Sessions, Facing Budget Cut, Won’t Promise To Help Chicago

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Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions for more financial help at a time of runaway violence, but Sessions was noncommittal, saying he didn’t want to make promises he couldn’t keep at a time of proposed cuts to the Justice Department, the Chicago Tribune reports. Johnson was among several chiefs from mostly big-city departments who talked to the nation’s top law enforcement official about how the federal government can help them fight gun violence on their streets. Chief J. Thomas Manger of Montgomery County, Md., president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, said the meeting with Sessions lasted close to an hour and was “substantive.”

Sessions noted that his budget for the next fiscal year had been cut and that he didn’t want to promise anything he couldn’t deliver. After briefing Sessions on Chicago’s violence woes, Johnson called for the addition of more federal prosecutors to help prosecute cases of felons in possession of illegal handguns. “The superintendent said for a city that’s leading headlines with challenges of gun violence, we have one of the lowest federal prosecution rates in the country and that shouldn’t be,” said Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, who also attended the meeting. “The meat and potatoes of what was discussed was bad guys with guns are wreaking havoc in American cities, and the federal government certainly needs to help local entities set an example in a culture of accountability for those repeat offenders.”

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