Brown calls for federal aid to fight violence, but activists call for different tactics – NBC Chicago
Chicago Police Commissioner David Brown was in Washington, DC for a White House summit on crime Monday when President Joe Biden’s administration offers cities federal resources to stem a growing tide of gun violence.
According to federal statistics, violent crime has risen in a number of large cities this year. Talks in the White House on Monday focused on efforts by the federal government to stop these trends, including the use of “strike forces” and more collaboration between local police and federal agencies, including the FBI and ATF.
Brown says Chicago will get more of that government support.
“The President and his administration and Attorney General (Merrick) Garland felt a sense of urgency about what we can do now and what resources we can add now.”
Brown went into the details, but said more federal personnel to fight the illicit arms trafficking and accelerated conspiracy cases before the courts will help support the work needed to reduce crime.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot welcomed the White House’s involvement in the fight against gun violence and said the city would welcome the “strike forces” and other tools to assist law enforcement agencies. She said the city did not need National Guard deployments and should instead focus on other efforts.
“It will make a huge difference here in town to make sure that the US Attorney General, ATF and other federal resources are really focused on stopping the arms trade,” she said.
Anti-violence groups in the city are wondering whether further federal intervention will actually change the results.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot welcomed efforts by President Joe Biden’s administration to help combat gun violence in the city but rejected calls for the National Guard to be deployed. NBC 5’s Mary Ann Ahern added this story and more to Mayor’s comments on Monday.
“You have to talk to the people who are actually there and doing the work every day,” said Lamar Johnson, a violence prevention coordinator at St. Sabina’s Church.
Johnson helps guide violence prevention efforts in the church, saying that violence is not a problem that can be solved simply by increasing the resources and staff of the police force.
“You have David Brown going to the White House and not once has he sat down with community leaders who actually do the work before you speak to President Biden because you can’t get out of this situation,” he said .
Vaughn Bryant leads more than a dozen partner organizations working to reach out to Chicago’s most vulnerable to gun violence.
“People have said to me, ‘I like the rush, I like the adrenaline, I like the competition,'” he said. “But what they don’t know is that in the legitimate world they could be on Wall Street.”
Bryant says it will take time to undo decades of discrimination and divestment, but the important work his teams are doing is worth it and will be effective.
“There is no better feeling than being part of someone’s life who is moving in a positive direction,” he said.