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Trump recognizes Kansas City family during crime briefing

Charron Powell & LeGend Taliferro
Posted at 3:36 PM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 17:04:59-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — President Donald Trump recognized the family of a slain Kansas City, Missouri, boy killed by gunfire as part of an announcement Wednesday to expand the footprint of federal crime fighting efforts across the country.

During remarks about the effort, previously announced as Operation LeGend, the family of LeGend Teliferro, the 4-year-old boy killed while sleeping in his bedroom, was asked to stand by the president.

“LeGend is looking down, he’s very proud of you right now,” President Trump said to the family who had gathered at the White House. “To LeGend’s family, we cannot begin to imagine your anguish and sorrow, but we solemnly promise to honor LeGend.”

LeGend’s death on June 29 quickly became a rallying cry for solutions, as family remembered the boy that had survived open-heart surgery as a 4-month-old baby.

Less than 10 days after his death, the U.S. Department of Justice announced plans to launch a new nationwide initiative to combat violent crime. As part of a July 8 announcement, Operation LeGend would involve federal law enforcement resources being deployed to Kansas City, Missouri.

This week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Western Missouri announced the first arrest and charges associated with the effort. A 20-year-old Kansas City, Missouri, man was charged with being an unlawful drug user in possession of firearms.

The president said Operation LeGend was, “very successfully launched in Kansas City.”

LeGend's monther, Charron Powell, took the podium as part of Wednesday's news conference.

"I stand here today as a mother fighting against violence for my son LeGend Taliferro," Powell said. "He was a ball of joy and I want his legacy to live on. I want us to continue to fight against violence and also get justice for my son and others."

During his remarks Wednesday, the president connected the increase in crime to increased calls to re-evaluate the role of police in communities across the country.

The president cited shooting statistics in cities such as New York, Minneapolis and Philadelphia. He also cited gun violence in Chicago as the reason for his decision to ramp up the federal law enforcement presence there.