CHICAGO

Sen. Mark Kirk Retreats On Mass Gang Arrest Plan, Concedes Idea Is 'Not All That Practical'

UNITED STATES - May 23 : Sen. Richard Durbin, D-IL., and Sen. Mark Kirk, R-IL., testify at the nomination hearing of Penny Pr
UNITED STATES - May 23 : Sen. Richard Durbin, D-IL., and Sen. Mark Kirk, R-IL., testify at the nomination hearing of Penny Pritzker to be Secretary of Commerce before the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee in the Russell Senate Office Building on May 23, 2013. (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Illinois U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is taking a step back from his proposal to make sweeping arrests of the 18,000 members of the Gangster Disciples, one of Chicago's most notorious and violent street gangs.

Kirk first called the idea his"top priority" in May when he told Fox Chicago he'd like to "crush" the city's gangs.

"I would like to a mass pickup of them and put them all in the Thomson Correctional Facility, I will be proposing this to the assembled federal law enforcement: ATF, DEA and FBI."

Though he's abandoned the mass arrest strategy, Kirk said he still plans to target the city's gang problem by pushing for $500 million in extra federal spending on law enforcement.

On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee moved to allot $19.5 million to fight gangs of "national significance," including the Gangster Disciples according to Crain's Chicago Business.

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