Jeramey Jannene

Trump Sending Federal Agent “Surge” to Milwaukee, State, Local Officials React

Attorney General calls it a "facist tactic." MPD says support not for civil unrest.

By - Jul 23rd, 2020 07:13 pm
Donald Trump. Photo from

Donald Trump. Photo from

President Donald Trump says he will send a “surge” of federal resources to address violent crime in Milwaukee and four other cities.

The moves comes as a deployment of federal agents to Portland, Oregon has become increasingly controversial with Mayor Ted Wheeler standing alongside protesters last night and being on the receiving end of tear gas. Individuals have been detained by unidentified individuals from unmarked vehicles and released hours later.

The Milwaukee surge will come as part of Operation Legend, which saw the U.S. Department of Justice send 200 federal officers to Kansas City after a four-year-old child was killed.

A two-year-old girl was shot and killed in Milwaukee this week. A suspect was taken into custody.

Operation Legend will expand into Chicago and Albequerque before branching into Milwaukee, Cleveland and Detroit.

“Given the events that have taken place in Portland over the last few nights, I am extremely concerned that President Trump is looking for opportunities to create more political division in cities across the nation. Federal agents are not welcome here for that purpose,” said Mayor Tom Barrett in a statement. “If the federal presence is to truly cooperate with local law enforcement, then it is imperative the limits of their activities are clearly delineated and monitored.”

Governor Tony Evers, in a press briefing before Trump’s announcement, panned the move. “Amping up the federal presence will create more turmoil and less successful approaches to making sure people have a chance to express their First Amendment rights,” he said. Evers had previously sent Trump a letter cautioning against the move.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul had the sharpest criticism. “I don’t use the phrase ‘fascist tactics’ lightly. But there is no more accurate way to describe this administration’s repeated resort to and incitement of racism, xenophobia, and violence,” he said.

“The Wisconsin Department of Justice works to protect the public, and we are happy to work with additional federal agents if there is transparency, collaboration, and it’s clear that the agents will be working to reduce violent crime,” he said. “However, if the agents will be interfering with peaceful protests or attempting to build arrest statistics without a broader concern for improving public safety, I will be speaking out against their presence here, and I will take any appropriate legal action.”

The operation appears to closely resemble Operation Relentless Pursuit, an initiative announced for the same cities, plus Memphis and Baltimore, in December 2019. The $71 million effort was expected to include 400 officers supplementing local police forces.

The Milwaukee Police Department, in a press release, confirmed the effort is a rebranded operation in honor of LeGend Taliferro, the four-year-old killed in Kansas City.

“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. The Milwaukee Police Department respectfully declines the deployment of federal agents in Milwaukee for this purpose,” said MPD in a release. “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.”

The news comes during a tense week between Police Chief Alfonso Morales and the public safety oversight board, the Fire & Police Commission. The commissioners, without any discussion, voted to issue 11 directives to Morales on Monday night, but did not provide a written copy of the orders until Tuesday afternoon. Morales has seven days to comply with a number of the directives, including releasing records, or faces suspension or termination. Protesters appeared outside of Morales’ north side home Wednesday night.

The homicide rate in Milwaukee has nearly doubled this year after declining for four years, with over a third of 2020 homicides being attributed to domestic violence. Two mass shootings occurred in the city before the pandemic.

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Categories: Public Safety

3 thoughts on “Trump Sending Federal Agent “Surge” to Milwaukee, State, Local Officials React”

  1. Mark Nicolini says:

    I say let’s work with the feds in coming up with a mutually-agreed on scope regarding violent crime reduction. It appears Chicago Mayor Lightfoot has been able to do this. Forget the politics and collaborate.

  2. says:

