CLEVELAND — "Operation Legend" has arrived in the city of Cleveland.
Justin Herdman, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, said Operation Legend is a violent crime reduction effort that works with existing federal, state and local partnerships.
“There are additional resources that are being provided to federal, state and local law enforcement to assist in traditional crime fighting that will be directed at gang violence, narcotics-related shootings and illegal firearms," Herdman said during a press conference at the Cleveland FBI on Wednesday morning. "That's what it is. That's what Operation Legend is."
Herdman stressed that nobody is talking about sending federal troops to Cleveland. He said it means Cleveland will see a "modest" number of federal investigators with approximately 25.
"What it is not, it is not an introduction of federal riot police, it is not an introduction of federal uniformed personnel, it is not an introduction of federal agents to protect federal property. We are bringing federal investigators into Cleveland to protect our residents and to prevent firearm violence.”
Operation Legend is also being implemented in other U.S. cities, which the United States Department of Justice says is named after 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was shot and killed while he slept on June 29 in Kansas City.
"This is the right time to do this," Herdman said. "Any sense of urgency that you may sense from us is born out of a need to prevent additional murders and shootings. As of the latest data, Cleveland’s homicides are up over 13 percent from where they were in 2019. Even more alarming, our city’s felonious assaults by a firearm are up over 35 percent from where they were a year ago. Those non-fatal shootings are often just millimeters away from becoming another homicide."
Watch a replay of the entire FBI press conference regarding "Operation Legend" in the player below: