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Protests in Kansas City after homeowner shoots Black teen

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Protesters in Missouri chanted for justice on Monday outside a Kansas City house where a white homeowner shot a Black teenager after the boy rang the doorbell of the wrong residence to pick up his brothers, according to the family’s lawyer.

Ralph Yarl, 16, was released from a hospital after being shot in the head and arm by a white man on the doorstep of the suburban home around 10 pm on Thursday, according to family attorney Ben Crump and the Kansas City Star.

Property records reviewed by the newspaper showed the owner of the home where Yarl was shot is an 84-year-old man. Police declined to comment on his identity.

For a second day, protesters gathered at the single-story house on a tree-lined street, shouting “Black lives are under attack” and “Stand up, fight back,” online videos showed.

“His attempted murderer has NOT been arrested nor charged! If the roles were reversed would that still be the case?!” tweeted Crump, a civil rights attorney who has represented families of Black people killed by white police officers or others, such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Trayvon Martin.

The homeowner was taken into custody, placed on a 24-hour investigative hold, and then released pending an interview with Yarl and the collection of forensic evidence, Kansas City police Chief Stacey Graves said.

Asked whether Yarl’s shooting may have been racially motivated, Graves said information she had did not indicate it was, though she was aware of the “racial components” in the case.

Yarl is an “excellent student and talented musician” at Staley High School, where he takes mainly college-level courses in his pursuit of a science career, the area’s school district superintendent said in a statement.

Missouri has a “stand-your-ground law” that allows homeowners to use physical force to defend themselves against suspected intruders.

The law says a person cannot use deadly force unless they reasonably believe that deadly force is necessary to protect themselves or another person against death or serious physical injury or a forcible felony.


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