'The results of those actions speak for themselves,' US Attorney General Barr said
The federal government through Operation Legend has "reversed" Chicago's surge in violence, making more than 500 arrests and charging 124 people with federal criminal charges since it started, officials announced.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr said during a Wednesday morning press conference in the Windy City that the federal program had helped decrease Chicago's murder rate to the lowest it's been "at any time" since April, cutting the rate "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.
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.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a Democrat, and Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown were not in attendance for Wednesday's press conference, though they were invited, Barr said.
Barr added that the decrease in Chicago's murder rate cannot only be attributed to Operation Legend but noted: "I believe that it is an important part of that drop."