Trump-initiated program fighting gun violence in Chicago still paying big dividends

Chicago's streets are a little safer thanks to a federal crackdown on gun violence there, even though the Biden administration ended the program that President Trump initiated.  The Chicago Sun-Times reports:

It's been about two years since then-President Donald Trump launched [a] high-profile, five-month operation in the face of a surge in violence in Chicago, looking to make people arrested for crimes involving guns face tougher federal penalties than they might if prosecuted in the Cook County courts.

That program was called Operation Legend, named after four-year-old LeGend Taliferro, a Kansas City child who was shot to death in his sleep.  President Trump dispatched hundreds of federal agents to work with Chicago Police.  

Then-A.G. Barr's press conference in Chicago on Operation Legend, 9/9/20.

Authorities have said that at least 170 people were arrested in the Chicago area in Operation Legend, including 130 on gun charges and 40 on drug charges.

For context, Chicago recorded more than 770 killings that year and thousands of nonfatal shootings.

The average federal sentence of nearly four years in the cases the Chicago Sun-Times reviewed was far higher than what’s typically seen in the Cook County courts.

To determine that, the Sun-Times examined a decade of Cook County sentences in cases in which the most serious charge was illegal gun possession. The average prison sentence was less than a year —254 days —in the approximately 4,000 cases filed between 2011 and the end of 2021. About 2,300 other cases resulted in probation, according to a Cook County database.

Since the overwhelming percentage of victims of gun crime in Chicago are black, almost certainly Operation Legend has saved black lives by locking up people inclined to violence for longer sentences.

For some reason, Black Lives Matter doesn't seem very grateful.

Hat tip: Peter von Buol

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