Over the last few weeks, more than 1,000 arrests have been made in major cities around the country, and over 215 individuals have been charged with at least one federal crime. These numbers come from an announcement made by U.S. Attorney General William Barr last week. The arrests were made as part of “Operation Legend,” a focused, nationwide effort to combat violent crime in America’s large cities.
In Chicago alone, more than 60 people have been charged with federal crimes since the initiative began in the city on July 22. Attorney Barr said the charges are related to bank fraud, narcotics, and weapons violations.
Operation Legend Honors Young Victim
According to the Justice Department, Operation Legend was started as a “sustained, systemic, and coordinated law enforcement initiative in which federal law enforcement agencies work in conjunction with state and local law enforcement officials to fight violent crime.” The name of the operation was selected to honor LeGend Taliferro, a 4-year-old boy who was shot to death as slept in the early hours of June 29 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Second-degree murder charges were filed against the boy’s alleged killer two weeks ago.)
At a press conference in Kansas City, Barr called the boy’s death senseless and said the deaths of all the victims in the recent uptick in violent crime “should be unacceptable to all Americans.” The Justice Department sent over 1,000 additional federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the FBI, and the U.S. Marshalls Service to nine major cities, beginning with Kansas City on July 8. The effort expanded to Chicago and Albuquerque on July 22, to Milwaukee, Detroit, and Cleveland on July 9, and to Memphis, St. Louis, and Indianapolis earlier this month.
While the intent of Operation Legend is to help support local and state law enforcement, local authorities here in Chicago were skeptical—especially after reports surfaced of federal agents using unmarked vehicles to arrest protesters in Portland. Dozens of elected officials reportedly sent a letter to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart asking the city and county to not allow federal agents to use county or municipal property, resources, and staff while they were in Chicago.
Mayor Lightfoot offered her assurance that federal agents would not be employed in the same manner in which they were used in Portland. She also said that is “firm” in her opposition to shows of force like that.
Speak With a Chicago Federal Crimes Defense Attorney
If someone you love is facing federal criminal charges related to Operation Legend or any other efforts by federal authorities, contact a Cook County federal criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel at 312-270-0999 for a free consultation. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, and off-site appointments are available, as well as evening and weekend appointments.
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