Trump delivers remarks on Operation Legend: Combating violent crime in US cities
Thank you very much, thank you. Great honor to be with you today. And being here is uh. A real uh. A really important moment as far as i'm concerned. My first duty as president, is to protect. The american, people. And today i'm taking action to fulfill, that. Sacred, obligation. In recent weeks. There has been a radical. Movement, to. Defund, dismantle. And dissolve, our. Police departments. Extreme, politicians. Have joined this, anti-police. Crusade. And relentlessly. Vilified, our law enforcement, heroes. To. Look at it from any standpoint, the effort to shut down. Policing, in their own communities, has led to a shocking, explosion, of shootings, killings, murders, and, heinous, crimes, of violence. This bloodshed. Must end this bloodshed, will end. Today i'm announcing, a surge of federal law enforcement, into american. Communities, plagued by violent crime. Will work. Every single day to restore. Public safety. Protect, our nation's, children, and bring violent. Perpetrators. To justice. We've been doing it and you've been seeing what's happening. All around the country. We've just started this process, and frankly, we have no choice, but to get involved. With us today is attorney, general. Bill barr thank you bill very much. Acting, dhs. Secretary. Chad wolfe. Chad thank you. And fbi, director, christopher. Ray, thank you chris very much. We're also. Pleased to be joined by americans, who have tragically. Lost their loved ones. To recent violence. To each of you please know that america, grieves, with you that we pledge to honor the memory, of your cherished. Loved ones by. Fighting to bring safety, in, every, single, community. We will bring that safety, you will see. For decades, politicians. Running many of our nation's, major cities, have put the interests, of criminals, above the rights of, law. Abiding. Citizens. These same, politicians. Have now embraced, the far left movement, to break up our, police departments. Causing, violent, crime in their cities, to spiral. And i mean spiral, seriously. Out of control. In new york city over 300, people were shot. In the last month alone. A, 277. At least percent, increase, over the same period. Of a year ago. Murders, this year have spiked 27. Percent, in philadelphia. 94. In minneapolis. Compared, to the same period in 2019. Perhaps, no citizens. Have suffered more from the. Menace of violent, crime. Than the wonderful, people, of chicago, a city i know very well. At least, 414. People have been murdered. In the city this year. A roughly, 50 percent, increase, over last year. More than 1. 900. People have been shot. These are numbers, that aren't, even, to be believed. Yesterday, alone 23, people were shot in chicago. Including, at least 15 who were shot. In a merciless. Onslaught. Of gunfire. Outside of a funeral, home. 63. People were shot in the city this past weekend, and at least 12 people were killed. Over the 4th of july weekend. Nearly, 80, people were shot. And 17, were killed. Over father's, day weekend. 104. People were shot. And 15, were killed, including, five, young, children. And the last weekend, in mesa, the city's deadliest, day on record. 18, murders. In 24, hours. Behind, each of these, horrifying. Statistics. Is a victim a family, a loved one. And a life of. Cruelly, shattered, and it's just, so sad to see and so sad to look and so sad to, see how these. Lives have been just torn apart. An african-american. Father, of three was killed while walking into a store to pay. His cell phone bill. A 13-year-old. Girl was killed when a stray bullet came through the window of her home. And hit her in the neck. In the presence, of her family. On independence. Day fourteen-year-old. Renato, jones jr was playing basketball. With friends in a chicago, park. When he was senselessly. Killed in a massacre, that left eight people dead or wounded. Bernardo's. Mother, cheryl. Is here with us today, and sheryl, please know that all americans. Mourn. By your side, we will carry your son's memory. He will not be forgotten. Cheryl. Cheryl. Thank you very much thank you for being here cheryl, thank you very much it's a great honor to meet you before, thank you. This rampage, of violence, shocks the conscience, of our nation, and. We will not stand, by and watch it happen, can't do that the citizens, of chicago. Are citizens, of america. And they have the same right as every other american, to live in safety, dignity, and peace.
