Kansas City, which is on pace to shatter its record for homicides in a year, is among a number of cities that have experienced an increase in killings. But nationally, crime remains at or near a generational low, and experts have cautioned against drawing conclusions from just a few months of data.
Interventions by federal law enforcement officials in cities have also drawn intense scrutiny amid protests over the killing in May of George Floyd in the custody of the Minneapolis police and the deployment of Department of Homeland Security agents in camouflage uniforms to confront protesters in Portland, Ore.
Although LeGend’s death prompted a surge in federal resources, Mr. Ellis was ultimately arrested by the Kansas City Police Department after eight detectives worked tirelessly on the case, according to the police. Local law enforcement officials worked with federal agents on the investigation, as they do in many criminal cases.
“While my heart continues to break for LeGend’s family, I am thankful that today an important step towards justice has been taken,” Mr. Lucas wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “Thank you for the hard investigative work of the women and men of law enforcement and the prosecutors with a heavy task ahead.”
Speaking at a news conference with local and federal law enforcement officials in Kansas City on Thursday, LeGend’s mother, Charron Powell, thanked investigators for their work on her son’s case.
“I’m so grateful that we are in the steps to justice,” she said.
But Ms. Powell said it was important for the community to recognize that a 22-year-old, Mr. Ellis, had been jailed as a result of the investigation.
“So, in reality, this is a lose situation for my family, including his,” she said. “So, as a community, I appreciate you guys for stepping up. But now we’ve got to take it a step farther and help calm the violence down.”