this violence and a lack of respect for the men and women in law enforcement.”
Lightfoot blasted the letter as a “litany of nonsense,” calling for the president to push for meaningful actions to address violence, including gun reform legislation.