No Mother should ever have to cradle her dead child in her arm simply because, politicians. Refuse, to do what is necessary. To secure, their neighborhood, and to secure, their city. Every american, no matter their income their race or their zip code should be able to walk their city streets. Free from violence, and free from fear. For this reason today, i am announcing, that the department, of justice, will immediately. Surge, federal law enforcement. To the city of chicago. The fbi. Atf. Dea. U.s, marshals, service, and homeland, security, will together, be sending, hundreds of skilled law enforcement. Officers, to chicago. To help drive down violent, crime. And murderers. And violent criminals, are breaking a wide range of federal, laws, we have that it's as wide as it can be. We will find them arrest them and prosecute. Them, they will be in jail for many years to come. And we will work with local police to identify. Violations. Of state and local laws to help ensure. That offenders, are caught, and jailed, for their crimes. But we must remember, that the job of. Policing, a neighborhood, falls, on the shoulders, of local. Elected. Leadership. Never forget that. When they abdicate, their duty the results, are catastrophic. Americans. Must hold their city leaders accountable. They must insist that community, officials. Fully support. Fully back and fully fund, their local police, departments. There is simply, no substitute. For a police department, that has the strong. Backing, of city. Leaders. In the meantime, we will use federal law enforcement, to vigorously. Charge, federal, crimes, and support these besieged. Communities. To the greatest, extent. Possible. This will be, hard, painstaking. Work. It will take time. The tide, will not recede, overnight, but we will marshal, all of the strength, and focus, and determination. That we can possibly, do this is a critical. Effort. We will continue, to call on state and local leaders to do their job and protect their citizens. The operation, in chicago. Will be done as part of operation. Legend. Which was recently, launched, in kansas, city missouri. And very successfully. I might add. It is named after legend, talifaro. A four-year-old, boy who's, shot. Think of this he was shot and killed last month. While he, lay asleep, in his home, legends, mother grieves. Our hearts, and pains, and souls, and we thank you very much for being here thank you very much. Thank you very much, appreciate, it. We are profoundly, grateful, to be joined by. Sharon, would you please stand sharon. Sharon, please. And also. Legend's, father rafael. And his grandparents. Alfred, and pauline. Yes. They look so great, so great thank you very much i appreciate your nice statements, before too thank you very much. Thank you. Legend, is looking down he's very proud of you right now, i tell you thank you very much. To legends, family we cannot even begin to imagine, your anguish, and your sorrow, but we solemnly, promise, to honor legend, and. We will be fighting every day to save the lives of, america's, children. Under operation. Legend, we will, also, soon send federal law enforcement, to other cities. That need help other cities need help they need it badly, they should call they should want it, they're too proud, or they're too political, to do that. One of them is albuquerque. New mexico, where last fall 55, year old jackie, v hill. Was murdered as she was getting into her car, to go to the gym. We're joined today by her husband, sam and her sons. Raul, and kevin. Both new mexico, state, police officers, would you please, stand. Thank you very much thank you. Thank you very much i appreciate, it thank you. Great looking family thank you very much. To sam, raul, and kevin. We'll move beyond, words by your presence here today we thank you very much for being here it's a great honor to meet you. This afternoon i'm also announcing, that the department, of justice will provide more than. 61, million dollars in grants to hire hundreds of new police officers, and cities that are the focus, of, operation. Legend. We will never defund the police. We will, hire. More. Great. Police. We want to. Make law enforcement. Stronger. Not weaker. What cities are doing, is absolute. Insanity. Many of the same politicians. Who want to slash, resources. For, law enforcement. Have also declared, that their cities are sanctuaries. For criminal, illegal, aliens. In other words after arresting, illegal, aliens, for crimes the police are ordered to release, those. Criminals, back onto the streets. To continue. Their crime. Last year chicago, politicians. Forced the release of illegal aliens, charged with crimes. Such as assault. Armed robbery. Strangulation. And attempted, murder. My administration. Will be working to remove, dangerous, offenders, sprung loose by these deadly, policies. And frankly. By these deadly, politicians. America, must be a sanctuary, for law-abiding. Citizens, not criminal, aliens.
