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Feds Send $500K To Chicago Despite Threats To Yank Sanctuary City Funds

By Tanveer Ali | October 5, 2017 5:32pm | Updated on October 5, 2017 5:37pm

CHICAGO — After months of threatening to yank law enforcement funds from cities like Chicago over sanctuary policies, the Trump administration has awarded the city $500,000 to fight gang and gun crimes.

The city was issued a federal award of $499,443 as a part of the U.S. Department of Justice's renewal of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program, which was started in 2001 under President George W. Bush.

The program "is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun and gang crime in America by networking existing local programs that target gun and gun crime and providing these programs with additional tools necessary to be successful."

Last month, a federal judge issued a nationwide decision that barred the Trump administration from taking away law enforcement funds from cities like Chicago, which have sanctuary policies that restrict local law enforcement from working with federal immigration agents.

In 2016, Chicago got $2.3 million through the grant program specifically impacted in the lawsuit. That money partially went toward buying police body cameras after a series of fatal encounters between police officers and unarmed civilians. 

The Project Safe Neighborhoods program isn't connected to those funds.

“As part of a revitalized PSN, our office will continue to prioritize the prosecution of cases involving illegal firearms and violence.  We look forward to continuing our collaboration with our state and local partners to address the unacceptable level of violent crime in Chicago,” Joel R. Levin, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, said in a statement Thursday.

Earlier in the day, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the program is a "centerpiece of our crime reduction strategy."