ST. LOUIS – The US attorney general met with top law enforcement leaders in St. Louis to discuss violent crime initiatives in the city.
During a private roundtable meeting at the Eagleton Courthouse, Attorney General William Barr praised the partnership between local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and the success of Operation LeGend.
“As we expected, it has been successful overall in nine cities,” Barr said. “And we have made 5,000 arrests.”
Since July 18, federal authorities have made 650 arrests in St. Louis City, seized 219 weapons, and charged 274 people. While murders are still very high, federal authorities say they are down since Operation LeGend began. That also includes carjackings, aggravated assaults, robberies, and rapes.
“Our officers are physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained,” St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden said. “Mr. Attorney General, because of this set of circumstances, our department is grateful for your decision to allow Operation LeGend to operate here in St. Louis to assist us at this most critical time.”
Barr put 124 federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, DEA, ATF, U.S Marshals, and state police in St. Louis to cut down on violent crime.
Barr says nothing good can happen in St. Louis City unless people feel safe there.
“A lot of people talk community policing, but community policing can only be successful if people feel it’s safe to talk to police and develop relationships,” Barr said.
St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner was not at the meeting but sent out a statement saying, “Attorney General William Barr coming to #STL for a crime summit on less than a day notice is an insult to the people of the city of St. Louis, and is merely a continuation of the political grandstanding of this administration.”
Gardner says lax gun laws, a social service system in shambles, and a pandemic of hopelessness and despair need to be addressed.