Thursday, January 8, 2015

Elected leaders urge community to deliver tips on death of JaQuail Mansaw


KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Seven-month old JaQuail Mansaw was murdered in a drive-by-shooting late Sunday night on the 2700 Block of North Early Street.

Since then, tips for the case have not exactly been flowing in.

On Thursday, Kansas City, Kan., Police Chief Terry Zeigler, Unified Government Mayor/CEO Mark Holland and Unified Government Commissioner Gayle Townsend pleaded with the community to offer tips and information if they have them.

"We have a murder case that needs to be aggressively investigated," Zeigler said. "We would ask anyone to help us if they have information. This is a tragedy that should never have happened."

There is little information available about the suspects at this time, according to Zeigler.

Gayle Townsend, the commissioner of the district where the shooting occurred, said the community needs to help law enforcement bring "dreamkillers" to justice.

"I read that JaQuail fought hard," she said. "He could have grown up to become the heavyweight champion of the world. I read he was a happy baby. He could have become a world famous comedian. But the one thing we know now is that dream has been shattered by wreckless violence."

Townsend, who is donating $250 to the award fund, said the metro area cannot harbor those who commit acts of violence.

"There should be no safe harbor for these people who have no regard for dreams," she said. "These dreamkillers rob our communities."

In additional comments, she noted the growing criticism of law enforcement officers following the events in Ferguson, Mo., and New York, NY.

She said the community at large needs to hold the same criticism and accountability for itself.

"We as citizens must hold ourselves just as accountable," Townsend said. "I am begging those of you who may know come forward."

Holland called for members of the faith community to step up in the metro area. He also echoed Zeigler and Townsend, expressing hope the community will step up with tips.

"Our last 30 years, we have reached a historic low in violence crime in Kansas City, Kan.," Holland said. "We have reached that low by putting perpetrators in jail, where they belong. We have reason to believe there is information out there. No one deserves to live in fear. Every child deserves to be safe."

If you have information, contact the KCK Police Department or call the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.