Matthew D. Krueger, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, joined the Department of Justice in officially announcing the expansion of Operation Legend to Milwaukee. 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. In addition to Milwaukee, Operation Legend is now underway in Kansas City, Chicago, Albuquerque, Detroit, and Cleveland.
The expansion of Operation Legend to Milwaukee marks a continuation of violent crime reduction efforts that began in Milwaukee under Operation Relentless Pursuit in December 2019. Operation Legend is named after four-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was shot and killed while he slept early in the morning of June 29 in Kansas City.
The addition of these resources will help address a spike in violent crime. In Milwaukee, there already have been 97 homicides in 2020, an 85% increase over last year. Non-fatal shootings in the city also are up 64%.
As part of Operation Legend, the Department of Justice will supplement state and local law enforcement agencies by sending more than 25 federal investigators from the FBI, DEA, ATF, and United States Marshals Service to the city. These investigators will join the work already underway by existing joint federal, state and local task forces focused on combatting violent crime, including offenses involving firearms and violent drug trafficking organizations. Ten of those federal investigators are assigned to work in Milwaukee temporarily to provide immediate assistance, and the others will be assigned over the coming year to Milwaukee permanently to provide long-term assistance.
United States Attorney Krueger held a press conference in Milwaukee to make the announcement along with leadership from the FBI, ATF, DEA, United States Marshal’s Service, Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Milwaukee Police Department.
At the press conference, FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Hughes announced that the FBI is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of the individuals responsible for the murder of Qunyonce Louis-Moore of Milwaukee on June 30, 2020. Louis-Moore, who was 16 years old at the time of her death, was shot when unknown individuals opened fire on the 3400 block of North 8th Street at approximately 10:28 p.m. Louis-Moore was on a walk with her friends when she was struck by gunfire.
In addition to the increased number of federal agents described above, through the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Department of Justice will make available $1.9 million in funding to support Operation Legend’s violent crime reduction efforts in Milwaukee. In addition, the Department of Justice’s COPS Office also has made $10.2 million available to the Police Departments of Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, and Cudahy to fund the hiring of 29 new officers to facilitate those Police Departments’ ability to assign existing officers to task forces.
The Department has also provided assistance through the Joint Law Enforcement Operations fund to assist reimbursement of local law enforcement serving as federal task force officers with the FBI, ATF, DEA, and U.S. Marshals Service. ATF also has provided $100,000 to help agencies in the Milwaukee area defray costs associated with installing or maintaining shot detection technology.
During the press conference, the results of the initial phase of Operation Relentless Pursuit were announced. This phase ran from January to April 2020 and focused on apprehension of violent fugitives. The efforts in Milwaukee were led by the United States Marshal’s Service in coordination with the ATF, FBI, DEA, and the Milwaukee Police Department. In Milwaukee, the operation resulted in the arrest of 96 individuals wanted for violent offenses, including homicide, robbery, aggravated assault, and forcible sexual assault.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.
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