Operation Legend: 200 federal agents from various federal agencies sent to Kansas City to help combat surge in violence

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KANSAS CITY, MI– Back on July 8th, the White House announced Operation LeGend, which meant that some 200 federal law enforcement agents from the FBI, U.S. Marshal Service, and other federal agencies would be sent into Kansas City to help combat the recent surge in violence.

This initiative is mean to quell the violence that has exploded in many cities from coast to coast. According to KCUR 89.3, Kansas City wants to clarify what Operation LeGend is, and what it is not as it relates to their city.

Tim Garrison, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri said in a statement:

“This is not Portland. This has nothing to do with anybody’s exercise of their rights to protest. We are simply here to address the unprecedented levels of violence that is exemplified by the senseless and tragic killing of LeGend Taliferro.”

LeGend Taliferro, 4-years-old, was shot and killed by a bullet fired from outside his home while he slept in his bedroom. The tragic incident took place on June 29th and police believe the apartment was targeted, although as of this writing, no arrests have been made in the case.

A few says before the announcement from the White House, Garrison’s office had contacted the mayor’s office, the Kansas City Police Department, and Missouri Governor Mike Parson to outline the operation and secure their approval.

Garrison said their support was critical to launching the initiative in Kansas City.

Back on July 7th, Mayor Quinton Lucas sent a letter from his office to Garrison, pledging support for the operation.

Last week, U.S. Attorney General William Barr falsely claimed that federal agents assigned to Operation LeGend had already made 200 arrests in Kansas City. Garrison, corrected this statement by saying at the time, federal agents had actually made only one arrest related to the operation.

According to Garrison, Barr might have been confusing Operation LeGend with another similarly focused initiative from last December, Operation Relentless Pursuit, which the COVID-19 pandemic forced to wind down early.

Garrison says Operation LeGend is something of a reboot, and as of recent has resulted in more than a dozen arrests for violence in Kansas City.

Many community members welcome the additional federal presence in their city. DaNearle Clark, an apprentice funeral director at Serenity Funeral Home at Bannister and Toot said in a statement:

“I support Operation LeGend 100%. There’s a whole lot of homicides happening now and it needs to stop.”

While making his statement, Clark was standing in a large room filled with hundreds of meticulously spaced purple chairs and an open casket up front. This was the same room where LeGend Taliferro was memorialized. 

Clark said:

“It was a whole lot of hurt in this room that day. And I myself felt it. A lot of our community, people in the community felt it. They still feel it.”

According to KCTV News 5, Garrison said that any federal agents involved in Operation LeGend to reduce violent crime in the city will be clearly identifiable when making arrests. He said in a written statement that Operation LeGend and their presence in Kansas City is in response to an increase in violent crime, not local protests.

He said:

“These agents won’t be patrolling the streets. They won’t replace or usurp the authority of local officers.”

Garrison reiterated:

“When they are making arrests or executing warrants, these federal agents will be clearly identified by their agency’s visible badges or insignia. The only people federal agents will be removing from the street are those they arrest in the course of their investigations of violent crimes.”

The additional 225 federal agents that were recently sent from various federal agencies will join the 400 agents already working and living in the Kansas City area. Back on July 21st, the first arrest under Operation LeGend took place.

Monty W. Ray, 20 was charged with being an unlawful drug user in possession of firearms. According to reports, a Missouri police detective indicated that the U.S. Marshals Service worked with local officials to locate Ray, who had active warrants, including one for felony assault against a law enforcement officer.

Related to this arrest, Garrison said in a statement:

“A fugitive from justice, driving a stolen vehicle and carrying stolen firearms, is a violent crime waiting to happen. Federal and local law enforcement worked together to bring him to justice and protect our community from violence.”

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Here is another article from Law Enforcement Today about Operation LeGend:

President Donald Trump is sending a “surge” of federal security forces to U.S. cities in an effort to crackdown on crime. The first city on is list is Chicago. 

According to Fox News, President Trump is deploying 100 federal agents to Chicago to help combat the surge in violence. The surge of agents was announced on Wednesday to Chicago and other American cities as part of what’s being called Operation Legend. 

Operation Legend is named after four-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was fatally shot while sleeping in a Kansas City apartment last month. This move marks the expansion of the White House’s intervention into local law enforcement as President Trump continues to position himself as the “law and order” president.

Federal law enforcement officers have already been deployed in other cities such as Portland, Oregon and Kansas City, Missouri.

Trump said in a statement during a speech in the White House’s East Room:

“The effort to shut down police in their own communities has led to a shocking explosion of shootings, killings, violence, and murders. This rampage of violence shocks the conscience of our nation and we will not stand by and watch it happen.”

Chicago, which is Democratically ran, as well as two other Democratically ran cities, are being targeted in President Trump’s move. According to some reports, federal deployments in other areas, such as Portland have proved controversial among weak local leadership. 

U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who joined Trump at Wednesday’s announcement, said they sent about 200 federal agents to Kansas City, MO and would be sending a comparable number to Chicago and about 35 others to Alburquerque, New Mexico.

Sending federal agents to aid local law enforcement is not unprecedented, as Barr announced a similar surge effort back in December for seven cities that had seen a spike in violence.

However, the type of federal agents being sent are slightly different this time.

In other instances, the Justice Department has sent agents under its own umbrella like agents from the Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or the Drug Enforcement Agency. However, this surge effort will also include the Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) officers who typically drug trafficking and child exploitation investigations.

There have been many protests descending into civil disorder and inciting violence in various U.S. cities since May, following the death of George Floyd. At the same time, gun violence has spiked tremendously in cities including New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Milwaukee.

