U.S. Attorney William Barr said during a Wednesday morning press conference that the federal program had helped decrease Chicago’s murder rate to the lowest it’s been “at any time” since April, cutting the rate “roughly in half since before the operation.”
“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.
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.
Throughout the country, more than 2500 people have been arrested and more than 600 are facing federal charges as part of the operation, an ongoing government effort to combat surging crime in parts of the country, officials announced Wednesday.
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 sleeping after he was struck by a bullet meant for somebody else.
In addition to Kansas City, where it was started, Operation Legend has been expanded across eight cities: Albuquerque, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Memphis, Milwaukee, and St Louis.
This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.