The federal government through Operation Legend has “reversed” the Chicago tide of violence, making more than 500 arrests and accusing 124 people of federal criminal charges since the beginning, officials announced.
US Attorney General William Barr said during a Wednesday morning press conference in Windy City that the federal program has helped reduce Chicago’s murder rate to its lowest “anytime” since April by cutting the rate “about. half from before the operation. “
OPERATIONAL LEGEND: OVER 200 ACCUSATIONS OF FEDERAL CRIME, 1.000 ARRESTED, AG BARR ANNOUNCES
“The results of these actions speak for themselves: in the first five weeks of Operation Legend in Chicago, homicides decreased by 50% compared to the previous five weeks. August ultimately saw a 45% decrease in homicides compared to July and a 35% decrease from June, “he said.
At least 400 federal agents have been assigned to the city of Illinois as part of Operation Legend – about 200 of whom were already working there but whose roles have been reused and the rest have been deployed from elsewhere – and over a thousand in total are been sent nationwide.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a Democrat, and Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown were not present at Wednesday’s press conference, although they had been invited, Barr said.
Barr added that the decrease in Chicago’s murder rate can’t be attributed to Operation Legend alone, but noted, “I think it’s a big part of that decline.”
“The success of Operation Legend is perhaps the most dramatic here in Chicago,” Barr said. “When the operation was announced on July 22, homicides in the city increased by 51% compared to 2019. Over the previous weekend, more than 60 people had been killed in Chicago, with over a dozen victims.”
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, despite a decrease in violence during the month of August, homicides have increased by 50% so far this year compared to last.
Across the country, more than 2,500 people have been arrested and 600 face federal charges.
“Bringing federal charges is significant because defendants arrested for violent crimes are often detained before trial, unlike state defendants who are released far too often,” he said. “In addition, federal defendants will face severe penalties if convicted, with a real possibility of long-term imprisonment … knowing that many of those arrested collaborate with the government and lead to even more violent offenders.”
Operation Legend is an ongoing government effort to combat the rise in crime in parts of the country, officials announced Wednesday.
ANNOUNCED THE ACCUSATION OF MURDER IN THE KILLING OF THE LEGEND TALIFERRO, 4, WHOSE DEATH SPARKLED THE LEGEND OF THE OPERATION
The operation began in July, shortly after 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro, after whom the program is named, was fatally wounded in Kansas City, Mo., as he slept after being hit by a bullet intended for someone else. .
“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 it 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, shouldn’t suffer such a senseless death.”
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In addition to Kansas City, where it was started, Operation Legend has been extended to eight cities: Albuquerque, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Memphis, Milwaukee, and St Louis.
Barr said violent crimes in Kansas City have dropped 32% since the operation’s launch, with homicides down 18% and aggravated assaults by 47%.
St. Louis has seen a 47% decrease in homicides since Operation Legend began four weeks ago, Barr said.
Murders in Detroit have dropped by more than 25 percent, while non-fatal shootings, he said, have fallen by more than 45 percent since the operation began seven weeks ago.