BREAKING: Trump Announces He’s Sending A ‘Surge’ Of Federal Officials To Chicago

OPINION | This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

President Trump and Attorney General William Barr announced they will be sending a new “surge” of federal officials into Chicago in an effort to reduce violence in the city.

“Today, Attorney General William P. Barr joined President Donald J. Trump to announce the expansion of Operation Legend to Chicago and Albuquerque,” a statement from the Department of Justice read. “Operation Legend is a sustained, systematic 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 Operation was first launched on July 8 in Kansas City, Missouri, as a result of President Trump’s promise to assist America’s cities that are plagued by recent violence,” it continued.

According to the DOJ, the operation was named after 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro who was shot and killed in the city in June.

The operation also comes after Trump used federal border patrol officials to reduce violent demonstrations and riots in Portland earlier this week.

These operations, however, are not the same, Axios reports:

Between the lines: Operation Legend is distinct from the Department of Homeland Security’s presence in Portland, which was established under an executive order seeking to protect monuments and federal property from protesters.

  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday she had received assurances that the federal agents would be focused on dealing with gun violence, not targeting protesters. “We welcome actual partnership, but we do not welcome dictatorship,” Lightfoot said. “We do not welcome authoritarianism.”

“The most basic responsibility of government is to protect the safety of our citizens,” Barr said in the statement. “Today, we have extended Operation Legend to Chicago and Albuquerque to protect the residents of those cities from senseless acts of deadly violence by targeting those involved in gang activity and those who use guns to commit violent crime. For decades, the Department of Justice has achieved significant success when utilizing our anti-violent crime task forces and federal law enforcement agents to enforce federal law and assist American cities which are experiencing upticks in violent crime. The Department of Justice’s assets will supplement local law enforcement efforts, as we work together to take the shooters and chronic violent criminals off of our streets.”

The statement adds:

To further support the Chicago Police Department in reducing violent crime, ATF has deployed its national Crime Gun Intelligence Mobile Command Vehicle to assist local law enforcement with analysis of crime scenes and spent shell casings through the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). ATF will also make available additional resources to assist the City of Chicago in providing timely, efficient analysis of ballistic evidence from shootings in order to quickly disrupt violent criminals and prosecute those prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law.

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The Bureau of Justice Assistance will make available $3.5 million in funding to reimburse the Chicago Police Department and City of Chicago for the work of local law enforcement on the federal task forces supporting Operation Legend’s violent crime reduction efforts. The COPS Office has also made $9.375 million available to the Chicago Police Department to fund the hiring of 75 officers.