Schakowsky, García Demand More Information on Federal Law Enforcement Operations in Chicago

August 5, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - In response to the Trump Administration’s deployment of additional federal law enforcement to Chicago under Operation Legend, Representatives Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) and Chuy García (IL-04) sent a letter to Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf and Attorney General William Barr to ensure that the civil rights of Chicagoans are protected and demanding additional information on the scope of the operation.

“Operation Legend appears to be nothing more than a political stunt by this lawless President and his cronies Attorney General Barr and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Wolf,” Rep. Schakowsky said. “This Administration must know that we are watching and we will not tolerate any interference with our community members’ First Amendment right to protest or any abuses of our Black, Brown, and immigrant communities. Congress holds the power of the purse and we will seek to defund this operation if there is any hint of misconduct or abuse of power.”

“President Trump would rather deploy federal agents to Chicago, Portland, and other cities than acknowledge systemic racism in the United States,” said Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García. “In Chicago, we know Trump’s authoritarian actions have nothing to do with valuing Black and Brown lives — if that were his goal, he would support universal health care, public education, and comprehensive policing reform. I reject his premise and his authoritarian actions, and will continue to use every means at my disposal to keep our communities safe from further harm by federal law enforcement.”

“Residents of Chicago, especially those protesting police violence against Black residents, must have full transparency in how federal forces are behaving on our streets,” said Colleen K. Connell, Executive Director of the ACLU of Illinois. “DHS and DOJ must provide the information sought by Congresswoman Schakowsky and Congressman García about what federal forces are doing, how many people have been arrested and the offenses with which they have been charged. Transparency and accountability distinguish a democracy from an autocracy – we must not treat this basic information about federal law enforcement as a state secret.”

A copy of the letter can be found HERE.