Detroit police chief ‘excited’ for continuing relationship with federal law enforcement under Operation Legend

By Julia Musto | Fox News

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Saturday that his department is in support of the government’s plan to send 42 federal agents to his city and is “excited” about their “continued relationship with” their federal law enforcement partners.

In an interview on “Fox & Friends Weekend,”  Craig said what’s “disturbing” is that their partnership is “not new.”

“Back in December of last year, I stood with Attorney General Barr, stood with the heads of all the DOJ operations, FBI, DEA,” he remembered. “And, we stood there as partners. And, we’re still partners. Nothing has changed.”

However, according to Craig, what has changed is a “renewed commitment to [enhancing]” their efforts to combat violent crime in their communities.

According to The Detroit Free Press, shootings in the city are up 53 percent and homicides are up 31 percent.

Announced last week, the deployment of these agents is in tandem with the government’s Operation Legend initiative — a program named for 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was killed in his sleep in Kansas City, Mo., at the end of June.

Detroit is just one of many cities across the country which will see an increased presence of federal officers, though The Detroit Free Press says some agents are already working gun investigations in the Motor City.

The team will reportedly focus on five areas of crime including arresting fugitives, gun violence, gang violence, illegal gun use and unlawful possession of guns, and violent drug trafficking.”

The federal agents will not police demonstrations and officials have stressed that there are no plans to confront or spirit away protesters.

In addition, the Department of Justice has pledged $1 million specifically to help Detroit police with gun and gang violence prevention. A $100,000 grant was also awarded to the city for acoustic gunshot detection technology and new equipment.

Democratic Mayor Mike Duggan has also welcomed the federal intervention but stressed the city did not request any federal law enforcement assistance with the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, which have thus far remained mostly peaceful.

Craig told “Friends Weekend” host Griff Jenkins that no one was talking to Detroiters.

“You know, all this business about ‘defund the police’ — talk to the average Detroiter and see what they have to say. The protesters are saying something totally different,” he remarked. “And, this is not about, you know, addressing our by and large peaceful protest. We haven’t seen the kind of violence like you see in other cities.”

That said, the Black Lives Matter movement is opposed to the federal intervention and has since called on Craig to resign.

The chief said he felt “fortunate” to have a mayor like Duggan who “understands violence” and wants to continue to drive the crime down.”

“He’s very active. We’re meeting again with our U.S. Attorney here in Michigan, Matthew Snyder, who has certainly been a great supporter of ours over the years in terms of reducing violence, eradicating gangs, and violent predators with guns,” he explained. “So, we’re in this lockstep.”

“So, what’s going on in these other cities is shameful. But, Detroiters [are enforcing] it,” Craig concluded.

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