John Legend Claims Trump ‘Waging War’ on America’s Neighborhoods

Singer/Songwriter John Legend speaks onstage during the 4th Annual Town & Country Philanthropy Summit at Hearst Tower on May 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Town & Country)
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Town & Country

Pop superstar and The Voice host John Legend accused President Donald Trump of “waging war” on America’s neighborhoods after the president announced plans to increase the presence of police in crime-ridden cities across the country.

On Wednesday, President Trump ordered the Department of Justice to “surge” the number of federal law enforcement officers in Chicago, a city that has seen, as of July 19th, 414 murders, a staggering 50 percent rise in the number of killings at this same time in 2019. Trump’s announcement was his first official remarks about Operation Legend, which was set up in response to the tragic death of four-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was killed by a stray bullet while sleeping in his apartment in Kansas City. LeGend’s mother, Charron Powell, is a vocal supporter of the crackdown who recently attended a White House event with her family to promote the task force.

“Welp, I looked it up. In the middle of a once in a century pandemic where the US has far more deaths than any other country and unemployment is sky-high, POTUS decides the states are just fine dealing with the pandemic, but need the feds policing black neighborhoods,” John Legend wrote in response to the news.

“Operation Legend is not to harass, it’s not to harm or to hurt. It is to help investigate unsolved murders, in which one of those happens to be our innocent four-year-old son,” she said at the meeting. “This operation is personal to us. We want justice for our son and others.”

Yet John Legend, whose name bears no relation to the task force, went on to describe the increase in law enforcement as “fucking stupid” and a waging of “war on America’s neighborhoods.”

“This is fucking stupid,” the Grammy-winner said. “Usually the Wag the Dog scenario is to go to other countries to start a war when your polls are in the tank. Nope. Trump just wants to wage war on America’s neighborhoods.”

“373 homicides in Chicago in 2020 as of early July. Over 4,000 COVID 19 deaths,” John Legend added. “All of these deaths matter, and every life is precious. But it’s clear Trump has no interest in healing people / saving lives. Just in waging war to look tough for reelection.”

Despite his criticisms of the operation, Legend admitted he wasn’t “briefed” on its methods and joked that it was named after him.

“I wasn’t briefed on #OperationLegend,” he wrote. “Dare I look this up or should I carry on thinking the president is starting some sorta stan campaign for me.”

John Legend, who is a long-time left-wing activist, also railed against what he called over-policing. Last month, The “All of Me” singer argued that there should be “significantly fewer police” in the United States.

“I know this word ‘defund’ has caused some controversy, even from some who are inclined to agree with a lot of the underlying arguments,” John Legend wrote at the time. “Police funding takes up a huge portion of our local budgets. Budgets are moral documents which spell out in black and white what our priorities are. We have finite amounts of money to spend and right now we spend far too much on policing.”

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