Posted on August 19, 2020

Barr Says ‘Operation Legend,’ Which Launched with Some Controversy, Has Produced More Than 1,400 Arrests

Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post, August 19, 2020

Attorney General William P. Barr announced Wednesday that authorities have made more than 1,400 arrests as a part of “Operation Legend,” a Justice Department anti-crime initiative that launched with some controversy because it coincided with a separate, aggressive federal response to violence at racial-justice demonstrations.

Barr made the announcement at a news conference in Kansas City, Mo., where the Justice Department first launched the operation in July. The initiative, which dispatched more than 1,000 federal agents to help local law enforcement investigate violent crime, has since been expanded to eight other U.S. cities: Chicago, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Memphis and Indianapolis.


Barr said at the news conference Wednesday that he worried 2020 could be a bad year for violent crime and pointed to what he viewed as a variety of causes, including courts releasing violent offenders rather than holding them without bail, “pent-up aggression prompted by state and local quarantine orders” and “the efforts that we’ve recently seen to demonize police and to defund their work.”

“​Operation Legend is the heart of the federal government’s response to this upturn in violent crime,” Barr said. {snip}

In a news release, the Justice Department said that, of those arrested, more than 200 had been charged with federal crimes {snip}

Barr said at the news conference that more than 90 “suspected killers” had been taken off the streets. {snip}