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Mugshot of Andrew Lester shared as police say ‘racial component’ to case – live

Ralph Yarl: Teenager ‘shot by homeowner’ after going to wrong house to pick up siblings

Police in Kansas City have released a mugshot of the 84-year-old white man who was charged on Monday with first-degree assault for shooting a Black teen who mistakenly went to the man’s home to pick up his younger brothers.

Police say Andrew Lester twice shot 16-year-old Ralph Yarl, who is recovering at home after being released from the hospital.

Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves said she “do[es] recognise the racial components of this case”, while prosecuting attorney Zachary Thompson also told a news conference there was a “racial component” to the shooting.

But nothing in the charging documents says the shooting was racially motivated, Mr Thompson clarified.

The shooting outraged many in Kansas City and across the country. Civic and political leaders – including President Joe Biden – demanded justice.

Some, including lawyers for Yarl, pressed the racial dimension of the case.

Several celebrities including Viola Davis, Halle Berry and Chrissy Teigen have joined in the outrage, speaking out about the case on social media. Meanwhile, a GoFundMe to help Ralph with medical costs has now topped $1m.


What we know about white homeowner charged with shooting Ralph Yarl

Black teenager Ralph Yarl was shot by a white homeowner after he accidentally rang the doorbell at the wrong address while going to collect his brothers.

The 16-year-old’s interaction with the suspect in the Northland suburb of Kansas City quickly turned violent and the high school student was left hospitalised with serious injuries.

Instead of going to a home in the 1100 block of Northeast 115th Street he instead went to Northeast 115th Terrace in Kansas City, Missouri, police said.

Now prosecutors have brought charges against the homeowner, Andrew D Lester.

Here is everything we know about the suspect:

Namita Singh18 April 2023 05:30


Halle Berry and Viola Davis voice outrage over shooting of Black teen Ralph Yarl

Hollywood actors Halle Berry and Viola Davis have spoken out to demand justice for a Black teenager who was shot in the head by a white homeowner in Kansas City.

Ralph Yarl, a 16-year-old high school junior, was shot twice last Thursday when he accidentally went to the wrong house to pick up his younger twin brothers.

The teenager is currently in critical condition in hospital while the white homeowner – who has not been named – is walking free after being released from police custody.

Protesters are demanding justice for the Black 16-year-old and a growing chorus of celebrities are weighing in on the case, voicing outrage over the shooting and the lack of charges so far brought against the man responsible.

Read the full story here:

Graeme Massie18 April 2023 05:04


Prosecutor says Ralph Yarl shooting had ‘racial component’ as suspect’s alleged threat revealed

Authorities in Kansas City, Missouri have confirmed that there was a “racial component” to the shooting of Black teenager Ralph Yarl.

On Monday, prosecutors charged 84-year-old Andrew Lester with first degree assault, carrying a maximum sentence of life in prison, and armed criminal action, which is punishable by between three and 15 years.

Namita Singh18 April 2023 04:46


Police releases mugshot of 84-year-old suspect

Police in Kansas City have released a mugshot of the 84-year-old white man who was charged Monday with first-degree assault for shooting a Black teen who mistakenly went to the man’s home to pick up his younger brothers.

Andrew Lester was charged with first-degree assault, which could bring a sentence of life in prison, and armed criminal action for shooting Ralph Yarl, 16, on the doorstep of his suburban home around 10pm last Thursday, the prosecutor said.

“I can tell you there was a racial component to the case,” Clay County prosecutor Zachary Thompson told a news conference, without providing further details.

Namita Singh18 April 2023 04:18


What do Missouri’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws allow?

Investigators originally said they were considering whether the suspect who shot Ralph Yarl could be protected by “Stand Your Ground” laws. So what do Missouri’s laws actually say?

Stand Your Ground is a legal doctrine that allows people to use deadly force to defend themselves from apparent threats, without having any legal duty to try retreating first.

By contrast, some US states and English common law – from which much US law derives – do not permit the use of deadly force in self-defence if a jury finds that you could have safely retreated from the situation.

In 2016, Missouri Republicans expanded its Stand Your Ground rules to cover not just a defendant’s home or car but any place where they have a legal right to be.

Since then, research has found that states that implemented such laws saw their homicide rates increase by between 16 and 34 per cent.

Nevertheless, defendants charged with a crime do have to prove that they acted in self-defence. That means they must convince a jury that they reasonably believed that the force they used was necessary to prevent violence against them.

“You can’t just shoot people who come to your door,” Missouri criminal defence lawyer Kevin Jamison told The Kansas City Star.

An attempt by some Missouri Republicans to replace the “reasonable person” test with a default presumption of reasonableness, shifting the burden of proof from defendants to prosecutors, was shot down in 2022 after opposition from law enforcement officials.

Graeme Massie18 April 2023 04:02


Andrew Lester: What we know about white homeowner charged with shooting Ralph Yarl

Suspect is 85 years old and prosecutors say they believe there was a ‘racial’ element to the shooting.

Graeme Massie18 April 2023 03:04


‘Missouri Republicans have established a culture of fear’

Missouri legislators have accused the state’s ruling Republicans of creating a “culture of fear” through lax gun regulations.

Crystal Quade, leader of the Democratic minority in the Missouri House of Representatives, said in a statement on Monday that Ralph Yarl was merely one more victim of “dangerous gun laws that get Missourians killed every day”.

Ms Quade said: “Missouri Republicans’ extreme gun laws have established a culture of fear. Fear that turns neighbours against each other and causes people to see every situation as us versus them or black versus white.

“This division makes Missourians less safe and less free, and too often, Black lives suffer the most from this fear-driven, shoot-first culture.”

St Louis representative Marlene Terry, a Democrat who chairs the state legislature’s Black caucus, said the state’s “Stand Your Ground” laws “breed a society of violence and fear while providing cover for those who harm, maim and kill others”.

The GOP controls Missouri’s governorship and both houses of its legislature, as well as the office of attorney general and secretary of state.

Graeme Massie18 April 2023 02:01


Mugshot of suspect released by authorities

Police booking photo of Andrew Lester, charged with shooting Ralph Yarl

(Kansas City Police)

Graeme Massie18 April 2023 01:10


Prosecutors confirm ‘racial element’ in shooting of Ralph Yarl as suspect’s last words before firing revealed

The 16-year-old’s family have said he was simply trying to pick up his younger twin brothers when he rang the wrong doorbell by mistake and was shot by the white homeowner.

Graeme Massie17 April 2023 23:56


Warrant issued for Andrew Lester’s arrest

Prosecutors say that a bond has been set of $200,000 but that the suspect is not yet in custody.

Clay County prosecutor Zachary Thompson said that the 85-year-old suspect shot a .32 pistol through a glass door at the victim.

Graeme Massie17 April 2023 23:24

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