Everyone should have the right to feel safe within their homes. However, the line between self defense and self incrimination can get a little blurry when the situation becomes race-related.
That fine line was tested this past week after an 84-year-old white man in Kansas City shot a Black teenager who accidentally rang his doorbell after ending up at the wrong address while picking up his younger siblings.
The homeowner will now be facing two felony charges of assault in the first degree and armed criminal action, according to Clay County officials.
Attorney Zachary Thompson is adamant that suspect Andrew Lester’s intentions in shooting Ralph Yarl were racially motivated, stating in a news conference, “I can tell you there was a racial component to this case.” However, with zero video proof and a police department that released Lester in less than two hours following his midnight arrest on the night of April 13, the battle may be slightly getting off to an uphill start. According to Thompson, the relatively short detainment period was due to police recognizing immediately that more investigative work needed to be done.
More details in this case below, via CNN:
“Officers responded to a home April 13, just before 10 p.m., after receiving reports of a shooting. When they arrived, they found Ralph, 16, who had been shot outside the residence by the homeowner.
Ralph was ‘shot twice and struck in the head and arm,’ his family’s attorneys said in a statement.
The neighbor CNN spoke with said they did not hear the shooting because they were asleep. But did say once awake, ‘We came outside (the victim) was laying in the street surrounded by a few of our neighbors.’
Ralph has come home from the hospital, Crump said on CNN on Monday afternoon.
Crump said Ralph is still struggling with stress from the ordeal but he and his family are happy he lived after being shot in the head. They hope for a full recovery because Ralph is young and strong, he added.
‘He’s not out of the woods yet, but the great thing is, (medical officials) said he was stable enough to go to his home,’ he said.”
Crump, the always-vocal advocate when it comes to crimes against Black people, challenged to decision not to arrest Lester by strongly stating, “Nobody can tell us if the roles were reversed, and you had a Black man shoot a White, 16-year-old teenager for merely ringing his doorbell that he would not be arrested.” He followed up by adding, “I mean, this citizen went home and slept in his bed at night after shooting that young Black kid in the head.”
This is only the latest means for the ever-growing Black Lives Matter movement to protest, which has already included a weekend rally where “Justice for Ralph” chants echoed in front of the suspect’s house in Kansas City. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on this developing story.
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