Cop walks 128 miles to talk to governor about crime

Posted at 9:04 PM, May 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-17 21:04:19-04

KANSAS CITY, MO (KSHB/CNN) - With the American flag that accompanied him to Iraq and Afghanistan attached to his backpack, Kansas City Police Officer Kelly Sapp set off to see Missouri Governor Eric Greitens.

“He’s a military guy. This is what we would do in the military when we wanted to make a statement,” Sapp said of Greitens.

Sapp’s statement is walking 128 miles to Jefferson City, the capital of Missouri. The military veteran has been with the KCPD for 21 years, but now, he said he’s desperate for change, anything to stop Kansas City’s rising violent crime rate.

“The lack of respect for life is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” Sapp said. The crime in Kansas City is on pace to break the 18-year high in homicides set last year. Even children aren’t immune. Last week, 3-year-old Marcus Haislip III was killed in crossfire from a triple shooting, Sapp is hoping the governor can find inspiration from his journey to do something about crime.

Without resting, Sapp is expected to make it to the capitol Thursday morning. His biggest challenges, he said, are the absence of convenience stores along his route, the heat, and “just trying to find a cold Mountain Dew.”

While his journey may be dangerous, he said it’s nothing compared to the danger many face in Kansas City on a regular basis.

“I’ve never seen so many of our youngsters getting wounded, getting killed,” he said. In fact, it was a child who inspired Sapp to make this walk.

A 6-year-old named Nasir who Sapp mentors recently asked him for a flashlight, “Because he was afraid that someone would kick in the door, or someone had snuck in and they were going to try and kill him or his brothers,” Sapp said.

He set off on this 48-hour journey hoping change is on the horizon.

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