Kansas prosecutors announced criminal charges have been leveled against Ryson Ellis, 22, for the killing of 4-year-old LeGend M. Taliferro, in his Kansas City, Missouri home in June.
Attorney General Bill Barr issued a statement about Ellis’ arrest, saying that it “marks a significant step forward in his case and illustrates the potential of Operation Legend more broadly.”
Taliferro’s murder inspired the Justice Department to launch a federal initiative aimed at reducing violent crimes in American cities starting with Kansas City called Operation Legend in honor of Taliferro.
The Epoch Times reported on Thursday:
Ryson Ellis, 22, has been charged with second degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon, and two counts of armed criminal action, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced.
Ellis has been accused of firing bullets into a home at Citadel Apartments from an area behind the building. Investigators said the bullets were fired through a privacy fence and a sliding glass door. At the time, Taliferro was asleep on the floor inside the apartment when he was struck. The child was brought to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
The Trump administration’s crackdown on violent crime in U.S. cities has escalated in recent weeks. Barr continued in his statement: “The arrest and state charges resulted from cooperation among Kansas City police officers, the FBI, and U.S. Marshals. This development is a model for joint efforts to solve crimes and reduce violence in other cities.”
“Although LeGend’s suspected murderer has been arrested, Operation Legend will go on,” Barr revealed. “Inspired by this success, federal law enforcement will continue working tirelessly to support state and local partners in our shared mission to keep the American people safe and enforce the rule of law.”
Some state and local leaders have been resistant to federal efforts to quell the rise in violent crime in US cities. House Democrats attacked Operation Legend in the recent Judiciary Committee hearing with Barr, accusing him of using the initiative as a cover for attacking protesters in Portland, Oregon.
Barr fired back at the time that “You’ve conflated two different things. The effort, like [Operation] Legend, is to deal with violent crime. … That does not involve encountering protesters, as you refer to it. Civil disturbance is a different set of issues. And I just reject the idea that the department is flooded anywhere in an attempt to suppress demonstrators.”
Donald Trump celebrated the arrest of Ellis as “really good news” in his Thursday press conference.