KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Police officers are known for doing heroic things to help those they protect in the community. Kansas City, Mo. Police Officer Kelly Sapp is hitting the road for an extraordinary journey. He is walking 126 miles to Jefferson City to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.
Officer Sapp estimates it will take him 42 hours to get to the state capital. This walk is to help raise awareness for the violence plaguing Kansas City.
“I have never seen the violence like it is this way,” said Sapp, who has been a Kansas City, Mo. police officer for 21 years. “Some of the things people do to other human beings is unimaginable."
During his career, Sapp said he has seen a lot of bad things, but nothing has affected him quite like one 6-year-old boy.
Officer Sapp reads to Nasir Conley at King Elementary every Wednesday as part of a mentoring program. Instead of dreaming about what he is going to be when he grows up, Conley talks to Sapp about his nightmares of becoming a victim of the violence plaguing inner city Kansas City.
“He broke my heart,” said Sapp. “A little 6-year-old asking me for a flashlight so he could clear his house at night when he heard noises so he could protect his mom and his brothers."
When asked why he is scared about his future, Conley said, “A lot of people are dying and I don't like it. The reason I don't like violence is cause it's bullets flying over people's heads and they might get hurt and hit."
That fear is infecting what should be Conley's carefree childhood. This first grader has experienced what violence can do to a family after his cousin was shot and killed.
During one of their conversations, Conley told Officer Sapp that he feels like he is living in The Purge.
“I watched a movie about, you get to kill whoever you want for 12 hours," said Conley of Kansas City. “It's more hours, it is like every day they kill."
Officer Sapp is hoping that when he gets to Jefferson City, fellow military veteran and Governor Eric Greitens will recognize Sapp's 126-mile sacrifice and meet with the police officer to discuss what can be done so that children like Nasir Conley can stop having nightmares about being killed and instead start to dream about their future.