The company has spent nearly $2 million lobbying legislators over the past decade, according to records from the Center for Responsive Politics — most recently, on a bill that would permit the attorney general to dole out grants for gunshot detection tech. But in the month since Operation Legend was launched on July 8 — beginning in Kansas City, Mo., and subsequently expanding to seven other cities — mayors … Authorities say that as of August 31, Operation Legend has led to the arrests of more than 2,000 people -- with 476 of them charged with federal offenses -- in participating cities nationwide. “And when you start feeding one surveillance technology after another into a database, you give police departments the ability to track what people are doing very closely.”. More than 100 people also have been charged with federal crimes in Chicago and St. Louis, while between 16 and 66 people have been charged in the other six cities. As cries to “defund the police” resound in the streets and cities fly surveillance planes low over demonstrations, Operation Legend is the latest reminder of the magnitude, and consequence, of federal police spending. In turn, the grants have created an industry of policing technology dependent on federal funding. Take, for example, the new popularity of phone-hacking technology with police: The technology was first picked up more than a decade ago by federal agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FBI. The press secretary is angry CNN misidentified the man posing as a reporter in the briefing room who cheered for her. Operation Legend is 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. Through Operation Legend, Memphis and four other cities received grants for gunshot detection technology, which lines cities with sensors to detect gunfire, despite longstanding concerns about its efficacy. Local authorities could not confirm the number announced by Barr, with The Kansas City Starlater stating that "A Department of Justice official said the 200 arrests cited by Barr Wednesday included some dating back to December 2… Chicago, meanwhile, announced on August 14 that it would employ “enhanced” technology for “around-the-clock” monitoring of social media to identify looters. The kind of reporting we do is essential to democracy, but it is not easy, cheap, or profitable. Awash in these federal funds, cities have doubled down on their surveillance investments, even as they face general budget shortfalls in the tens of millions. Its grants also fund sophisticated policing technology. More: Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf: Federal officers in Portland 'are not the Gestapo, storm troopers or thugs'. Last week, Kansas City, Missouri, authorities announced the arrest of a suspect in the slaying of LeGend Taliferro, a 4-year-old boy for whom the effort was named, after about 200 federal agents had been dispatched to the city. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives. Trump May Use Federal Forces in U.S. … Operation Legend and its December precursor, Operation Relentless Pursuit, are both funding surveillance technology in cities across the country. About half of those involve firearm offenses. On July 22, 2020, Attorney General William Barr announced that more than 200 people were arrested during the initial operation in Kansas City, stating "Just to give you an idea of what's possible, the FBI went in very strong into Kansas City and within two weeks we've had 200 arrests". The Department of Defense’s 1033 program is perhaps the best-known example of federal investment in policing. As recently as Tuesday, officials in Memphis, one of the nine cities included in the operation, expressed their disapproval for the increased federal presence. Operation LeGend Will Challenge Cities Trying to Rein In Their … Teams of federal and local authorities have made more than 1,000 arrests, including suspects in 90 homicides, as part of a national crackdown on violent crime in nine U.S. cities, Attorney General William Barr said Wednesday. These are “traditional crime-fighting activities” he told reporters in Detroit — just now “ratcheted-up.”. Ultimately, a lot of it gets used to monitor protests.”. Of the arrests so far, Barr said that more than 200 suspects have been charged with federal crimes. The fight came to a head in 2017, when a lawsuit against the city of Memphis revealed years of close surveillance of Black Lives Matter activists and union organizers. We have to take a stand in our communities and speak up to help this operation be successful. The company points to other investigative benefits overlooked by the study. Now, activists there say that Operation Legend is a serious blow. (Aug. 19), arrest of a suspect in the slaying of LeGend Taliferro, Federal agents, officers head to Detroit, Cleveland, Milwaukee as Operation Legend expands, Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf: Federal officers in Portland 'are not the Gestapo, storm troopers or thugs', Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. In response, a company representative told The Intercept that the system’s placement is “not based on who’s living in the community. on about your day, ask yourself: How likely is it that the story you just read would have been produced by a different news outlet if The Intercept hadn’t done it? Just the presence of federal agents can undermine longstanding efforts for accountability on police surveillance. The Intercept is a First Look