In a press conference on Tuesday (July 21), Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she would not allow Donald Trump to deploy unnamed federal agents to respond to anti-police brutality protests, as has happened in Portland.
“What I understand at this point... is that the Trump administration is not going to foolishly deploy unnamed agents to the streets of Chicago,” she said. “We have information that allows us to say — at least at this point — that we don’t see a Portland-style deployment coming to Chicago.”
Instead, the administration is expected to send agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigations; Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“Unlike what happened in Portland, what we will receive is resources that are going to plug in to the existing federal agencies that we work with on a regular basis to help manage and suppress violent crime,” Lightfoot continued. “I’ve been very clear that we welcome actual partnership, but we do not welcome dictatorship.”
The announcement arrives after Trump pledged to send federal agents to Chicago and other cities in response to protests. The administration has discussed deploying as many as 150 agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and agents from other departments in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reports.
“Under no circumstances will I allow Donald Trump’s troops to come to Chicago and terrorize our residents,” Mayor Lightfoot added on Twitter.
Federal officers’ treatment of civilian protesters has been widely criticized after recent events in Portland. Last week, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed a lawsuit against several federal departments for “unlawfully detaining” protesters, spraying tear gas and firing less-lethal shots at crowds and violating protesters’ Constitutional rights. The Oregon governor and Portland mayor have condemned the agents on social media and demanded that Trump remove them, as Mayor Lightfoot is now attempting to do.
Earlier this week on on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut,” Lightfoot said she would file a lawsuit in order to stop Trump from sending federal agents to Chicago if necessary.
“We’re not going to have tyranny in the city of Chicago,” Lightfoot said. “Our democracy is at stake and I’ll be darned if I’m going to let anybody — even if their name is Mr. President — bring those kind of troops to our city and try to take off our residents.”
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker also said he would work to prevent the influx of agents on Tuesday, calling them a “wrong-headed move on the part of Donald Trump... [and] Homeland Security.”
See Lightfoot’s tweet below.
Under no circumstances will I allow Donald Trump’s troops to come to Chicago and terrorize our residents.— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) July 21, 2020