Zachary Fardon with Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson on Feb. 10, 2017.
Chicago Tribune—TNS via Getty Images
By Ryan Kilpatrick
March 16, 2017

Recently asked to resign by the administration of President Donald Trump, Chicago’s onetime top prosecutor Zachary Fardon has called for far-reaching reforms of the city’s justice system to fight endemic gun violence.

In a five-page open letter released on Monday, the former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois condemned inaction from municipal authorities, the local police department’s lack of professionalism, and the failure of federal law enforcement agencies to coordinate on addressing the city’s recent murder spike.

Chicago’s murders jumped nearly 60% in 2016, leaving more than 760 people dead and thousands more injured.

Fardon, who said he was now “unshackled by the diplomatic constraints” of his position, suggested that up to 20 new federal prosecutors be assigned to Chicago immediately to help with gang and gun-related prosecutions.

Referring to Chicago as a city “on fire,” Fardon said the city’s gangs filled the void created by “hopelessness.”

Referencing Trump’s “send in the Feds!” tweet, Fardon also called on the government to “send in the tech geeks” to curb gang members’ use of social media. Deploying the National Guard, he warned, would tell city residents: “This is war, and you are the enemy.”

Read the full text of his letter here.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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