Media Company. Five cities — Memphis, Cleveland, Albuquerque, Milwaukee, and Detroit — will receive grants to purchase or expand their gunshot detection through the program. Other more opaque grants from the Justice Department, like a $1.4 million grant to Shelby County, which surrounds Memphis, in April and a $1 million grant in July to the city of Cleveland, are to be used in part for “technological solutions” or “support” for investigations. This operation is personal to us. Memphis is a prime example: Over the last decade, the city’s license plate reader system, its “real-time crime center” — which houses a “video wall” of live surveillance camera feeds — and its gunshot recognition cameras were all funded, at least in part, through Byrne JAG grants. “Much of this equipment and technology is given under the guise of either narcotics, policing, or counterterrorism,” Guariglia said. Consider what the world of media would look like without The Intercept. The Memphis police declined an interview request for this story and did not respond to several additional inquiries about the purchases. Who would hold party elites accountable to the values they proclaim to have? In Memphis, a unique consent decree from 1978 prohibits law enforcement from engaging in “political intelligence” — collecting information on individuals for political purposes. Barr's announcement comes more than a month after the Trump administration launched the enforcement effort, known as Operation Legend. The Operation was first launched on July 8 in Kansas City, Missouri, and … Mr. Trump, joined at a White House event by Attorney General William Barr, unveiled an expansion of the “Operation Legend” program to include cities such … "For us, LeGend is a symbol of the many hundreds of innocent lives that have been taken in the recent upsurge of crime in many of our cities this summer," Barr said at briefing in Kansas City. Many of the agents are on temporary assignment, working in collaboration with police; nearly half will relocate by November. Today, the expansion of Operation Legend was announced in Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee. The estimated $65,000 contract would double previous annual spending on the technology, per city procurement records. FBI Agents and Resources Support Operation Legend in Nine … But they will leave behind a city flush with grant money for local police — and heightened surveillance capabilities. Operation Legend and its December precursor, Operation Relentless Pursuit, are both funding surveillance technology in cities across the country. Operation LeGend: Trump Is Sending Feds to More Cities | Teen … Operation Legend Is Working, Violent Crime Rates in Cities Falling, … Suspects in 90 homicides have been arrested under Operation Legend, the Trump administration deployment of federal officers to nine U.S. cities so far A study published this year on ShotSpotter in St. Louis found that the system, whose microphones detect and alert police to gunshots, had no impact on violent crime whatsoever: “The results were, essentially, it doesn’t work,” said Dennis Mare, a professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville who co-authored the study, though he admitted that it is difficult to extrapolate the results to all cities. Police watch while people gather for a labor march on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. April 4, 2018 in Memphis. “This is yet another surveillance technology that has the potential to victimize people based on their proximity to crime and overpolicing,” he said. We want justice for our son and others. The arrest statistics reflect operations in all cities, with the exception of Indianapolis, which was only added to federal effort days ago. The Intercept is an independent nonprofit news outlet. ", More: Federal agents, officers head to Detroit, Cleveland, Milwaukee as Operation Legend expands. ", Barr has said the arrest in the Taliferro murder marked a "significant step forward" in the Kansas City investigation and "illustrates the potential of Operation Legend more broadly. In Memphis, organizers have long battled police surveillance. "It’s not to harm or to hurt. Years of federal investment in surveillance have resulted in what Faiza Patel, co-director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program, calls a “layering” effect: “These things don’t come all at once. Operation Legend started in Kansas City, Missouri and is named after four-year-old LeGend Taliferro. The local concern brought a sharp rebuke from Michael Dunavant, the chief federal prosecutor in Memphis. Attorney General Announces Nationwide “Operation Legend” to … "Federal law still applies here on the streets of Memphis. Through Operation Legend, Memphis and four other cities received grants for gunshot detection technology, which lines cities with sensors to … And his senseless death, like that of other innocent victims during the recent surge of violent crime, should be unacceptable to all Americans.". Joining is simple and doesn’t need to cost a lot: You can become a sustaining member for as little as $3 or $5 a month. Attorney General William Barr said federal authorities going into cities as part of Operation Legend will be different than the type of federal officials policing protests in Portland. "Its mission is to save lives, solve crimes, and take violent offenders off our streets before they can claim more victims. 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