Ralph Yarl – White Man Who Shot Black Boy For Ringing His Doorbell Claims He Was ‘Scared To Death’ Because Of The Child’s Size
The white man accused of shooting Ralph Yarl, a Black teenager who mistakenly rang his doorbell in Kansas City, Missouri, turned himself over to authorities on Tuesday (Apr. 18).
Andrew Lester, 84, faces felony charges of assault in the first degree and armed criminal action for the April 13 shooting of Ralph Yarl.
Lester shot Ralph Yarl, 16, in the head and arm after he went to the wrong address to pick up his younger siblings. He admitted to police that he did not speak to the teen before firing the first shot through the locked glass door, according to reports.
The criminal charges have provided some solace to Ralph‘s family, but there is still a long road ahead for recovery and the pursuit of justice.
Ralph‘s aunt Faith Spoonmore said,
“It’s not as simple as turning a page. It’s a little better that he is – hopefully – going to get part of what of he deserves.”
Lester reportedly told authorities he opened fire as soon as he answered the doorbell and observed Ralph grabbing an external door handle. He claimed he was “scared to death” by Ralph‘s size and believed the minor was attempting to break in.
Ralph, a bass clarinet player and band leader at his school, sustained head, and arm wounds. He reportedly told officers prior to his Monday release from the hospital that he didn’t tug on the door.
Ralph‘s lawyer, popular civil rights attorney Ben Crump called his client’s hospital discharge “nothing short of a miracle.” However, he added,
“he’s not out of the woods yet.”
In an exclusive interview with TMZ, Ben Crump claimed Lester shot Ralph twice at “point blank range.”
“Unbelievable to us in our community, the police questioned him for 20 minutes and let him go home and sleep in his bed.”
As far as why Lester didn’t receive an attempted murder charge, Ben Crump said,
“I grapple with this issue all the time. It’s like when certain people in the community, people of color, you charge them to the max. And you don’t worry about whether I can get a conviction or not. But when it’s our children laying on the ground and it’s a white citizen, you say ‘oh we can’t charge him that high because we don’t know if we can get a conviction on that.’ I wish that was the standard for all the Black people in the neighborhood, because that is not what we see.”
The shooting sparked demonstrations in Kansas City and brought to mind the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery, two young Black males who were shot and killed by assailants who later claimed they acted in self-defense.
Ralph’s aunt challenged the idea that her nephew’s “size” could be a threat. Faith Spoonmore — who is on a mission for justice — said,
“I really don’t understand how. I doubt Ralph is even 170 pounds. Ralph is not even 6 feet (tall).”
There are still unanswered concerns about why Lester was initially detained but soon released following the incident on April 13.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said,
“I share the outrage and concern of many in asking why. In Missouri, you can have a 24-hour hold. It is clear here that this was two or three hours, where they questioned the suspect. He was able to go back home that evening.”
What are your thoughts on the entire situation? Let us know in the comments!