Cities facing violent crime and gun violence need community investment, not more policing.
Washington, D.C., July 23, 2020 - Following President Trump’s announcement that he will send 200 federal agents to Chicago and 35 to Albuquerque as part of Operation LeGend, expanding the program beyond operations already existing in Kansas City, Brady urges the federal government to listen to impacted communities and local leaders rather than add federal policing to American cities. While Brady supports federal policies to address gun violence, this “surge” in policing does not accomplish that goal and has been rejected by local officials. Rather than engaging in more over-policing, the federal government should instead listen to experts, local officials, and those most affected by gun violence to identify and understand how to reduce gun violence in urban communities. The President has numerous options to act to prevent gun violence, including asking the Senate to send the bipartisan legislation already passed by the U.S. House of Representatives to his desk for signature. Brady urges the Administration to seek solutions that prevent violence, rather than over-policing.
Brady President Kris Brown shared:
“At a time when there are serious concerns about public safety and policing in this country, especially in communities of color, it is beyond irresponsible for the President of the United States to ignore the voices of the people and the will of local officials and unilaterally send federal enforcement agents into American cities.
These agents will include members of the FBI, DEA and ATF, in addition to DHS agents and U.S. Marshals. Brady supports the goals of Operation LeGend, namely addressing gun violence and solving unsolved gun homicides. But, the tactics employed by the administration will likely have the opposite effect. Sadly, too, the President’s action is a naked attempt to politicize the daily violence that devastates communities of color, while emphasizing empty promises of ‘Law and Order’ over any real or meaningful solutions. The Mayor of Albuquerque stated it best, this ‘is not real crime fighting; it’s politics standing in the way of police work and makes us less safe.’
Brady and local governments have long requested federal assistance and resources for violence prevention - including assistance from the DEA, ATF, and FBI. But this operation is not what local governments have requested. If President Trump cared about reducing violence, he would coordinate with these cities and their leadership to fund programs that work with impacted communities and residents to prevent violence and reduce conflict. He would instruct Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass the two, bipartisan gun violence prevention bills, H.R.8 and H.R.1112, previously passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and now languishing in the Senate, to expand and strengthen background checks. He would ask Congress to increase funds for the ATF and remove restrictions that impede its work to help the bureau adequately inspect gun dealers and prevent gun trafficking.
Instead, the President has dispensed federal resources to cut a campaign ad. President Trump has made it clear throughout his presidency that he does not truly care about preventing gun violence. This is just the latest example.”
Let's be clear, unleashing federal troops into our cities will not solve gun violence. The solutions — stronger federal gun laws, lifesaving funding for violence interruption programs — are sitting on Mitch McConnell's desk. We're not falling for this desperate show of dominance. https://t.co/N7uT7ITVza— Kris Brown (@KrisB_Brown) July 22, 2020
Operation LeGend is named for LeGend Taliferro, a 4-year-old boy who was killed by gunfire while asleep in his bed. Charron Powell, Taliferro’s mother, stated in the East Room of the White House yesterday that Operation LeGend “is to help investigate unsolved murders, in which one of those happens to be our innocent, four-year-old son.” Brady supports these goals but asks that the federal government re-examine the tactics deployed under this program. We need greater investment in communities and policies that prevent violence, not added policing.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.