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Attorney Ben Crump speaks on the shooting of Ralph Yarl

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump says the charges against Andrew Lester were the right response.
Attorney Ben Crump speaks on the shooting of Ralph Yarl
Posted at 6:54 PM, Apr 17, 2023

On Monday the Clay County Prosecutor's Office filed two felony charges against 85-year-old Andrew Lester in connection with the shooting of Ralph Yarl.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump spoke live with Scripps News about the shooting as news of the charges broke.

"To shoot a teenager just for ringing your doorbell cannot be the message that we send to society," he said.

"We have to remain vigilant until there's a conviction. Far too often we've seen charges where they shoot unarmed black teenagers and scream 'stand your ground,' and then the jury acquits them. So we are not going to start being relieved until we get a conviction."

SEE MORE: Black teen shot after going to wrong house; homeowner charged

There is a message to be taken from the shooting, Crump said.

"You're ringing the doorbell. You're not banging on the door, you're not doing anything that is malicious or aggressive." Crump said. "We have to talk to these perpetrators, and tell them that they need to quit profiling our children."

Crump is representing the Yarl family. He says advocacy following the incident was crucial.

"Had his family and me and attorney [Lee] Merritt and our legal teams not started arguing in the court of public opinion, they might have swept this completely under the rug."

Yarl’s father told the Kansas City Star that the teen is recovering at home and progressing well.  

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