AG Barr Says “Operation Legend” Has Reduced Chicago Murder Rate By Roughly Half. But Has It?

Isa Ryan

U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr touted the success of Operation Legend in Chicago which he said has “reversed” the city’s surge in violence during a press conference on Wednesday, Fox News reports.

Officials announced that the federal program has resulted in over 500 arrests and 124 people have are now facing federal criminal charges.

Barr explained that the operation has helped reduce Chicago’s notorious murder rate to the lowest it has been “at any time” since April, and it has been cut “roughly in half since before the operation.”

“The results of those actions speak for themselves: over the first five weeks of Operation Legend in Chicago, murders dropped by 50% over the previous five weeks. August ultimately saw a 45% decrease in murders compared to July, and a 35% decrease compared to June,” he said.

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Fox News explains:

At least 400 federal agents have been assigned to the Illinois city as part of Operation Legend – roughly 200 of whom were already working there but whose roles were repurposed, and the remainder being deployed from elsewhere – and over one-thousand in total have been dispatched nationwide.

Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown were not in attendance for Wednesday’s press conference.

Barr did note that they’d been invited.

This may sound like promising news, but it’s also important to point to the data that is being reported in Chicago.

It is unclear where Barr is getting his statistics from, as they appear to be potentially misleading.

As you’ve likely seen reported, violence in Chicago this year has been astounding, with 2,240 people shot, 440 fatally.

At this point in 2019, 1,480 had been shot, and 290 fatally.

Just consider this disparity…and 2019 was a pretty deadly year on its own.

Barr is a steadfast law and order man and is certainly trying, for which we applaud him. But there’s likely still quite a bit to be done in the Windy City.

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