84-Year-Old Formally Charged After Protesters Form Up Outside of Home Where Black Teen Was Shot
Protesters marched in Kansas City, Missouri, on Sunday near the house where a black teenager was shot by an elderly white resident of the house who has since been charged with two crimes.
Ralph Yarl, 16, was shot on Thursday. He was released from the hospital on Sunday, according to CNN.
Police said that Yarl had been asked to pick up a sibling at an address on 115th Terrace, but Yarl went to 115th Street instead.
Civil rights attorneys S. Lee Merritt and Benjamin Crump, who have been retained by the victim and his family noted that the teen was recovering, according to The New York Times.
“Despite the severity of his injuries and the seriousness of his condition, Ralph is alive and recovering,” the attorneys said in the statement.
“We are here because an injustice has happened.”
Hundreds of protestors walked to the house where 16-year-old Ralph Yarl was shot.
Yarl meant to go to a house on NE 115th Terrace to pick up a sibling, but went to 115th Street instead. The resident shot him in the head. @kmbc pic.twitter.com/WhRKgPokPu
— Peyton Headlee KMBC (@PeytonKMBC) April 16, 2023
Yarl’s aunt, Faith Spoonmore, said Yarl went to three houses seeking to call for an ambulance after he was shot, The Times reported.
The homeowner, Andrew Lester, was initially taken into custody and later released pending further investigation, Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves said Sunday, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Lester, 84, will be charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action. A warrant has been issued for Lester’s arrest. He is not in custody, Clay County attorney Zachary Thompson said Monday evening, according to CNN.
“I can tell you there was a racial component to this case,” Thompson said.
He said there is no indication either the shooter or victim spoke. Thompson said Yarl did not ever enter the house, and Lester allegedly fired through a glass door with a .32 caliber revolver, Thompson said.
A massive crowd has amassed in front of the white man’s home who attempted to murder 16 year old Black boy Ralph Yarl in Kansas City Missouri pic.twitter.com/f100JlEihV
— The Kansas City Defender (@KCDefender) April 16, 2023
Yarl was “shot twice and struck in the head and arm,” his family’s attorneys said in a statement.
Like the protesters marching Sunday, Crump has called the incident racially motivated.
“We have been informed by his family that it was a white man who shot their 16-year-old son,” Crump said.
“It is inescapable not to observe the racial dynamics here,” Crump said. “If the roles were reversed, how much outraged would there be in America?”
Mayor Quinton Lucas of Kansas City, who is black, said he was “heartbroken and angry about the situation that we find ourselves in,” according to The New York Times.
“You’ve heard about driving while black. You’ve heard about all the other issues that black people confront in life. Can you not knock on the door while black? It’s almost like you can’t exist,” he said.
Lucas said that even though Missouri has a Stand Your Ground law, it should not apply to Yarl’s case.
“If Stand Your Ground really lets somebody just shoot somebody that rings a doorbell, that put the life of every postal worker, every campaigner, every Amazon delivery person at risk in this country,” he said.
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