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Family of Black Teen Shot by White Homeowner for Visiting Wrong House Files Lawsuit

Ralph Yarl - via Ben Crump Law
Ralph Yarl – via Ben Crump Law

*The relatives of Ralph Yarl, a Black teenager who was shot by a white homeowner last year after mistakenly approaching the wrong residence, are taking legal action against the shooter, Andrew Lester.

ABC News reports that the family recently filed a civil lawsuit in Missouri on behalf of Yarl’s mother, Cleo Nagbe. It names Lester and the Highland Acres Lakeside Heights Homeowners Association in the Kansas City neighborhood where the shooting occurred.  

We reported previously via CNN that on April 13, 2023, Lester allegedly shot Ralph – who was 16 at the time – in the head and arm after he rang the man’s doorbell. Police and Ralph’s family said the teen attempted to pick up his siblings but went to the wrong address.

“The homeowner opened fire through a locked glass door without any words exchanged because he thought the teen was trying to break in and was “scared to death” due to the boy’s size, according to statements in a probable cause document,” per CNN

In a 911 call, Lester told a dispatcher he shot Ralph because he believed the teen was trying to break in, according to CNN affiliate KMBC.

Ralph Yarl - Andrew Lester
Ralph Yarl – Andrew Lester (Instagram/KC Police Dept.)

Lester was charged with one count of felony assault in the first degree and one count of armed criminal action, also a felony, for the shooting. He pleaded not guilty and was released on $200,000 bond.

“[Ralph] is an anomaly to me honestly, because there is no hatred in his heart. There’s no anger or bitterness,” Yarl family attorney Lee Merritt told ABC News. “He has a strong sense of justice and he wants us to move forward with pursuing justice for him.”

The civil suit argues that “carelessness” and “negligence” led the boy to “suffer and sustain permanent injuries.”  

Merritt said, “… a young Black boy living in Kansas City, Missouri should be able to knock on the wrong door should be able to move freely about his community without fear that he will be criminalized and that he will be violently assaulted.”

In an exclusive interview set to air Monday, Yarl’s mother told ABC News, “Ralph is slowly coming to terms with what happened.”

“In the beginning, his way of dealing with it was minimizing,” Cleo Nagbe added, “but trauma catches up with you. So the trauma has fallen away to catch up with him.”

Lester’s criminal trial is set to begin on Oct. 7.

READ MORE FROM EURWEB.COM: White Homeowner (Andrew Lester) to Stand Trial for Shooting Black Teen (Ralph Yarl) Who Went to the Wrong Kansas City House

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