“All of this violent crime is primarily driven by illegal possession of guns and illegal trafficking of narcotics. … To address this problem, we are adding additional resources to our Project Guardian and Operation Legend.”

Thus, acting U. S. Attorney Alex Van Hook announced in a multi-agency news conference here on Monday a major initiative targeting violent crime

As the exodus of residents from Shreveport speeds along – a loss of -13,864 people since the 2010 Census, through July 1, 2019 – there can be no doubt that the shooting galleries our low-income areas have become is a top cause.

There can be no doubt, either, that the very recent federal declarations by U. S. Attorney General William “Bill” Barr to specifically fight certain categories of crime seem tailored to Shreveport’s need.

Barr announced “Project Guardian” last November, and “Project Legend,” in July (SEE U. S. Department of Justice links below).

(Mr. Van Hook is also quoted by KSLA-TV News as saying, “Shreveport’s not an Operation Legend city, but we have the same problem that the larger cities have,” but he nonetheless identified both programs in the context of this new local initiative.)

As detailed in the DOJ news release, Operation Legend was named in honor of the death of four-year old LeGend Taliferro in Kansas City … shot and killed by gunfire from outside his father’s apartment while sleeping.

Likewise, the Monday news conference quickly followed a Shreveport shooting days earlier of an unnamed 2-year-old … also shot from outside his home.

Thank goodness, the baby lives … and Shreveport has a definable chance to see its violent crime rate reduced. Here is the prediction from Van Hook, reported by the daily paper:

“It is one of those problems where sometimes you have to repeat the process. We’ve driven crime rates in this community in the last 10 years to 10-year lows. When federal firearm prosecutions go up, crime rates go down. You’re going to see it. We’re going to work together every day. The police department brings the cases. We do these cases. Judge Stewart does these cases. You will see the crime rates go down.”

(No, I do not understand that second sentence, either.)

No public announcements are necessary for us to point out that there is enough competition and bad blood among top players in local law enforcement and prosecution here to derail this new push.

As local boots-on-the-ground law enforcers here know only too well (and sometimes discuss off-the-record), their hands are tied so many ways even Houdini couldn’t get loose.

Regardless, and at a minimum, Shreveporters may fairly expect the arrival of new federal money from specific programs Van Hook identified … meaning help to the Shreveport Police Department and Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Perhaps the well-known animus among and between so many of our law enforcers and prosecutors (local, state and federal) may at least be stowed … no matter how briefly.

© 2020 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

“Project Guardian”

“Project Legend”

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