My Vision, for, america's, cities. Could not be more different from the lawlessness. Being pushed, by the extreme, radical, left. While, others, want to, defund. Defame. And abolish. The police, i want to support. And honor, our great police. While the radicals, want to abolish, charter schools and eliminate, school choice. I want to expand, school, choice and every family in america, should have that option. While others want to destroy, opportunity. Shut down businesses, and send our jobs, overseas. We are hiring, americans. And we are. Buying, american. Product. We want to build factories, in baltimore. Not beijing, we want to make our products in chicago. Not shanghai. We want the american, dream for american, children, and i will fight to deliver, that dream, every ounce, every, single, ounce of my strength i will be fighting. But opportunity. Cannot, thrive. Where there is violence, prosperity. Cannot, flourish. Where there is bloodshed. And security, cannot, exist, where. Demon, murder with impunity. Legend. Is all about. To answer, the police. And crying, for help. For those people in chicago. And other cities, where we'll be. Help is on its way. I'd now like to ask attorney, general. William barr is doing incident. And i'd like to thank especially. The families of the victims, who have come here today. And have allowed us to inaugurate. This effort. In the name, of their, loved ones. And i'd like to. Thank all our law enforcement. Colleagues. From around the country, state local and federal. As president, said. The first duty of government. Is to protect, the safety. Of our citizens. And. We're here to explain. The initiative. To combat, rising, violent, crime, in a number of our cities. Our goal is to help save lives. The principal, danger, to the lives. Of our inner city. Communities. Is violent, crime. The leading cause of death. For young black males. Is homicide. Each year approximately. 7 500. Black americans. Are the victims. Of homicide. Every one of those lives matter. In 1992. Violent, crime. Was. Nationwide. Was double. What it is today. And it was at that time. That federal law enforcement. First turned its attention, to this kind of violent crime before that the federal government really didn't play that much of a role in it. But. We started. To attack violent, crime. In conjunction, with state and local government. It was at that time for example, that the fbi. Set up. Its. Ganged, anti-gang. Task forces, throughout the united, states. And we started using our strong, federal, laws. That permit us to target. Those who use guns. To kill others. And, those that are involved, in gang activity. Our approach was to set up anti-violent. Crime task forces, in the cities to enforce. Federal, law. And take the shooters. And the chronic violent, criminals, off the streets. We helped pay for state and local, officers, to join these task forces. So we could leverage, our strength. And this approach, was extremely. Successful. In the intervening, decades, in driving, crime down. Now at the end of the obama administration, crime started going back up again. And for the first, two two and a half years of this administration. We were succeeding, in pushing it down but. Less than a year ago, mr president you'll recall that as we saw, crime starting to go up in a few cities. You asked me to initiate. A surge in those cities to help our state and local partners, deal with it, and so, we did start this program, which we called relentless, pursuit.
Unfortunately. Coveted intervened, and we had to abort, that, that effort. And, since then we had that terrible, event in minneapolis. But then we had. This. Extreme. Reaction. That has demonized. Police. And called for the defunding, of police departments. And what we have seen then is a significant. Increase, in violent crime in many indian cities. And this r this rise is a direct result. Of. The attack. On the police, forces. And the weakening. Of police forces, and the president's, gone through, the terrible. Statistics. So, in response, to that. We have. Initiated, this program. Operation, legend. To step up the activity, of our task forces. Our anti-crime. Task forces, in the hard hit. Cities. By committing, more federal agents. And supporting, more state and local. Task force officers. It's important to stress that the operations, we're talking about are the standard. Anti-crime. Fighting, activities. We have been carrying out around the country. For decades. We will be adding, federal agents to the task forces. These are, street, agents, they're investigators. Who will be working. To solve murders, and to take down the violent. Gangs, and they'll be working, shoulder. To. Shoulder. With our state and local colleagues. This is a different kind of operation. Obviously. Than, the tactical, teams we use to defend, against riots. And mob violence. And we're going to continue, to confront. Mob violence. But the operations, we're discussing, today. Are very different. They are classic, crime fighting. We've named the operation, as we've said operation, legend. And we started rolling it out a couple of weeks ago in in kansas, city. And 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 will be adding cities in the weeks ahead. And for now, we're including. Beyond kansas city as the president said chicago. And albuquerque. The fbi. Is today announcing. Rewards. For information, related, to the killing of legend. Jackie. And vernado. We are seeking, justice, for those victims, today. And operation, legend, aims, to immediately, help our police, agencies, and our local leadership, to prevent, additional, victims. The fbi, has established, a hotline, for the public to report. Information. They may have, that may help in solving. These murders. The hotline number is 1-800. Call, fbi. To carry out operation, legend, federal law enforcement, agencies, will be committing, additional, resources. To these cities including. Fbi, agents. Dea. Atf. The u.s marshals. And the department, of homeland, security. Hsi. Teams. To date, we have sent over 200. Federal agents to kansas, city. We are directing. A comparable. Number of agents to augment, chicago's. Existing, task forces. And we are providing, an additional, 35. Agents. To albuquerque. The united states attorneys, for chicago, albuquerque, and kansas city are here today. These u.s attorneys, and the chief federal law enforcement, officials, in each of these cities. Are ultimately, responsible, for coordinating. The federal, effort. And ensuring, prosecutions. From these in this this initiative. Are effective. Linked to this increase, in federal law enforcement. Agents. We are also providing. Additional, financial, assistance. To the state and local enforcement, agencies. To permit them to provide. More cops. More members of our task force. As i said. Federal agents work, hand in glove with state and local enforcement. Law enforcement, every day. We supplement, and provide, support to local law enforcement, but violent crime is ultimately. A problem. That will be solved by state, and local leadership. In these cities, as the president, said. Our announcement, today is a demonstration. Of our commitment. To the men and women. Who serve as police, officers. In chicago. Albuquerque. And kansas, city. Your efforts, to protect, these communities. Are not forgotten. So too this announcement, and operation. Legend, as a whole. Is also a commitment, to the families. Of legend. Tala ferro. Jackie. Verhill. And vernado, james. That those names, will not be forgotten. We will not rest. Until justice, is delivered.
