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WATCH: Barr gives update on anti-violent crime initiative Operation Legend

Attorney General William Barr says federal officers working alongside local police in the initiative known as “Operation Legend” have helped make nearly 1,500 arrests, including dozens for homicides and other violent crimes.

Watch the attorney general’s remarks in the player above.

Barr came to Kansas City Wednesday to appear with local, state and federal authorities.

The federal government has dispatched 1,000 federal agents to fight crime in 9 cities. The operation is named for LeGend Taliferro, a Kansas City boy who was killed by gunfire while he slept in his home.

Barr blames a spike in violent crime that the U.S. is seeing this year on several factors, including state courts and prosecutors who he says are allowing violent offenders to go free while facing charges.

What’s behind the recent surge in gun violence? Amna Nawaz talks to Pastor Mike McBride of the Live Free Campaign and Thomas Abt of the Council on Criminal Justice and an author of the nationwide homicide study.

“I think it also is related to the efforts that we’ve recently seen to demonize police and to defund their work, ” Barr added.

He also pointed to what he called “pent-up aggression” over virus quarantine orders.

He defends the work of federal agents in cities, saying “none of the efforts to rehabilitate communities can bear fruit in an atmosphere of bloodshed.”