Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson met Thursday in Washington with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other police chiefs to discuss federal assistance to fight crime, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Sessions was “noncommittal” to requests for federal assistance, saying that he cannot make promises when his department faces budget cuts, the Tribune said.
The attorney general’s response is puzzling in Chicago’s case because President Donald Trump put the city on notice that he would “send in the Feds” if the city fails to stem the “carnage” from its surge of violence. That message came after Trump tweeted that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel should ask for federal assistance.
Chicago saw a spike in violence last year that resulted in 762 homicides. The city’s 2016 death toll was higher than New York and Los Angeles combined.
According to the Tribune, Johnson informed Session about the city’s skyrocketing gun violence, and asked for more federal prosecutors to help with felony possession of illegal gun cases.
“The superintendent said for a city that’s leading headlines with challenges of gun violence, we have one of the lowest federal prosecution rates in the country and that shouldn’t be,” Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi stated, according to the newspaper.
The police superintendent also requested more U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents to help local investigators trace gun trafficking to Chicago.
Johnson joined the other big city police chief in pressing Sessions on the future of the DOJ’s civil rights division, which issued a damaging report in January about violations in the Chicago Police Department. Sessions said in February that he would “pull back” on federal civil rights probes of police departments.
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune