Trump touts ‘law and order’ in debate. Are his tough-on-crime tactics working?

When federal officials announced they charged 61 people in Chicago as part of Operation Legend in August, that number meant little to Marquinn McDonald, who goes on late-night patrols in his South Side neighborhood to make sure the elderly, women and children get home safely. 

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“They have their numbers. That’s beautiful. They made 61 arrests,” he said with some sarcasm. “OK, you locked up a person, but another person just died.”

In Chicago, weekly murder numbers dropped after the launch of Operation Legend, a crime-fighting initiative that the Justice Department deployed in nine cities since July. The week the charges were announced, 10 people were killed – less than half from before federal officers were sent. But that number has since doubled again. 

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