The President Trump administration announced Wednesday that federal law enforcement agents will be coming to Detroit as part of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) “Operation Legend.”
Trump first announced this plan last week as anti-police brutality protests continue in many major cities around the country, including Detroit.
The DOJ is sending approximately 42 agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to the city, and adding 10 agents from the Detroit ATF to work on violent gun crimes.
According to a statement from the DOJ, homicides are up in Detroit nearly 31% and shootings resulting in wounds are up over 53%.
The operation was first launched on July 8 in Kansas City, and expanded on July 22 to Chicago and Albuquerque. The DOJ also will be sending federal agents to Cleveland and Milwaukee.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel have been vocal in their opposition to “Operation Legend.”
Whitmer said Trump is “attempting to suppress the voices of those he doesn’t agree with” and “doesn’t know the first thing about Detroit.”
“Such threats undermine peace and stability in our communities by unnecessarily escalating tensions and encroaching on states’ rights,” Nessel said. “We are a nation of laws, and the president’s attempts to intimidate our communities with threats of violence could not be more un-American.”
U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, who leads the DOJ, said Tuesday during a congressional committee meeting that he “was not aware of” threats of violence against Whitmer during anti-lockdown protests at the State Capitol in April.
No federal agents were sent to Michigan to assist local police departments during those protests.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance will provide $1.4 million to support the operation in Detroit, and the COPS Office has also made $2.4 million available to the Detroit Police Department to fund the hiring of 15 officers.
Sen. Adam Hollier (D-Detroit) took to Twitter to denounce Trump’s plans.
“Recently, implications have been that the city of Detroit cannot handle its own affairs in regards to Civil Unrest,” Hollier tweeted. “I’d like to reassure anyone concerned that this is not the case. The people are of the finest character and will continue [to] conduct themselves … peacefully.”