(M. Spencer Green, AP)
The Federal Government plans to deploy seven new ATF agents to the city of Chicago to help curb its high rate of gun violence, according to the Chicago Tribune. This will increase the number of agents currently in the city to 52.
The agents are reportedly working closely with the Chicago Police Department to trace the flow of guns into the City and track guns used in crimes.
According to The AP, Attorney General Eric Holder released a statement on the matter:
“The Department of Justice will continue to do everything in its power to help the city of Chicago combat gun violence. These new agents are a sign of the federal government’s ongoing commitment to helping local leaders ensure Chicago’s streets are safe.”
This news follows a violent Fourth of July weekend where 82 people were shot and 16 killed.
Several teens were also affected by the gun violence.
One of the fatalities included 16-year-old Warren Robinson who was shot and killed by police after it was alleged he had a gun and pointed it at them. Police also shot and killed 14-year-old Pedro Rios after they alleged he pointed a gun at them.
There were a total of five police-related shootings over the weekend, according to Chicago Sun-Times.
Since Jan 1., more than 1,100 people have been shot in Chicago, according to Huffington Post.
NBC Chicago reports the number of people killed this year is down from 2013 when 12 men were killed and at least 60 others wounded.
The federal government also announced it would create a new Violent Crimes section following a bloody Easter weekend in Chicago where nine people were killed and 36 wounded.Those wounded included five children, ages 11 to 15.
U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon said the Violent Crimes section would include 16 prosecutors from the larger Narcotics and Gangs section, according to the Tribune.
The specially selected prosecutors will reportedly use drug and gun statues to tackle gangs responsible for violent acts, Randall Samborn, a spokesman for Fardon, said, according to the Tribune.
“This is putting a group of talented attorneys together and telling them that their mission is to help the city and the district tamp down violent crime…and to use all the tools and strategies at their disposal that are going accomplish that mission,” Samborn said, according to the Tribune.
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