On Tuesday night in Portland, federal agents fired tear gas, pepper balls, and flash-bangs at demonstrators. Portland has seen 54 consecutive nights of protests, and local law enforcement have had their hands tied being unable to respond.

The officers quickly used crowd-control munitions in an attempt to disperse hundreds of people that were gathered outside a federal court.

On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot confirmed that federal agents would be deployed in her city to assist local police.

She said in a statement:

“We welcome actual partnership, but we do not welcome dictatorship.”

Mayor Lightfoot has already spoken out against federal officers entering her city. According to authorities, the latest incident in Chicago left 15 people shot outside a funeral home in a suspected gang-related attack.

A number of lawmakers from New York to Portland have spoken out against the Trump administration for sending the agents to their cities, as they stand by the rioters.

They’ve especially been vocal following reports that unidentified federal agents detained “peaceful protesters” in Portland and took them away in unmarked cars.

Local authorities have also stated that the surges in federal officers have only exacerbated tensions. However, those same authorities haven’t been able to control their cities before the feds were sent in. 

According to Portland Mayor Tim Wheeler:

“The president is attacking progressive cities with troops who are unwelcome and unskilled.”

Wheeler wrote a letter that was signed by 16 other mayors calling on Trump to reverse his orders.

He stipulated:

“Militarized agents are terrorizing the American people. We must stand together for peace and reform and against these un-American tactics.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that federal agents are repressing the U.S. right to protest and that he would not welcome federal agents in his city.

He said in a statement:

“I still believe in the rule of law in this country and we would go to court immediately. I believe what the president is doing is unconstitutional.”

According to the Chicago Tribune, at a recent White House event, Trump said in a statement:

“In recent weeks there has been a radical movement to defund, dismantle, and dissolve our police departments. This bloodshed must end. This bloodshed will end.”

Here is another article from Law Enforcement Today about Trump and his offer to help cities seeing a surge in violence:

In response to a sharp increase of gun violence in two Democrat-controlled areas, Chicago and New York City, President Trump has offered the assistance from federal authorities to get the situation under control. 

President Trump referenced the spike in gun violence over the holiday weekend in both cities which had 112 people wounded between Chicago and New York, 13 of those died.

President Trump stated in a tweet posted on July 5th:

“Chicago and New York City crime numbers are way up.  67 people shot in Chicago, 13 killed.  Shootings up significantly in NYC were people are demanding @NYGovCuoma & @NYCMayor act now.  Federal Government ready, willing and able to help, if asked!” 

While it is unknown if New York or Chicago leaders will take the President up on his offer (highly doubtful) there is no disputing the amount of people shot and killed recently. 

President Trump could send in additional National Guard Troops and Federal Authorities to help control the violence. 

Although the move would help restore order in those areas seeing an increase in violence, it seems doubtful the mainly democratic led areas would be accepting. 

During the weekend, a series of shootings left over 150 people shot, around twenty five people killed.  In Chicago, the Chicago Sun Times reports that a total of 79 people were shot over the weekend, 15 of those died from their injuries.  Eleven of the 79 victims were juveniles, two of those children died as a result of their injuries.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a tweet:

“Tonight, a 7-year-old girl in Austin joined a list of teenagers and children whose hopes and dreams were ended by the barrel of a gun.  We cannot grow numb to this.  We are making progress in slowing shootings, but we have to do better, every single one of us.” 

Law Enforcement Today would love to have examples of where Chicago is making any progress in slowing down shootings as the reported incidents have increased since Mayor Lightfoot took office.

According to the Washington Times, more than 330 people have died from the beginning of the year to July 2nd

So far, the number of homicides in the city this year alone is almost as many last year, 492.  The Chicago Police Department has stated they believe that the homicide rate this year alone will at minimum hit the record from 2016 with a total of 778 deaths. 

Investigations into the murders is difficult.  Critics are quick to point out that, in Chicago alone, there is a low clearance rate, meaning arrests made, in homicide cases. 

The rate is close to 20%, and while there are many reasons for this, there are two big ones in particular, lack of trust in the police and little cooperation of those with information. 

Many people do not trust the police to do their job.  They are afraid that if they talk to the police, that the officers will automatically hurt them in some way, after all, that is the main narrative out there in the media. They’re told cops are racist, they are unjust, and are just plain power hungry.  Although this is not the case, this is what they hear every day which leads to a general distaste for law enforcement in general.

The other side to that coin is the lack of cooperation from anyone who has any information on a crime, especially a homicide. 

There could be 100 people in the street watching the crime unfold, when asked by law enforcement, none of them saw anything.  The reasons for this are because they do not want to be seen as cooperating with police, if seen, that could lead to personal trouble either because the police are viewed as bad or they face retaliation. 

What is clear is that America has a problem with gun violence as of late, and the number of incidents are steadily increasing.  Most, if not all of these areas are led by democrats who seemingly have lost control of their cities.  Maybe it is time for them to ask the President for help. 

Let’s go back to New York for a second – because this is a great example of what President Trump is looking to stop.

Video has surfaced showing a father being shot dead just before 6 p.m. Sunday.  To make it worse… it happened while he was walking his six-year-old daughter across the street in the Bronx.

The video was released by NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison.  It shows the father and daughter walking hand-in-hand when a car pulls up and arm extends out the passenger’s window with the gun in hand.

Moments later, the father collapses to the ground, clearly having been shot.

His little girl seen running for her life after he father collapses.

Anyone with information pertaining to this incident is asked to call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

 

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