KC Mayor Rips Shooting of Unarmed Doorbell-Ringer Ralph Yarl: ‘This Boy Was Shot Because He Was Existing While Black’


Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas spoke out against the shooting of 16-year-old Ralph Yarl by an 84 year-old White man, saying the young man “was shot because he was existing while Black.”

Yarl was shot twice — once in the head — last Thursday by homeowner Andrew Lester after Yarl rang Lester’s doorbell by mistake as he tried to pick up his siblings — but went to the wrong address. Lester was released by police after several hours Thursday night, but as of Monday has been charged with two felonies. Yarl has been released from the hospital to recuperate at home.

CNN anchor Sara Sidner interviewed Mayor Lucas on Tuesday morning’s edition of CNN News Central, and asked him about the fact that Lester was released. Lucas said “I share the outrage and the concern of many and asking why.”

Sidner asked Mayor Lucas how race has factored into this case, and Lucas was emphatic that Yarl’s Blackness was central to the events:

SIDNER: This 16-year-old was an incredible student musician, his family incredibly lucky that he is alive and able to speak after what he went through. I do want to, lastly ask you because you brought up the racial disparity eventually here. Do you think that this was a scenario that if it had have been reversed if it had have been a Black man who had shot a white teenager That the same treatment would have happened? Because a lot of people in your community who have been able to get on the phone have been really concerned that there is a racial bias here in how police acted in this case. Do you agree with that?

LUCAS: I won’t assign a racial bias to the police without further discussion and investigation, and I think that we did have officers, white officers for what it’s worth who did a lot of hard work to get this case file to the prosecutor, having charges filed shortly thereafter.

That being said, to pretend that race is not a part of this whole situation would be to have your head in the sand.

This boy was shot because he was existing while Black. And he knocked on the door of someone who clearly, clearly fears Black people. Black boys, Black children, and I think that that is that is clear as day and so I hope that is not mistaken or forgotten the reason why many Black people and Black parents myself included are concerned is because if one day it’s ringing on the doorbell, they can get you shot. Then, then what else is next?

This is normal existence in life , and somebody came to a door and shot through a door. Not once but twice. That’s what is horrifying. That’s why I think I’m glad to see this first step towards justice and why we all need to investigate how we need to investigate how we handle this and how we can do better in the future.

Watch above via CNN News Central.

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