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National leaders praise charges in LeGend Taliferro case

Trump on Taliferro.png
Posted at 5:05 PM, Aug 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-13 23:51:59-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — At the same time as local officials announced charges in the murder of 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro, President Trump and Attorney General William Barr praised the efforts.

The president started his daily news conference with news of the arrest in LeGend's case.

“They’ve caught the killer of LeGend Taliferro,” Trump said. “That’s really good news.”

Earlier this summer, Trump, along with Barr, launched Operation LeGend, a federal effort that started in Kansas City but has since expanded to several other cities across the nation to help solve homicides. That effort was named after LeGend.

On Thursday, Barr released a statement following the announcement of charges against 22-year-old Ryson B. Ellis.

“On June 29, 2020, 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro was killed by gunfire while asleep in his bed in Kansas City, Missouri,” Barr said in a release. "His senseless death, which is part of an alarming increase in violent crime this summer, led the Department of Justice to launch Operation LeGend. As part of that initiative, we have sent greater numbers of federal law enforcement agents, investigators, and analysts to work closely with state and local law enforcement partners to remove violent criminals from the streets of key American cities.”

Barr said the Operation LeGend effort would continue despite an arrest in the case.

Following the news Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Quinton Lucas also commented on the arrest.

"“LeGend Taliferro deserved to be able to grow up. While I am glad justice has been served, our community, and a good family, continue to mourn his life cut far too short by violent crime," Lucas said in a release.

"I appreciate the good person who came forward to help provide a degree of closure to a mourning family. It remains imperative that people who have information on shootings or homicides in Kansas City continue to come forward. I thank the women and men of the Kansas City Police Department, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office and other law enforcement partners for their diligent work in this case," Lucas said.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R - Missouri) also issued a statement Thursday afternoon.

"One of the tragedies in the violence we see today is the loss of lives un-lived," Blunt said in the statement. "While there is nothing that will fully heal the heartbreak LeGend Taliferro’s family has suffered, I am glad they are one step closer to getting the justice they deserve."

For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the 41 Action News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015.