President Donald Trump is sending more than 200 federal agents to Chicago to assist local law enforcement in quelling unrest, he announced in a Wednesday press briefing.
The agents are set to arrive as part of Trump’s Operation Legend, in which the Trump administration is seeking to put an end to weeks-long protests in cities across the country. Joining the president were Attorney General Bill Barr and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf. (RELATED: Trump’s National Guard ‘Surge’ Allowed George Floyd Protesters To ‘Demonstrate Safely,’ White House Says)
“Help is on the way,” Trump said at the White House event announcing the operation.
“We’re going to continue to confront mob violence, but the operations we’re discussing today are very different. They are classic crime fighting,” says Barr.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) July 22, 2020
Kansas City is also receiving a detachment of roughly 200 agents, and 35 more are headed to New Mexico, according to Barr.
Administration officials were joined by several citizens who have had family members killed by violent crime, including the family of Vernado Jones Jr., 14, who was killed in Chicago; of LeGend Taliferro, 4, who was killed in Kansas City in 2016; and of Jacqueline Vigil, 55, who was killed in New Mexico.
“I’m very proud to stand with you in this struggle,” President Trump told the family members.
Trump’s reelection bid is occurring amid widespread protests and rioting, which he has strongly denounced.
LAW & ORDER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2020
He signed an executive order in June criminalizing destruction of monuments on federal property. The order was a response to attempts to topple the statue of former President Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square park, as reported by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“I have authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S. with up to 10 years in prison, per the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, or such other laws that may be pertinent,” the president tweeted June 23. “This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused. There will be no exceptions!”