For Your loved ones. Thank. You. Well mr president thank you for the invitation, to be here today. It's always an honor to discuss. The actions to protect and defend. The peace and liberty we value in this country. Attorney general barr. Partnership, our departments, have in executing, a shared mission. Of protecting, the homeland, and bringing justice to those who threaten it remains as strong as ever so thank you for your partnership. As the nation's largest law enforcement agency the department of homeland security, stands ready. And able to commit our highly skilled highly trained. Homeland, security investigative, special agents to help restore, law and order. In the wake of 9 11 dhs, was founded. So that the federal government could better partner directly with state. And local law enforcement. As dhs, supports, this critical effort led by the department of justice. Homeland security investigative, agents. Will leverage their networks, their assets. And their expertise. To energize, criminal investigations. Homeland security investigations. Mission is to investigate, some of the most violent criminals. Specifically, those involving transnational. Gangs. And narcotics, trafficking. Let me just take a quick moment. To clearly make a distinction, as the attorney general did. About what is occurring in portland, versus the important action that we're announcing, here today. In portland we see almost two months of coordinated, violent. Attacks, by anarchists. Against a federal courthouse, and federal law enforcement officials. Sworn to protect it. In chicago, we see an unprecedented. Rise in crime, against fellow. Citizens. The dhs, mission in portland is to protect federal property and our law enforcement, officers. In chicago. The mission is to protect the public from violent crime on the streets. Leaders of these great cities should not stand behind the status quo. They should stand with america. They should condemn these violent attacks, and they should work with this administration. And this president. To bring about law and order. I know everyone standing here today every homeland security. Investigations. Agent assigned to operation, legend. And every reasonable, american, agrees with the basic, premise. That every four-year-old, should be safe. At night to sleep in their bed. The department, grieves. With all the families, experiencing. Excruciating. And heart-wrenching, stories of loss. We as a department stand resolute. Committed to working together across the federal government. And with our state and local law enforcement. Partners to keep that promise. So again thank you mr president, department, is grateful for your continued, support, of our law enforcement, officers, as we continue. To ensure the safety, and security, of all americans. Thank you. Thank you. Chris you want to say a few words please you're going to be a big part of it. Come on go ahead please. The real measure. Of, success. Of initiatives, like operation, legend. Is the ability, of communities. To feel safe. It's not about the number of arrests it's about the ability. Of kids to be able to play outside of their homes. About families, to be able to to walk, to and from work. And that's what this, operation, is designed to do. And it's going to be a significant. Surge, of federal resources, to partner with our great state and local law enforcement, partners. To achieve. Safety, and the confidence, that the american people need to have that they can live safe in their community so thank you mr president. Please. Please. Please. Sir. I. Would, start out by thanking you for. You know i never imagined that i would be in the same room with the most powerful, person on earth, and, thank you mr president. Uh, thank you mr bart. I i would like to just very briefly, uh make a few comments about my wife the way she was. Um. Jackie. Was the type of person, that. Uh. Loved. To go to the gym that was one of her big things. She also liked to, send out. Prayers, on a daily basis, to people, she would pick, verses, from the bible. Prayers, that you came across, with and she would either email, those prayers, or tweet them to some of the, some of her friends there in, albuquerque. That all ended on. November, 19th. Um. You know as i mentioned before, she was one of those people that had to go to the gym otherwise, she wouldn't make it through the day. We, usually get up around 4 30, before. 45. She got up i got up i went downstairs. I got my, cup of coffee. Uh, she came down and she says well, you know i'll see you in about an hour that's about how long she would spend at the the gym.
