In his final day in office, now-former Attorney General Bill Barr hailed Operation Legend, a federal law enforcement operation to help cities battle high crime rates, as a major success.
In a press release, Barr announced that more than 6,000 violent offenders had been arrested as part of the effort, including more than 460 murderers.
Barr hails Operation Legend
Barr launched the mission in July amid an urban crime wave. According to the Washington Examiner, the AG named the operation after LeGend Taliferro, a 4-year-old boy who was killed by a stray bullet in Kansas City, Missouri.
“When we launched Operation Legend, our goal was to disrupt and reduce violent crime, hold violent offenders accountable, and give these communities the safety they deserve in memory of LeGend Taliferro, whose young life was claimed by violent crime. Undoubtedly, we achieved it,” Barr said in the release.
The mission sent federal agents to Kansas City, Chicago, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Memphis, and Indianapolis, all cities plagued by “stubbornly high” crime rates, Barr said.
Around 1,500 people were charged with federal crimes, including 815 with firearm offenses and 566 with drug crimes. Some 467 people were arrested for murder, according to the release.
Authorities also reportedly seized more than 2,600 firearms, more than 32 kilos of heroin, more than 17 kilos of fentanyl, more than 300 kilos of methamphetamine, more than 135 kilos of cocaine, and more than $11 million in drug money and other illicit proceeds.
A “resounding success”
Barr called Operation Legend a “resounding success.”
“Operation Legend removed violent criminals, domestic abusers, carjacker, and drug traffickers from nine cities which were experiencing stubbornly high crime and took illegal firearms, illegal narcotics, and illicit monies off the street,” he said, adding:
By most standards, many would consider these results as a resounding success — amid a global pandemic, the results are extraordinary. I commend our federal law enforcement and prosecutors for seamlessly executing this operation in partnership with state and local law enforcement.
The year of the COVID-19 pandemic was also a year of crime, as riots exploded in cities all across the country this summer, and the rate of homicides, shootings, and other violent acts went up in various cities.
As the Examiner noted, St. Louis suffered its deadliest year per capita on record, and Kansas City marked an “absurd” number of murders, its highest in decades. Chicago also had its deadliest year since the 1990s, while Memphis saw record homicides.
According to the New York Post, Barr, for his part, stepped down Wednesday amid criticism from President Donald Trump, who labeled him a “big disappointment” for failing to publicize an investigation of Hunter Biden and back Trump’s claims that voter fraud tainted the 2020 election.