A program introduced by the Trump admin has made strides in cleaning up a Democrat run city known for its violence. According to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, Operation Legend has “reversed” Chicago’s surge in violence.
Barr announced during a Wednesday morning press conference that the federal program in Chicago has helped decrease the murder rate to the lowest point the city has seen “at any time” since April – cutting the rate “roughly in half since before the operation.”
At least 400 federal agents have been assigned to the Illinois city as part of Operation Legend – roughly 200 of whom were already working there but whose roles were repurposed, and the remainder being deployed from elsewhere – and over one-thousand in total have been dispatched nationwide.
The operation has led to more than 500 arrests and 124 people charged with federal criminal charges since it started.
“The results of those actions speak for themselves: over the first five weeks of Operation Legend in Chicago, murders dropped by 50% over the previous five weeks. August ultimately saw a 45% decrease in murders compared to July, and a 35% decrease compared to June,” he said.
Barr added that the decrease in Chicago’s murder rate is perhaps the most notable of all cities where the operation has gone into effect, stating that while not all of the decrease can be attributed to Operation Legend “[he] believe[s] that it is an important part of that drop.”
“Operation Legend’s success is perhaps most dramatic here in Chicago,” Barr said. “When the operation was announced on July 22, homicides in the city were up 51% over 2019. Over the previous weekend, more than 60 people had been shot in Chicago, with over a dozen fatalities.”
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, even with the tremendous decrease in violence during August thanks to Operation Legend, murders are still 50% higher in the Democrat led city so far this year compared to last.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot – partially responsible for the uptick in murders refused to attend the event although AG Barr did invite her.
Operation Legend is an ongoing government effort to combat surging crime in parts of the country, officials announced Wednesday. Throughout the country, more than 2,500 people have been arrested and 600 are facing federal charges.
“Bringing federal charges is significant because defendants arrested for violent crimes are often detained before trial, unlike state defendants who are too often released,” he said.
“In addition, federal defendants will face serious sentences if convicted, with a real possibility of long-term imprisonment … knowing that, many of the arrestees cooperate with the government and lead to even more violent offenders.”
The operation began in July, shortly after 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro, for whom the program is named, was fatally wounded in Kansas City, Mo., while he was murdered in his sleep.
“The increase in violence that has plagued Chicago and other cities is what prompted the department to launch Operation Legend two months ago in Kansas City, Mo.,” Barr continued.
“The purpose of the operation was to make clear that his life mattered, his name should be remembered and other innocent victims like him, including the 8-year-old girl killed in Chicago on Labor Day, should not suffer such senseless death.”
Since its initial launch in Kansas City, the operation has been rolled out across eight more cities – Albuquerque, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Memphis, Milwaukee and St Louis – and all have seen major declines in violent crime rates.