“Violent crime is solvable,” said Barr at a roundtable with law enforcement officials in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Wednesday, Oct. 14. “It's not something people have to live with at the levels they're living with it. And here in Albuquerque – Albuquerque has a violent crime rate that's between three and four times the national average. That's unacceptable in any American city, and it is a solvable problem.”
Barr told law enforcement officers and officials that 247 of the people Operation Legend arrested were homicide suspects and that over 2,000 firearms have been seized. Barr also said that they have seized dozens of kilos of drugs, including heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine. The cost of all the drugs taken is around $7.3 million.
Of the 5,000 people arrested, over 1,000 have already been charged with federal offenses – 568 with firearms-related crimes, 411 with drug-related offenses and approximately 274 for homicide.
Barr also talked about the importance of investing in a “professional effective police force.” If a city's residents want to be safe, he argued, they need to stop giving their vote away to people who will defund the police.
“In many places in our country,” he said, “the political establishment is not providing the support to law enforcement that it should.”
Operation Legend is an initiative involving multiple law enforcement agencies. Their goal is to address the recent surge in rioting, civil unrest and other violent crimes. It was launched on July 8 and named after LeGend Taliferro, a 4-year-old African American boy who was shot and killed while sleeping in his home in Kansas City, Missouri.
Under the terms of Operation Legend, 1,000 federal law enforcement agents are being sent to nine cities across the country to help state and local officials fight against the surge in violent crime.
The nine cities that have agreed to participate in Operation Legend are St. Louis, Milwaukee, Memphis, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago and Albuquerque. The federal law enforcement officers are drawn up from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshal Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Department of Homeland Security. (Related: AG Barr drops massive truth bombs: Wants ‘violent’ rioters charged with sedition – liberals freaking out over Barr's comments on lockdowns, riots, prosecutors and media.)
During his visit to Albuquerque, Barr pointed out that data gathered in September showed that Operation Legend was seeing a lot of success in the nine cities that have implemented it. In Kansas City, for example, officials report that crime has gone down by 30 percent.
Barr also took this opportunity to publicly criticize Albuquerque's leaders for failing to take the initiative to lower crime rates. Among the things the city failed to do was accept a $10 million federal grant given to the city to hire 40 new police officers.
U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico John C. Anderson, who was present at the roundtable, expressed his disappointment with city leaders for refusing to expand the workforce of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD).
City officials have pushed back against Barr and the U.S. Attorney's claims, stating that the city council and the mayor have already approved the grant. All is left was for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to let the APD submit the relevant paperwork – which they were told they cannot do until after Oct. 15.
The next day, Barr was in St. Louis giving a similar roundtable discussion to the police chiefs of St. Louis and St. Louis County. They were accompanied by senior officials from the federal law enforcement agencies that are part of Operation Legend.
St. Louis began participating in Operation Legend in early August with the deployment of 124 federal agents to the city. Since then, 650 arrests have been made, 219 firearms have been seized and 274 suspects have been charged with federal crimes.
Jeff Jensen, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Eastern Missouri, said that never in his career has the city prosecuted so many criminals in such a short amount of time.
“The St. Louis Police Department is extremely appreciative for this much-needed assistance provided by Operation Legend,” said John Hayden, chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
Of all the cities involved with Operation Legend, St. Louis has the most suspects that have been given federal charges. It is followed by Chicago with 176, Kansas City with 136 and Albuquerque with 113. The five other cities have prosecuted less than 100 suspects each.
Furthermore, according to the DOJ, in the two months after Operation Legend began, homicides dropped by 49 percent. Compared to the previous two months, aggravated assaults with firearms dropped 22 percent, carjackings dropped 13 and robberies dropped six percent.
Learn more about the policies and initiatives being put forward by local, state and federal governments to fight back against the recent crime wave by reading the latest articles at Rioting.news.