WASHINGTON—U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on President Trump to do more than just tweet about the gun violence epidemic in Chicago, and provide a surge in federal support and resources to assist in public safety and economic development efforts in the city. In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin pressed President Trump to direct the Department of Justice to enhance programs that improve community policing, such as the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) programs, and to also promote mentoring and job training through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the federal Second Chance Act, and other programs. Durbin’s remarks follow the recent shooting deaths of three young children in Chicago – 11-year-old Takiya Holmes, 12-year-old Kanari Gentry-Bowers, and 2-year-old Lavontay White Jr.
“We need the federal government to be an engaged partner with cities like Chicago to help reduce violence and expand economic options in depressed neighborhoods…We can do more. President Trump sends out a lot of tweets. He likes to tweet about Chicago, and I’m not quite sure why. Tweeting doesn't save lives. Saying that you're going to send in the feds, well, that may be one of those short tweets that's catchy, but it doesn't mean a damned thing to the people who are being shot and dying in Chicago,”said Durbin. “I urge the President and his Administration to re-prioritize federal resources to reduce gun violence in Chicago and around the nation. It’s going to save a lot more lives than tweeting.”
Last week, Durbin joined Senator Duckworth in a letter to President Trump asking him to provide a surge in federal support and resources for Chicago.