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Tipsheet

After Killing Trump Program to Crack Down on Crime, Biden DOJ Celebrates Fewest Arrests in 20 Years

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

The Department of Justice under President Joe Biden released new data on Thursday, and it wasn't good. Yet the DOJ is seemingly bragging that the "number of federal arrests reached the lowest point in two decades" in Fiscal Year 2021 as if that's an achievement to be proud of.

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The numbers come via the Federal Justice Statistics report, showing that "arrests by federal law enforcement agencies declined 35% from fiscal year (FY) 2020 to FY 2021, reaching the lowest level over the past two decades."

The report cited COVID-triggered pandemic restrictions as a reason why "federal arrests declined 81% and cases charged in federal court declined 77%" between March and April in 2020, with an additional decline of 25% in arrests and 20% in cases charged, from October 2020 to February 2021. 

What's more, the latest statistics report noted, in its apparent hyping-up of lawlessness, that in the 10 fiscal years from 2011 to 2021, "the number of persons under federal correctional control declined 15%, from 410,887 to 350,543." As readers may recall, there was a push by the left to use COVID to empty prisons and return more criminals to the streets before their sentences were served in-full. 

But it's not like there was less crime during the same period or a lack of success in federal prosecution of cases. According to the DOJ's report, "about 9 in 10" of defendants who were charged in federal district courts were convicted. Nearly three-quarters of those convicted were sentenced to prison for a median punishment of 37 months behind bars. 

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Then-President Trump and his Attorney General Bill Barr worked to crack down on crime in the wake of the pandemic by launching Operation Legend in major U.S. cities, beginning with Kansas City in July 2020. Operation Legend then expanded as more cities partnered with the Trump DOJ to get violent criminals peddling deadly substances put away, including Chicago, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Memphis, and Indianapolis. 

At the end of 2020, Attorney General Barr noted that "Operation Legend removed violent criminals, domestic abusers, carjackers and drug traffickers from nine cities which were experiencing stubbornly high crime and took illegal firearms, illegal narcotics and illicit monies off the streets. By most standards, many would consider these results as a resounding success—amid a global pandemic, the results are extraordinary," he added. "When we launched Operation Legend, our goal was to disrupt and reduce violent crime, hold violent offenders accountable and give these communities the safety they deserve," Barr said. 

That is, there was no reason for the pandemic to create a lasting decrease in federal law enforcement activity. Operation Legend was a success and it should have been continued when Biden took office in January 2021. But his administration quietly canceled the program, despite its success. 

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In the roughly seven months Operation Legend was active, the DOJ made more than 6,000 arrests — 467 for homicide alone — while more than 2,600 firearms, 32 kilos of heroin, 17 kilos of fentanyl, 300 kilos of methamphetamine, 135 kilos of cocaine, and $11 million worth of illicit proceeds were seized.

And Biden still killed the program that was designed to be "a sustained, systematic and coordinated law enforcement initiative in which federal law enforcement agencies work in conjunction with state and local law enforcement officials to fight violent crime" and instead chose to hype up the lowest number of federal arrests in 20 years. 

It's not just bad that the Biden administration is trying to be soft on crime, it's that they expect to wear their leniency as a badge of honor in the name of some twisted idea of "social justice."

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