    Council on American Security – New group founded by former military officials looks to unseat Trump in 2020 (Announced Trump’s list of crimes today 7/24/2020)
    Exclusive: Dozens of Republican former U.S. national security officials to back Biden
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Dozens of Republican former U.S. national security officials are forming a group that will back Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, people familiar with the effort said, in a further sign that President Donald Trump has alienated some members of his own party.
    The group will publicly endorse Biden in the coming weeks and its members plan to campaign for the former vice president who is challenging Trump in the Nov. 3 election, the sources said. It includes at least two dozen officials who served under Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, with dozens more in talks to join, the sources added.
    They will argue that another four years of a Trump presidency would endanger U.S. national security and that Republican voters should view Biden as the better choice despite policy differences, the sources said.
    The initiative is being led by John Bellinger III and Ken Wainstein, according to the people involved, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Both held senior posts under George W. Bush. Bellinger served as legal adviser to the National Security Council and State Department. Wainstein served as Bush’s homeland security adviser and as chief of staff to former FBI Director Robert Mueller.
    Another member of the group, the sources said, is Robert Blackwill, who served as a foreign policy adviser under both Bushes and ambassador to India under George W. Bush. The group includes some independents and officials from outside the national security arena, the sources said.
    “Trump pals around with dictators. He’s a real danger,” a person involved in the group said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
    The group could go public before the Democratic National Convention in August when Biden will formally become his party’s nominee, but a launch date has not yet been set, the sources said. Opinion polls show Biden with a widening lead over Trump.
    Trump, who faced no significant opposition in seeking his party’s nomination for a second term in office, has drawn sharp criticism from numerous retired military leaders and former members of his administration in recent weeks. The criticism was prompted by Trump’s calls for a militarized response to protests in U.S. cities against racism and police brutality and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
    Other groups of anti-Trump Republicans also are opposing his re-election including the Lincoln Project, co-founded by George Conway, husband of Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway. It is running anti-Trump ads in key battleground states.
    Bellinger, Wainstein and Blackwill have previously voiced opposition to Trump. They were among some 50 Republicans who signed an August 2016 letter after Trump had become the Republican presidential nominee, warning of the dangers of a Trump presidency and vowing not to vote for him.
    Trump has expressed contempt for Republican and conservative figures who have opposed him, saying on Twitter last year that such “Never Trumper Republicans” are “human scum.”
    TJ Ducklo, a Biden campaign spokesman, said Trump has mismanaged U.S. foreign policy and damaged relationships with foreign allies.
    “Joe Biden is running for president to unite this country and undo Donald Trump’s chaos, and we are building the broadest possible coalition to do that, which includes Republicans who are horrified by what they have witnessed over the past four years,” Ducklo said.
    Tim Murtaugh, communications director for Trump’s campaign, issued a statement making apparent reference to Biden’s 2002 vote as a U.S. senator authorizing the Iraq War launched the following year by George W. Bush.
    “Not surprising that the same people who gave us endless wars that led to thousands of deaths and trillions of dollars wasted in the Middle East are siding with a fellow warmonger like Joe Biden,” Murtaugh said.
    Trump has faced an unusual outpouring of criticism from members of the military establishment including from prominent retired generals such as James Mattis, his first defense secretary, and Colin Powell, who served as secretary of state under George W. Bush. Both denounced Trump’s response to the protests that erupted after the May 25 death of an African-American man named George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.
    In addition, the current top U.S. military officer, General Mark Milley, expressed regret over joining Trump in a walk from the White House to a nearby church after protesters were forcibly removed by law enforcement authorities.
    “Powell, Mattis, Milley – they have galvanized people to support Joe Biden,” the person involved in the new group said.
    Powell already has endorsed Biden, saying Trump has “drifted away” from the U.S. Constitution and poses a danger to American democracy. Mattis accused Trump of trying to divide Americans.
    Most recently, Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton said Trump was unfit to be president and accused him in a new book of misdeeds including seeking Chinese President Xi Jinping’s help to win re-election.
    (Reporting by Tim Reid; Editing by Soyoung Kim and Will Dunham)

  3. frank a schneiger says:

    In the not-too-distant past, those on the political left had a bad habit of calling people they didn’t like or agree with “Nazis” or “fascists.” They were warned that this was a mistake because, when the real thing came down the road, there would be no term to describe it that would resonate. So when Attorney General Kaul uses the term “fascistic,” it’s worth paying attention. It is also asking: what exactly does that term mean? Naziism is a little easier to grasp because of Hitler. “Fascism” is a little more slippery, but it is definable.

    The standard work on the subject is “The Anatomy of Fascism” by Robert O. Paxton (2004). In it, Paxton poses the question: “What is fascism?” (pages 218-220). Here is a a summary with some specific points describing full-blown fascism.

    “Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.”

    Fascism is more about action and visceral feelings, what Paxton calls “mobilizing passions,” than about ideology. Among these passions are:

    “A sense of overwhelming crisis beyond the reach of any traditional solutions” (See Trump descriptions of state of the nation prior to his insertion into office

    “The primacy of the group” (in the current instance, white people)

    “The belief that one’s group is a victim, a sentiment that justifies any action….” (See Republican Party on white Americans from Reagan to Trump)

    “Dread of the group’s decline under the corrosive effects of individualistic liberalism, class conflict and alien influences.” (See Donald Trump pronouncements, the work of his fascist assistant Stephen Miller, the Republican Party, MAGA rallies)

    “The need for authority by natural chiefs (always male) , culminating in a national chieftain who alone is capable of incarnating the group’s historical destiny.” (See Donald Trump statements, especially “Only I can…”)

    “The superiority of the leader’s instincts over abstract and universal reasoning (See Donald Trump/Republican Party/Fox News and Corona Virus.)

    “The beauty of violence and the efficacy of will, when they are devoted to the group’s success” (See Trump Administration, Justice Department, ICE, etc.)

    “The right of the chosen people to dominate others without restraint…decided by the sole criterion of the group’s prowess within a Darwinian struggle.” (See Trump statements, makeup of current Republican Party)

    Not quite a perfect fit, but close enough. And it should be mentioned that Fascism got a bad name mostly because of losing the war. It had lots of fans. Still does, including in this country.

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