Attorney General Bill Barr just announced that the Justice Department’s Operation Legend has ended Chicago’s shocking uptick in murder and violent crime rates in less than three months.
Operation Legend is named after 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was murdered while sleeping in his home in Kansas City, MO, in July. The operation began shortly after Taliferro’s death in July and sought to quell the violence and crime surging in several large American cities.
Barr revealed on Wednesday morning that the operation has “reversed” the surge of violence in Chicago, resulting in over 500 arrests and federal criminal charges of 124 individuals since its inception.
“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,” Barr said. “August ultimately saw a 45% decrease in murders compared to July, and a 35% decrease compared to June.”
Barr’s Department of Justice sent over 400 federal agents to the Windy City as part of Operation Legend to help local law enforcement agencies crack down on violent crimes committed within the city.
Barr admitted that the decline of Chicago’s murder rate cannot be exclusively attributed to Operation Legend, but he believes it is “an important part of that drop” in murder rates.
Operation Legend’s success is perhaps most dramatic here in Chicago. 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.
“Bringing federal charges is significant because defendants arrested for violent crimes are often detained before trial, unlike state defendants who are too often released. 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.
Nationwide, Operation Legend has resulted in 1,500 arrests, of which 600 individuals are facing federal charges.