President Donald Trump announced that the Justice Department would “surge” hundreds of federal officers to Chicago and Albuquerque to tackle the recent increase in crime.
The Justice Department will deploy 200 officers from the FBI, ATF and other agencies as well as the Department of Homeland Security to Chicago and another 35 to Albuquerque, Trump announced at a White House event on Wednesday with Attorney General Bill Barr.
The administration will also provide more than $60 million to cities to hire additional police officers.
"No mother should ever have to cradle her dead child in her arms simply because politicians refused to do what is necessary to secure their neighborhood and to secure their city," Trump said.
"We'll work every single day to restore public safety, protect our nation's children and bring violent perpetrators to justice. We've been doing it and you've been seeing what's happening all around the country,” he added. "We've just started this process and frankly we have no choice but to get involved.”
The move is an expansion of “Operation Legend,” named after 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was killed in Kansas City in June.
The Justice Department has deployed hundreds of federal officers to the city to help fight the recent uptick in violent crimes earlier this month.
Barr claimed on Wednesday that the operation had already yielded 200 arrests, which was news to Kansas City officials.
“I try not to curse on Twitter, but I will share that when Barr made his 200 arrests claim I sent a Slack message asking the entire KC newsroom: ‘Does anybody what the fuck he's talking about?!’ And there was a reason none of us did. It wasn't true,” wrote Kansas City reporter Bryan Lowry.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas told Lowry that the federal prosecutor in the city had announced just one arrest thus far.
Barr links violence to protests:
Barr appeared to link the recent uptick in violence to the protests over police racism.
The "extreme reactions” to the death of George Floyd “have demonized police,” he complained, claiming without evidence that it has led to a “significant increase in violent crime in many cities."
Lucas rejected that claim.
"To try to not just dog whistle, but frankly dog bark, about racial politics — it's to try to divide our community and our country," he said. "It's totally unnecessary and it doesn't help us solve a single violent crime incident."