Image: Ill. Lawmaker Wants National Guard to Help Stop Chicago Violence

Ill. Lawmaker Wants National Guard to Help Stop Chicago Violence

Wednesday, 10 Jul 2013 12:45 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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A long-time Illinois lawmaker wants the National Guard and State Police sent into Chicago to assist local law enforcement protect the city and its residents from further violent outbreaks.

State Rep. Monique Davis, a Democrat from Chicago, asked Gov. Patrick Quinn to work closely with Mayor Rahm Emanuel to bring in forces to help "provide safety for the children, especially, " reports KMOX radio in St. Louis.

Over the July 4 holiday weekend, 74 people were shot and 12 killed in Chicago. But that violence is nothing new.

Chicago, the nation's third-largest city, last year recorded a homicide rate more than three times higher than New York's and doubled the rate in Los Angeles.

The shootings cost Chicago about $2.5 billion a year, including intangible costs that occur when people don't go outside their homes or frequent businesses, said Jens Ludwig, director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab.

Davis said the city has too little police presence to handle the violence.

"It's almost as if there’s a war going on," Davis told the Chicago Sun-Times. "It seems like it is genocide, and those officials who can do something about it have chosen not to do anything about it. I'm calling for the National Guard to come to Chicago and ride up and down these streets."

However, Davis said, if the extra forces are deployed, she would want a special commission to give law enforcement clear orders so that residents won't end up fearing the authorities as well.

Other Democrats appearing at a Tuesday's news conference in Springfield disagreed with calling in troops, reports The Springfield News-Gazette.

"I happen to disagree with calling in the state police and the National Guard," said Rep. Mary Flowers, a Chicago Democrat, "but what I do agree with is that the governor needs to do something. We must be respected in our community. We must have jobs in our community."

Davis said Quinn has not responded to her request for a meeting.

"There just is not enough concern," she said. "We are very concerned about pensions. We are very concerned about marriage equality. We are very concerned about everything but these deaths that are occurring on a daily basis."

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