KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mayor Quinton Lucas stated today on Twitter that one of his staffers gave the green light for Operation LeGend without the mayor’s knowledge.
Lucas tweeted several times shortly after noon on July 25, stating that the Department of Justice spoke to a member of his staff regarding the effort — prior to its inception. He said it was first over text message, which he said is unusual and didn’t involve him.
“Nonetheless, in a mistake, my office sent a letter under my electronic signature welcoming further federal resources,” Lucas tweeted. “Going from a 4-hour police commission meeting to meetings about the City’s budget. I mistakenly did not review the letter and I did not engage with the issue.”
Operation LeGend was named after 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro. The boy was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting while he slept in his apartment.
The plan is to send 225 additional federal agents from multiple departments. The goal is to help catch and prosecute violent criminals. However, activists have raised concerns over the operation as law enforcement groups across the nation face higher scrutiny.
Yet, Taliferro’s death was just one of many homicides that has plagued Kansas City in 2020. Violent crime is up across the city, which prompted Mayor Lucas to write a letter to Gov. Mike Parson, asking for a special session in the beginning of July.
However, Lucas maintains that he was caught off guard about the federal operation when it was announced just five days later. He said he didn’t learn about the operation until after his name was mentioned during a White House briefing.
“Not having engaged w/the issue, nor having spoken to the US Atty, I was surprised to learn of the operation, its details, and the fact that our city was singled out for what appeared to be political advantage,” Lucas tweeted. “After my public concerns were expressed and after the White House press conference (and tweet), the United States Attorney called me directly to provide details of the operation in our first discussion on Operation LeGend. We have worked together in a collaborative manner since.”
He wish was later granted when Parson announced the special session to address crime across the state. Parson’s announcement came a week after Operation LeGend was disclosed.
FOX4 tried to speak to Mayor Lucas earlier today, but he was unavailable.
Lucas will appear on FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace tomorrow morning. The show airs at 9 a.m.
Here’s the beginning of Lucas’ thread on Twitter: