WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland visited his hometown of Chicago Friday to ask what the city needs to address an uptick in crime and shootings.
“I’m here from Washington to find out what we can do to help you,” he said.
He has already launched task forces in five cities — Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. — to crack down on illegal gun trafficking.
“To take down regional networks that are illegally trafficking guns into target cities,” Garland said.
Overall, violent crime is lower nationwide than it was a decade ago, but cities across the country last year saw a spike in homicides and shootings. The Biden administration has announced several initiatives aimed at stemming the violence.
“DC is also a part of our 16-city community violence intervention collaborative, which is helping cities implement evidence-based strategies which have been shown to reduce violence as much as 60%,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
Republicans blame Democrats for the increase in homicides.
“What do these cities have in common? They are run by Democrats. It is Democrat politicians who are slashing police budgets,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, asserted, blaming Democrats for the deaths of “4,000 men, women and children that would be living, breathing … if it were not for the radicals.”
Last month, Biden urged cities and states to use unspent coronavirus relief dollars to hire more police officers and combat crime.