On this cold Winter night when most residents of the world are prohibited by pandemic rules from any kind of gathering or celebration, we pay respect, offer tribute and honor the legacy of Kansas City's most influential resident in 2020.
On June 29, 2020, 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro was killed by gunfire while asleep in his bed in Kansas City, Missouri.
The brave youngster was no stranger to adversity during his far too short life . . . LeGend had already endured multiple open-heart surgeries as a young child.
His story of struggle and survival resonated across the nation so much that Attorney General William Barr named a nationwide anti-crime initiative in his honor.
During a Summer of social justice protests against deadly police brutality, local activists violently demonstrated against law enforcement in hopes of "defunding" alleged systemic racism - In the midst of very real danger, LeGend's mom bravely stood up to the mob in order to demand justice for her slain son.
In death, LeGend taught Kansas City that the lives of the innocent matter above all else and neither protest nor police crackdown can ever bring back what has been lost to senseless violence.
At its conclusion, Operation LeGend resulted in the arrest of more than 6,000 people during a year when criminality across the nation spiked to historic levels.
Kansas City suffered a record breaking year for homicides and its unlikely the tragic rate of killing will slow any time soon.
Still, if only for a brief moment, the life story of one youngster inspired contemplation amid the fighting and hopefully a realization that so many divisive wars waged on local streets only serve to sacrifice an already fragile future.
LeGend Micah Taliferro
January 30, 2016 - June 29, 2020