I Heard the garage, door open. And then all of a sudden, almost immediately, after that i heard the. Horn on the car. So i went out there and i. I thought maybe. You know maybe she forgot her, gym card or something and wants me to go out there and take it back to her. Uh, when i. Opened the door hi the garage, door was open. There was a vehicle. Behind, hers, blocking, her. And i still didn't. Snap, i thought well maybe, the guy that delivers, the paper usually around that time of day or, you know was the one, in the back of her car. Um. Then i noticed, that, that that wasn't so, she gave, somebody a shot and killed her there. I saw, a person. Walk over on the driver, i mean on the passenger, passenger, side of the the vehicle, that was behind, her. And get on and take off like, crazy. To this day i can't. Forget that you know every every time i go to bed every time i go out into the. Driveway. That that memory comes back, and it hunts me, and and. Jackie, my wife did not deserve to be killed that way, nobody, does you know, of course, albuquerque. As, you probably all know those of you in law enforcement, has a reputation. For being one of the. Violent most violent. Cities in in the country, actually you know we've ranked up there in first place second place, and. Uh that doesn't seem to be going away you know it's been, eight months, since my wife died, in. There's been no arrests at all, nobody has been arrested for the crime. There are other. Victims, in albuquerque. That are in the same boat. That the. Journal reported, back of, a couple of months ago that the. Sub. The rate of solving. Homicides. In albuquerque, was less than 50 percent. You know and that in itself. Tells you a, big story as to where we're at how we. We need desperately, some help to. To get after the crime rates that we have going on there, and, i am, i really appreciate, the effort. That you all are putting into this, and, i. Welcome, that and if there's anything that i can do uh, please let me know, thank you both so much. Thank you very much sam and we're going to be giving a special, effort to that when we, go and we have some very talented, people going in we're going to give, give a very special, effort, to jackie, okay. Thank you very much. Sharon, please. Thank you. Thank you i appreciate, the efforts. Um, good afternoon. I am sharon, powell. I am legend tyler pharrell's, mother. I want to thank god for giving me the strength to withstand, today. Operational, legend, is not to harass. It's not to harm, or to hurt. It is to help investigate. Unsolved, murders. In which one of those happened to be, our innocent, four-year-old, son. This operation, is personal to us. We want justice for our son, and others. We have to take a stand in our communities. And speak up to help this operation, be successful. My one and only child who fought through open heart surgery, at four months. Is gone. Due to senseless, gun violence. Children are supposed to be our future. And our four-year-old, son didn't make it to kindergarten. I stand here today. As a mother, fighting against violence, for my son legend talaferro. My family and i support, operation, legend. And we strongly, want our community, and everyone else behind, us. Thank you so much you guys i appreciate, all the efforts, um.
One Thing about legend. He was. He was exciting. He loved basketball. He was a ball of joy. And. I want his legacy, to live on and i want us to continue, to fight against violence, and also get justice, for, my son and others. So with this operation. I want it to be successful, so if every community, can. Reach out to that high line if you know any information, about any murder, that would be great. And also to keep caring on this legacy. Thank you once again i appreciate, everything, thank you thank you very much and legend, and jackie are looking down right now at you and. Very proud. Very proud, thank you both. Thank you families for being here, thank you. So to every, family. I'm very proud to stand with you in this struggle i'm, proud to stand, with the heroes, of law enforcement, they are true heroes thank you all for being here we appreciate, it very much, great great people. And i'm proud to fight by your side to deliver a better future, for the citizens, of every race color religion, in crete. As soon as the cities, and states. Call to ask for help. On a very large basis, we will be there with full force and we will stop this, horrible, situation. Very quickly but in the meantime, we're doing something that's going to have. An impact, and uh, mr attorney general thank you very much, chad thank you very much. Do a good job, i have no doubt you will thank you thank you very much, thank you. See you later, thank. You.