Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Delivers Remarks at the Justice Department’s Violent Crime Reduction Summit
Today, the expansion of Operation Legend was announced in Indianapolis. 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, MO., and expanded on July 22, 2020, to Chicago and Albuquerque, to Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee on July 29, 2020, and to St. Louis and Memphis on August 6, 2020.
Operation Legend is named in honor of four-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was shot and killed while he slept early in the morning of June 29 in Kansas City.
“The most basic responsibility of government is to protect the safety of our citizens,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “Today, we have extended Operation Legend to Indianapolis, a city experiencing an increase in violent crime that no resident of that city should have to accept as part of everyday life. 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 that 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.”
Attorney General Barr has directed the ATF, FBI, DEA, and U.S. Marshals Service in Indianapolis to dedicate resources to Operation Legend to help state and local officials fight high levels of violent crime, particularly gun violence.
Indianapolis is experiencing a significant increase in violent crime, with homicides currently up more than 51% and non-fatal shootings up more than 34%.
In Indianapolis, the Department of Justice will supplement state and local law enforcement agencies by dedicating 40 federal investigators to Operation Legend for 45 days. The Department of Homeland Security will also make 17 agents available. Under the leadership of Joshua J. Minkler, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, these investigators will complement the work already underway by existing joint federal, state and local task forces focused on combating violent gangs, gun crime, and drug trafficking organizations.
In addition, the Bureau of Justice Assistance will make available $250,000 to support Operation Legend’s violent crime reduction efforts in Indianapolis. These funds will be available to reimburse state and local agencies with any overtime during the operation.