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Milwaukee police 'respectfully declines' deployment of federal agents in city

Posted at 9:58 AM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 16:59:31-04

Milwaukee police said they are "respectfully declining" the deployment of federal agents in the city.

On Wednesday, the White House said it is expanding "Operation Legend" into several Midwestern cities, including Milwaukee, to combat violence.

The effort is expanding to Chicago, then over the next three weeks to Milwaukee, Detroit, and Cleveland.

Gov. Tony Evers strongly opposed the move, saying federal agents are "not welcome" in Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee Police Department, U.S. Attorney Matthew Krueger, and Mayor Tom Barrett announced a partnership with Operation Relentless Pursuit to address violent crime back in May. The operation has since been renamed to Operation Legend.

"The Milwaukee Police Department is aware of the deployment of federal agents to other cities for the purpose of providing support to those local law enforcement agencies as they address their civil unrest," said the police department in a statement. "The Milwaukee Police Department respectfully declines the deployment of federal agents in Milwaukee for this purpose. We look forward to continuing to work with our federal partners on other joint initiatives such as those addressing violent crime, drug trafficking, internet crimes against children, and human trafficking."

Krueger released a statement saying Operation Legend will enhance existing crime reduction strategies, adding homicides have spiked approximately 90 percent this year.

"Operation Legend does not entail any 'federal troops' or 'occupation' of Milwaukee, as some have mistakenly claimed," Krueger said in a statement. "It will involve trained investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the United States Marshals Service, who will work in coordination with state and local partners, as they always have done in Milwaukee."

Watch MPD Police Chief Alfonso Morales' statement below:

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