ST. LOUIS ( -- St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said Attorney General William Barr is using "Operation LeGend" for political gain.

The circuit attorney tweeted "Do you feel safer because of federal intervention? Bogus stats. The people of the City of St. Louis deserve a long-term violent crime solution and not politically-driven, chest-bumping based on bogus, gerrymandered, short-term stats."

Barr was in St. Louis Thursday to lead a roundtable discussion on the federal initiative used to fight violent crime in nine major metro areas.

Since the start of Operation LeGend, Barr says, the city's murder rate has dropped by 49%.

But the overall homicide rate for the year is the highest since in more than two decades and is more than 30% higher compared to this time last year.

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