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Chicago crime crisis: Holder to send ATF agents instead of cops

During his Wednesday visit to the crime-ridden city of Chicago to meet with the Windy City's Mayor Rahm Emanual and his public safety chiefs, Attorney General Eric Holder, said that as part of his goal to help the city government fight crime and reduce youth violence he is directing the head of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to deploy an additional seven ATF agents to its Chicago office.

Holder's answer to out-of-control violence is to disarm all civilians.
Photo by Pool/Getty Images

According to a Justice Department press statement, the additional ATF agents will work with the U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon and with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The additional seven agents brings the total of ATF enforcement staff with sworn-police status to 52 men and women.

But many law enforcement officials complain that Holder is more interested in furthering his anti-gun ownership agenda than in protecting life and property in Chicago. "Why is he sending gun-grabbers to Chicago instead of real law-enforcement officers? The ATF has a history of exceeding their authority. Remember Waco? Fast and Furious?" notes former police sergeant and detective Marty Sachs.

Sgt. Sachs points to a quote by Attorney General Holder in which he explains the ATF strategy: "The Department of Justice will continue to do everything in its power to help the city of Chicago combat gun violence,” said Holder. "These new agents are a sign of the federal government's ongoing commitment to helping local leaders ensure Chicago's streets are safe.”

Former police detective Iris Aquino shook her head and said, "He said it himself: helping Chicago combat gun violence. Does that mean he's not interested in knife violence? Or blunt instrument violence? What about IED [improvised explosive device] violence? This administration is wrong when it comes to street crime; wrong on fighting criminal alien gangs; and wrong on combating Islamic terrorists.

Last month, the ATF premiered its Chicago Crime Gun Intelligence Center which promised to bring together the anti-gun activities of the Chicago Police Department, Illinois State Police and the ATF to deal with the illegal sales and possession of firearms in the State of Illinois, home of President Barack Obama and birthplace of Hillary Clinton.

Holder's press statement claims that: "Gun crime is the primary driver of homicide in Chicago, and sixty percent of the guns recovered in violent crimes in Chicago were originally sold in other states and trafficked into the city. Given the interstate nature of these crimes, it is critical that federal and local law enforcement work together to identify traffickers and enforce federal gun laws."

"There a two things that seem to be an obsession with Holder: White racism and gun ownership. Just recently he blamed dissatisfaction with the Obama administration on racism against blacks. And he blames climbing crime statistics on guns. He's wrong on both counts," said political strategist Michael Barker.