After charges, mom of murdered 4-year-old calls for KC to stand up against violence

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The mother of a 4-year-old boy murdered while sleeping in June is calling on the community to take a stand against gun violence.

Charron Powell and her family breathed a sigh of relief, as the suspect in the death of her son, LeGend Taliferro, was charged and taken into custody Thursday morning.

“I just want to say thank you to everyone who had a helping hand,” Powell said. “This is rough, but it’s a good day — but still rough to imagine I don’t have my son anymore to wake up and not feel his presence or hear his voice.”

Ryson Ellis, 22, has been charged with second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of armed criminal action. Read a breakdown of the allegations here.

“Our community really bravely stepped forward on this case with information,” said Jean Peters Baker, Jackson County prosecutor. “Each of those people that were engaged in this case, they’re heroes in my book, and I’m grateful for them.”

While grateful to see justice, LeGend’s mom said there are no winners in the situation.

“As a community, we also have to recognize that now there’s a young man who is incarcerated,” she said. “This is a lose-lose situation for my family and his.”

As the city faces 124 homicides so far this year, Powell and Peters Baker said justice for LeGend is an example of what happens when community stands up against violence.

“Don’t give up hope and, even in light of our historic numbers, don’t become callous,” Peters Baker said. “Don’t believe we cannot get out of this violence.”

“This should bring us together,” Powell added. “We have an opportunity to make a stand. This is our stand.”

LeGend’s death prompted a federal initiative, called Operation Legend, aimed at helping solve murders in Kansas City and other cities across the country.

According to the local U.S. Attorney, Operation Legend has led to more than 200 arrests in Kansas City. Sixteen of those have been linked to homicides like this one.

Ellis is in the custody of the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office. Online records show he’s being held without bond and has a court appearance on Friday.

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