October 22, 2020

AG Barr Speaks On Operation Legend

Attorney General William Barr speaks with local law enforcement at a roundtable. - Jill Sheridan/WFYI

Attorney General William Barr speaks with local law enforcement at a roundtable.

Jill Sheridan/WFYI

US Attorney General William Barr was in Indianapolis to provide an update on Operation Legend, a federal program to address an increase in gun violence. 

Indianapolis is one of nine Legend cities that were targeted for federal assistance after violence rates spiked during the pandemic. 

Attorney General Barr said Operation Legend is working.

"Violent crime can be addressed, if we have the will to do it," Barr said, "If we have the will to target the shooters and get them off the streets, we can drive this violence down."

Since it launched, 67 people have been charged with federal crimes. Barr says one benefit of a federal charge is that suspects can’t be caught and released.

"In the federal system we’re able to prevent that," Barr said, "we’re able to keep people on pretrial detention and protect the community."

The effort has resulted in 216 crime guns off the streets and thousands of grams of illegal drugs.

The program was recently extended, for an unknown amount of time. It assigned dozens of federal agents to work with state and local officers.

IMPD Chief Randal Taylor says they’ve appreciated the federal assistance.

"We’re about 54 murders up from where we were this time last year," Taylor said, "Project Legend I know is helping us in combatting those numbers."

Indianapolis already set a record number of homicides for a single year, with more than two months to go.

 

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