Fifty federal agents headed to St. Louis as part of Operation Legend

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson addresses the media following the announcement of Operation Legend.  

Photo courtesy of St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Chris Kohley

A federal initiative to combat violent crime is officially launched in St. Louis.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the city will receive 50 federal investigators under Operation Legend.  The initiative, headed by the U.S. Justice Department, began last month in Kansas City, following the death of a four-year-old boy who was fatally shot in June while sleeping in his bed. The initiative has since expanded to six additional cities in the U.S. 

The St. Louis-Post Dispatch reports in addition to the 50 investigators, St. Louis will receive assistance from Missouri State Highway Patrol staffers, as well as two prosecutors from the state attorney general’s office.  

Critics have questioned the initiative, saying it creates more violence.  St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner cites recent protests in Portland, Oregon where federal agents stopped people without probable cause and interrupted peaceful protesters without warning.  Gardner says she’ll hold law enforcement agencies accountable if they violate human rights.

The Dispatch reports protesters were waiting outside yesterday’s press conference, demanding St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson resign, calling the initiative another example of the city over-policing.