US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday an "increase" in federal agents in criminal hot spots like Chicago after violence increased in the country's third largest city.
"I am announcing an increase in law enforcement agencies in violent crime communities," Trump told the White House with Attorney General William Barr and directors of the FBI and Department of Homeland Security in the audience.
The Justice Department would "bring federal law enforcement to the city of Chicago immediately," added the president, who has been increasingly trying to make law and order an issue in his weakening re-election campaign.
Barr said "Operation Legend" would send about 200 agents to Windy City and another 30 to Albuquerque, New Mexico, after starting in Kansas City, Missouri earlier this month, where there are already 200 officers.
The shootings this summer have increased in a number of US cities. Last weekend alone, more than 60 people were shot in Chicago, including 14 fatalities.
Trump warned Monday he could send federal officials to New York and other democratically run cities to protect federal buildings and clear up a breakdown of law and order.
The warning came after an unusual deployment of federal agents in military clothing amid protests in Portland, Oregon, many of whom said they had a touch of authoritarianism.
However, federal agents who will work with local law enforcement agencies, not with the counterinsurgency forces observed in Portland, have been involved in the operation announced on Wednesday, which will work with local law enforcement agencies.
The mayors of six major cities – Atlanta, Washington, Seattle, Chicago, Portland, and Kansas City – said Monday in a letter to Acting Secretary of Barr and Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, that uninvited federal troops were violating the constitution.
On Wednesday, Trump said he wanted "to make law enforcement stronger, not weaker," adding that more officials should be hired instead of cutting police department budgets.
With the mention of police budgets, Trump responded to calls for "Defund Police", a general waiver of anti-racism protests that surfaced across the country in Minneapolis after the death of African American George Floyd by a white policeman.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)