The mother of a four-year-old boy who was shot and killed while he slept in a Kansas City, Missouri, apartment in June spoke in support of the Justice Department’s program to send federal officers to aid local law enforcement Wednesday.
LeGend Taliferro was shot on June 29, KSHB Kansas City reported. Shortly after his death, President Donald Trump launched a federal law enforcement operation called “Operation Legend” in Kansas City, and on Wednesday, Trump announced an expansion of Operation Legend to cities hardest hit by violent crime.
“Operation Legend is not to harass, it’s not to harm, or to hurt. It is to help investigate unsolved murders,” said Taliferro’s mother, Charron Powell. “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.
As part of the expanded program, Trump said the Department of Justice will send hundreds of federal law enforcement officers from agencies including the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals Service, Homeland Security, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to combat violent crime in Chicago, Illinois.
Trump said “we have no choice but to get involved,” after noting that local leadership is responsible for policing neighborhoods.
“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,” Trump said.
“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,” Trump said. “Today I’m announcing a surge of federal law enforcement into American communities plagued by violent crime.”
The DOJ will contribute more than $61 million in grants towards hiring “hundreds” of new police officers in cities that are the target of Operation Legend, the White House announced Wednesday.
“We will never defund the police. We will hire more great police,” Trump said. (RELATED: ‘Police Officers Are Jumping From The Sinking Ship’: Dean Cain Lays Out The Impact Of Defunding Police)
Nationwide calls to defund the police followed George Floyd’s death after a Minneapolis police offer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, video of the incident shows.
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