US AG Barr: Homicides down 49% in St. Louis since Operation LeGend started

Regional News

ST. LOUIS – Attorney General William Barr applauded the crime-fighting effort in St. Louis since Operation Legend began earlier this year. Barr held a roundtable discussion with law enforcement this morning where he discussed the successful partnership between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

Operation LeGend started in St. Louis in August. Barr says St. Louis has seen a 49% decrease in homicides since then. He also says rapes have decreased 38%.

Barr explained he started seeing violent crime rise in cities in the wake of the pandemic and unrest following George Floyd’s death. That is when the Department of Justice decided to send more help to 9 U.S. cities through Operation LeGend.

“We felt like it would be a good investment in St. Louis, that we would be able to get results,” said Barr.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief John Hayden also spoke following the roundtable discussion. He told Barr about how nine officers were shot this summer including the killing of officer Tamaris Bohannon and retired officer Dave Dorn during looting.

Chief Hayden said there have been 212 homicides already this year compared to 161 last year. He said over the last 16 weeks, the killings reached their peak with an average of 10 per week.

He also broke down how many murders happened over each of the last few months:

Chief Hayden told Barr he is grateful for the additional 45 boots on the ground when his department needed them the most.

Barr says Operation Legend brought dozens of agents from several federal and state departments to town to help crackdown on the crime.

The Department of Justice describes Operation LeGend as 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 effort kicked off in Kansas City in July and has since expanded to multiple other cities including St. Louis. Authorities say since Operation LeGend started in St. Louis in early August more than 200 people been arrested for drugs, guns, and other serious crimes.

Nationwide we’re told more than 5,000 people have been arrested since the anti-crime program started. The initiative is named after 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was shot and killed in Kansas City while he slept during the early hours of June 29.

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