President Donald Trump has announced plans to dispatch hundreds of federal agents to Chicago and other American cities under “Operation Legend”. The program was originally initiated to protect monuments and statues but has now widened its pursuit in order to control “violent crime“.
What We Know:
- Established in early July, Trump’s Operation Legend is an initiative within the Department of Justice to eradicate the surge of “violent crime” within American cities. The operation is named after LeGend Taliferro, a 4-year-old boy, who meaninglessly passed away due to gun violence in Kansas City.
- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has agreed to send federal agents to Chicago as long as they follow the specific measures that were consented to. These measures limit federal agents to aiding local law enforcement with public safety and community policing.
- The limitations placed on the federal troops are likely in response to the civil unrest in Portland, Oregon following the arrival of these agents. Unlike many other cities, Portland has continued demonstrations and protests for racial equality for almost six weeks. Upon the arrival of federal agents, Portland demonstrators felt as though their rights were immediately violated. Federal troops are reported to have been unnamed, dressed entirely in camouflage, detaining victims without probable cause, and in some cases physically attacking unarmed citizens. Many Chicago citizens are rightfully wary of the introduction of federal agents into their community.
- In response to the public outcry, Mayor Lightfoot reassured that “the deployment of unnamed special secret agents onto our streets to detain people without cause and to effectively take away their civil rights and civil liberties without due process — that is not going to happen in Chicago.”
- Other public officials have went as far as refusing the entrance of agents to their districts. In particular, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed to take President Trump to court if he sends federal troops to his city.
President Trump’s emphasis on policing and military is a direct response to the growing political unrest seen across American cities. As Operation Legend continues, the “violent crime” the program serves to aid will only continue to climb as little legislative action has been taken to answer the calls of injustice from American citizens.