Operation LeGend: 4-Year-Old’s Murder Prompts Federal Anti-Crime Initiative

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Police arrested a man by the name of Ryson Ellis last Thursday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to FOX23. The man is accused of killing a 4-year-old boy named LeGend Taliferro while the child was sleeping.

Man shoots into apartment building, hits child

LeGend and his family were in their apartment building in Kansas City, Missouri when Ellis (22) fired the bullets on June 29. The bullets went through a privacy fence and a glass door before striking the boy while he slept.

Police say that they believe Ellis knows LeGend’s father. Apparently, the two had an argument a few days before the murder.

Witness in getaway car provides details

Court records say a witness claims she drove Ellis to the apartment complex that night. She heard several shots when he left the car, and she drove him away afterward. She said she did not know Ellis had hurt anyone.

As of yesterday afternoon, Ellis was sitting in the Tulsa County Jail without bond. By the end of the month, he will have an arraignment via video in Tulsa. Or, officials will pick him up and take him back to Jackson County in Kansas City, MO.

Authorities have charged Ellis with second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon, and two counts of armed criminal action, according to Jean Peters Baker, the prosecutor in Jackson County.

LeGend’s Mother Calls for Community Action

LeGend’s mother, Charron Powell told the 41 Action News Investigative Team that her son “loved” Ryson Ellis. It wasn’t until after the shooting that she became suspicious of the man.

“I’m so grateful that we are in the steps to justice. But, as a community, we also have to recognize that now it’s a young man that was 22 years old, now that he’s incarcerated, due to an incident. So in reality, this is a lose situation for my family and including his.”

She continued, “As a community, I appreciate you guys for stepping up, but now we got to take it a step farther and help calm the violence down, and do what you guys did to help my case — let’s do that for other cases, and to stop things like this from happening. As a community, this should enlighten us that we have a problem in our city. And the only way we can solve it is coming together as a community so we won’t be in these types of predicaments.”

Federal Government Acknowledges LeGend’s Legacy With New Anti-Crime Operation

Earlier in the summer, the federal government revealed Operation LeGend. The operation is an effort to stop violent crime in American cities in honor of LeGend. The aim is to send agents from the F.B.I., the United States Marshals Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and other agencies to at least six cities. The initiative starts in Kansas City, LeGend’s hometown.

“On June 29, 2020, 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro was killed by gunfire while asleep in his bed in Kansas City, Missouri,” Attorney General William 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.”

When asked how she felt about the operation bearing LeGend’s name, Powell said, “I was okay with it. I was like, ‘yes, let’s go ahead and get the groundwork done. They need more people on the ground to help us solve murders’.”