Friday, July 31, 2020

Rep. Tlaib-backed amendment would cut funding for influx of federal agents in Detroit, other cities

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2020 at 1:51 PM

click to enlarge U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib.

The U.S. House passed a bill Friday that would prohibit the use of funds to send federal agents into Detroit and other cities as part of Operation Legend and Operation Relentless Pursuit.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib and a handful of her progressive colleagues amended the appropriations bill Thursday to include cutting funds to the controversial operations.

“Operation Legend and Operation Relentless Pursuit are a continuation of the same disgraced tough on crime policies that have failed to keep our communities safe while disproportionately locking up Black and brown people,” Tlaib says in a news release. “Many communities in my district have been systematically overpoliced, and at a time when trust is low and people are crying out for justice, the presence of unidentified federal agents in our neighborhoods only serves to escalate conflict that will disproportionately harm our neighbors of color. I am proud to cosponsor this amendment to defund this blatant attempt to sow fear and division in order to save the President’s poll numbers.”

The bill is now headed to the Republican-controlled Senate.

On Wednesday, the Department of Justice announced plans to send more than 60 federal agents and analysts to Detroit to combat a reported rise in violent crime. Agents also are being sent to Albuquerque, Chicago, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Milwaukee. Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit Police Chief James Craig welcomed the assistance, but said they would not support the monitoring of protesters, who have been largely peaceful.

Unlike Operation Relentless Pursuit, Operation Legend won’t involve agents clashing with protesters, authorities said.

The agents are coming from the ATF, DEA, and FBI. In March, Craig ended DPD’s relationship with the DEA over what he called trust issues. It’s unclear why Craig is now embracing the DEA.

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