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", "Operation Legend is not to harass," said Charron Powell, the mother of the young Kansas City victim, at a White House event last month to call attention to the effort. In 2014, footage of military vehicles rolling down the streets of Ferguson drew national outcry, bringing scrutiny to the program. Barr's announcement comes more than a month after the Trump administration launched the enforcement effort, known as Operation Legend. “And, ultimately, a lot of it gets used to monitor protests.”, Katya Schwenk[email protected]​protonmail.com@ktyschwnk. It’s based on, ‘where are the shootings?’” Still, for Matthew Guariglia, a policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, that has serious consequences. The Justice Department announced Thursday that there have so far been "more than 2,000 arrests" across nine In August, 40 federal agents arrived in Memphis. “You’ve got cops and cruisers using it. 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… But they will leave behind a city flush with grant money for local police — and heightened surveillance capabilities. Advocates have long called for federal grant funding reform, with some results, but the government has continued to grow its police budget; just two Department of Justice grant programs, Byrne JAG and the Community Oriented Policing Services program, give out about a collective $750 million annually to law enforcement. Today, the expansion of Operation Legend was announced in Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee. The Operation was first launched on July 8 in Kansas City, Missouri, and … 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? The DOJ’s Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, which emerged in the post-9/11 era of rapidly inflated federal spending on policing, is one of the major grant programs for police and has been criticized for, in effect, funding mass imprisonment. The decree only covers the city,” explained Tom Castelli, legal director for the ACLU of Tennessee, though per the decree, the city cannot collaborate on unlawful surveillance with outside agencies. On August 12, the city of Detroit — another of the nine cities targeted by Operation Legend — also placed a $100,000 order with Cellebrite to acquire the company’s “premium” software package and, two weeks later, renewed an older Cellebrite license for another $22,000 — more than tripling 2018 and 2019 expenditures. Still, Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings has alluded to partnering with the FBI to get around some of the decree’s restrictions, later confirming through a city spokesperson that he “told [federal officials] that we are restricted by the consent decree and depend on them to catch threats articulated on social media.”, As U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Josh Minkler said, as he announced Operation Legend’s expansion to Indianapolis, federal agencies contribute “not just manpower, but technology that can help identify and arrest the individuals. Just the presence of federal agents can undermine longstanding efforts for accountability on police surveillance. Technologies popular with federal agencies tend to make their way down to the local level. “We are on the front lines to resist that.”, Indeed, U.S. Attorney General William Barr has frequently defended Operation Legend by noting that it is a continuation of federal policing efforts, rather than a radical departure from the norm. Operation Legend's federal charges by the numbers | Fox News President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr are expected to announce Wednesday that federal agents will surge into several American cities including Chicago to help combat rising crime. Ultimately, a lot of it gets used to monitor protests.”. Biden Is the Perfect Figurehead for the Post-Trump National Security Establishment, Someone Has Been Telling Lies in the White House Briefing Room, Kayleigh McEnany Says, New DCCC Chair Promises to End Controversial Blacklist Policy, assumed a hostile attitude toward the initiative. 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. Operation Legend Is Bringing Surveillance Tech to CitiesUsing federal grants, cities are contracting with companies that hack smartphones and detect gunshots.By Katya SchwenkSep 13 2020https://theinte Since its inception, Operation Legend has yielded more than 3,500 local, state, and federal arrests, with more than 800 defendants charged with federal crimes. It is to help investigate unsolved murders, in which one of those happens to be our innocent, 4-year-old son. More: Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf: Federal officers in Portland 'are not the Gestapo, storm troopers or thugs'. 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. Milwaukee already has a ShotSpotter system in place, and Detroit now plans to deploy it again, after piloting the technology in 2014. Suspects in 90 homicides have been arrested under Operation Legend, the Trump administration deployment of federal officers to nine U.S. cities so far As recently as Tuesday, officials in Memphis, one of the nine cities included in the operation, expressed their disapproval for the increased federal presence. These are “traditional crime-fighting activities” he told reporters in Detroit — just now “ratcheted-up.”. Operation LeGend also has been expanded to Chicago and Albuquerque. Through Operation Legend, Memphis and four other cities received grants for gunshot detection technology, despite longstanding concerns about its efficacy. About half of those involve firearm offenses. Attorney General William Barr talks to the media during a news conference about Operation Legend, a federal task force formed to fight violent crime in several cities, on Aug. 19, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo. How many covert wars, miscarriages of justice, and dystopian technologies would remain hidden if our reporters weren’t on the beat? President Trump promised to assist America’s cities that have been plagued by violence. The federal forces in Portland and D.C. included large contingents of immigration enforcement authorities drawn from the Department of Homeland Security. In Memphis, organizers have long battled police surveillance. “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.”. 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. operation, legend, crime, … 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. Many of the agents are on temporary assignment, working in collaboration with police; nearly half will relocate by November. Who would hold party elites accountable to the values they proclaim to have? This decree was the backbone of the 2018 American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit, which held that Memphis had violated the law. 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. Five cities — Memphis, Cleveland, Albuquerque, Milwaukee, and Detroit — will receive grants to purchase or expand their gunshot detection through the program. It has also funded artificial intelligence-based data repositories, predictive analytics, and social media monitoring tools. 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". “We believe this mirrors the three-strikes laws, the war on drugs — all of these types of tactics to drive up mass incarceration,” she told The Intercept. Now, activists there say that Operation Legend is a serious blow. Now, a growing number of cities and state law enforcement have access to some kind of mobile data extraction software. 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. What is Operation Legend? The Intercept is a First Look Media Company. 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. 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 … ShotSpotter does, however, increase police presence in the neighborhoods where it is used — “disproportionately in minority neighborhoods,” according to Mares. Trump May Use Federal Forces in U.S. … "Operation Legend is the heart of the federal government’s response to this uptick in violent crime," Barr said Wednesday. Operation LeGend Will Challenge Cities Trying to Rein In Their … 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. 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. Attorney General William Barr announced Wednesday that a Department of Justice anticrime initiative launched July 8 has led to 1,485 arrests across nine US Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney is not a significant departure from Rep. Cheri Bustos, but wants to end the ban on vendors who work on primary challenges. “If you live in a neighborhood that has a gun violence problem, not only are you subjected to that, you are also subjected to the surveillance regime that comes along with it.”. 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. One hundred federal agents from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives were sent to Chicago through Operation Legend in late July. The local concern brought a sharp rebuke from Michael Dunavant, the chief federal prosecutor in Memphis. 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. As long as I'm the United States Attorney, we will, in fact, aggressively, consistently, and unapologetically enforce that federal law against the worst of the worst criminals for harming our citizens and terrorizing our community. Consider what the world of media would look like without The Intercept. City law enforcement has lobbied to amend and strike the decree, but so far, it has held. The Department of Defense’s 1033 program is perhaps the best-known example of federal investment in policing. ", More: Federal agents, officers head to Detroit, Cleveland, Milwaukee as Operation Legend expands. Chicago, meanwhile, announced on August 14 that it would employ “enhanced” technology for “around-the-clock” monitoring of social media to identify looters. Background on Operation Legend. “Much of this equipment and technology is given under the guise of either narcotics, policing, or counterterrorism,” Guariglia said. FBI Agents and Resources Support Operation Legend in Nine … 'Operation Legend': Trump Announces Federal Agents Will Be Sent … "It’s not to harm or to hurt. The company points to other investigative benefits overlooked by the study. President Trump delivered remarks on Operation Legend: Combating violent crime in American cities at the White House. 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