The family of a Black kid who was shot last week after he rang the wrong doorbell, thinking it was for a house a block away, has hired two of the most well-known civil rights lawyers in the country.
Lee Merritt and Ben Crump said on Sunday that they would take the case. They immediately criticized Kansas City, Missouri, officials for letting the shooter, who they said is a white man, go free.
The 16-year-old, whose name was not given by the police, was shot just before 10 p.m. on Thursday. According to police and lawyers, he was stable at a hospital.
In a united statement, Merritt and Crump said, “There is no reason to let this armed and dangerous suspect go.”
Kansas City police told KSHB that the child thought that his brothers were at a house in the 1100 block of Northeast 115th Street, but they were actually at a house in the 1100 block of Northeast 115th Terrace.
Protesters Went to the Scene of Crime
On Sunday, when the killing started to spread across the country through social media, protesters went to the scene.
The tweet below shows the pic of the victim:
Black teen Ralph Yarl shot in head after ringing wrong doorbell while trying to pick up siblings https://t.co/ZQsnkjHhox pic.twitter.com/jHsVO0g9Ej
— New York Post (@nypost) April 17, 2023
Shaun King, a journalist, and supporter of changes to the way the justice system works said on Instagram that he has taken up the victim’s case.
“This is NOT a “stand your ground” case,” King said, referring to a type of rule that lets shooters argue self-defense when they are protecting lives or property.
Missouri’s “stand-your-ground” rule says that a person who wants to shoot doesn’t have to run away before using violence to protect themselves or their property.
Sunday, Police Chief Stacey Graves talked about why the shooter was let go and promised a full investigation.
The resident, whose name hasn’t been made public, was arrested and held for 24 hours, which is the longest a suspect in a crime can be held before charges are filed.
Graves said that a gun was taken as proof.
She said that most people suspected of a felony are released after 24 hours, but many are re-arrested once there is enough proof to charge them.
Graves said that in this case, detectives will work “as quickly and thoroughly as we can” to build a strong case for prosecution.
She said, “Once the case is finished, it will be given to the Clay County prosecutor for review.”
She also said that she had talked to the teen’s family and was hearing what the Black community had to say.
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