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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Indiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 14, 2020

Indianapolis will receive assistance from Operation Legend

Enhancing existing partnerships with state and local law enforcement

Indianapolis – United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today that Operation Legend will be expanding into the City of Indianapolis. Operation Legend is named in honor of four-year-old Legend Taliferro, who was shot and killed while he slept early on the morning of June 29 in Kansas City.

 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 federal law enforcement support provided through Operation Legend looks different in each city in order to meet the specific needs of the individual communities.

Operation Legend is not intended for or in response to protest activity, civil disturbances, or immigration enforcement. It was not conceived or announced in response to events in Portland, which is not an Operation Legend city.

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.  Operation Legend was expanded to Chicago and Albuquerque on July 22, 2020; to Detroit, Cleveland, and Milwaukee on July 29, 2020; and to St. Louis and Memphis on August 6, 2020.

Larger cities across the country have seen a surge in murders and violent crimes in recent years,” said Minkler. “The innocent victims and perpetrators are getting younger than ever before and Indianapolis has not been immune from this surge. Operation Legend will enhance the partnerships already established between local, state, and federal law enforcement. And will serve as another tool that can be used to assist in currant investigations and help deter the need for new ones to start.”

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. Under the leadership of Minkler, There will be 57 federal investigators dedicated to Operation Legend who will continue their work through existing joint federal, state and local task forces, and investigators and officers from IMPD. They will be focused on combatting violent gangs, gun crime, and drug trafficking organizations.

“Operation Legend will enhance our locally-led, federally-supported response to violence in Indianapolis,” said Mayor Hogsett. “Through increased engagement with the FBI, the DEA, the ATF, and U.S. Marshalls, we will leverage a more robust response to deadly violence and crime in our city. It will take massive efforts, both preventive and punitive, for us to get through this unprecedented time. It will also take continued collaboration between neighborhoods most impacted by violent crime and those investigating that crime. These are all parts of addressing this challenge.”

“IMPD officers spend every day working to build stronger relationships with our residents and make Indianapolis neighborhoods safer,” said IMPD Chief Randal Taylor. “While growing the number of community-based beats and adding officers to our units focused on violent crime, our agency remains fully committed to the task forces that receive additional resources today.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan announced that as part of the initiative, a reward of up to $25,000 would be made available for information leading to the identification and arrest of the individual responsible for the homicide of De’Shaun Swanson.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance will make available up to $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.

Topic(s): 
Operation Legend
Project Guardian
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Updated September 1, 2020