Actresses Viola Davis and Halle Berry have both called for justice for a black teenager who was shot in the head through a glass door by a white homeowner after her went to the wrong address to pick up his younger siblings.
He reportedly pulled into the driveway of the home at 10pm, rang the doorbell, and was immediately shot in the head by the white homeowner – who has not been identified.
Davis and Berry are both putting pressure on Kansas City Prosecutor Zachary Thompson to bring ‘appropriate charges’.
More than $880,000 have been raised by a GoFundMe account to help Ralph and his family with the medical bills, as he remains in hospital in a critical but stable condition.
Ralph Yarl, 16, was shot twice in the head by a white man after he went to the wrong house in Kansas City while trying to pick up younger siblings
Actress Viola Davis is calling for justice for the academically gifted teenager and is putting pressure on Kansas City Prosecutor Zachary Thompson to bring ‘appropriate charges’
His aunt Dr Faith Spoonmore claims that when he fell to the floor, he was shot again but miraculously managed to run next door to a neighbor for help.
She says that her nephew had to knock on three doors before he was helped, and even then was told to lie on the floor with his hands above his head.
Posting a photo of the teenager on her social media, Davis said: ‘All Hands On Deck!
’16-year-old #RalphYarl was going to pick up his two younger siblings from an unfamiliar address when he was shot in the head and again while on the ground by the white man that answered the door after he rang the wrong door bell.
‘Ralph is a junior in High School. He loves music and plays the bass clarinet. He is loved by his family and community and he has a bright bright future.
‘He didn’t deserve what happened to him. We won’t stand for it. We are coming for justice. Use the contact information below to demand Prosecutor Zachary Thompson make an immediate arrest and bring the appropriate charges.’
Halle Berry added: ‘His name is #RalphYarl and I’m sick and tired of this feeling…
‘My heart completely broke when I learned this precious 16-year-old, who accidentally rang the door of the wrong address in an attempt to pick up his siblings, was shot in the head by a man who didn’t want him on his property.
More than $880,000 have been raised by a GoFundMe account to help Ralph and his family with the medical bills, as he remains in hospital in a critical but stable condition
Halle Berry said that she is ‘sick and tired’ of the feeling, calling the teenage victim ‘precious’ in her post
MISSOURI ‘STAND YOUR GROUND’ LAWS
Missouri is one of twenty US states which has stand-your-ground laws, which removes the duty to retreat before using deadly force in self-defense.
The law permits homeowners to protect themselves, or a third party (with exceptions) with deadly force should a person feel it is necessary.
According to Missouri Revised Statutes 563.031 residents must be faced with a threat before shooting trespassers on the property.
It states: ‘[Protective] force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle lawfully occupied by such person.’
“Stand-your-ground” laws roughly define how an individual can defend themselves when faced with an imminent threat anywhere else; imminent being a keyword here because even threatening words towards a defending person can lead to a justified homicide.
‘This innocent child is now fighting for his life. This could be your child. This should NOT happen. Please do something today!
‘Join me and please contact Prosecutor Zachary Thompson and demand an immediate arrest and bring the appropriate charges.’
The family of the teenager has branded the incident a ‘hate crime’, with Ralph currently recovering from his injuries in hospital.
On their GoFundMe page they say that he is ‘doing well physically’ but has a ‘long road ahead mentally and emotionally.’
Dr Spoonmore added: ‘He walked up to the door, rang the doorbell. A man opened up the door, looked him in the eye and said don’t ever come back here as he shot him in the head.
‘My nephew fell down and the man shot him again, he was able to get up and ran to the neighbor, who did not open the door. He ran to three houses before one of the neighbors said put your hands up and lay on the ground,.
‘And then he lay on the ground like he passed out before the neighbor called the police for help.
‘You hear these stories about racism in America and you think wow how sad is that?
‘But then you have this little bit of hope because you feel like it’s very far away and it would never happen to your family and you. But God, the people in this country are sick.’
The teen is known among his peers for his intellect and for being a ‘musical genius’, before he was shot in the head and arm.
His family has retained the services of civil rights attorneys Lee Merritt and Ben Crump, who have represented the families of Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Cameron Lamb
On their GoFundMe page they say that he is ‘doing well physically’ but has a ‘long road ahead mentally and emotionally.
Ralph is part of his high school’s Technology Student Association and Science Olympia Team, plays in the marching, jazz, and competition band, and is one of the top base clarinet players in Missouri.
He had big dreams of attending college after being recognized as a Missouri scholar academy alumni in 2022.
The alleged gunman, who has not been identified, was taken into custody soon after the incident and to give a statement but was later ‘released pending further investigation.’
Police discovered the firearm used in the incident while searching the house, and say there has been a delay in charges being brought to allow Ralph to make a statement.
His family has retained the services of civil rights attorneys Lee Merritt and Ben Crump, who have represented the families of Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Cameron Lamb.
Ralph, center, was said to be trying to pick up his younger siblings from a friend’s house but went to the wrong address
On Sunday afternoon, the Chief of the Kansas City Police Department, Stacey Graves, said that she is ‘listening’ to the complaints
The alleged gunman, who has not been identified, was taken into custody soon after the incident and to give a statement but was later ‘released pending further investigation’
Hundreds of protestors marched in the neighborhood where Thursday night’s shooting took place
In a joint statement, they said: ‘There can be no excuse for the release of this armed and dangerous suspect after admitting to shooting an unarmed, non-threatening and defenseless teenager that rang his doorbell.
‘We demand swift action from Clay County Prosecutors and law enforcement top identify, arrest and prosecute to the full extent of the law the man responsible for this horrendous and unjustifiable shooting. ‘
Police Chief Stacey Graves said her department is working to quickly prepare evidence in the case for the Clay County prosecutor.
In a news conference on Sunday, she said: ‘I want everyone to know that I am listening and I understand the concern we are receiving from the community.
‘After consulting with the Clay County Prosecutor’s Office, the homeowner was released pending further investigation due to the need to obtain a formal statement from the victim, forensic evidence and compile additional information for a case file to be presented.
Officials would not confirm the number of times the homeowner shot the victim or where his injuries were
Investigators will also consider whether or not the suspect was protected within the Stand Your Ground laws
‘Detectives have been working over the past several days to compile a detailed case file so they have all the information they need to make the best charging decision on the case moving forward.
‘We want the community to know that we are committed to justice in this case, and every case and work every day to seek that justice for all victims of all crimes.’
She noted that Missouri law allows a person to be held up to 24 hours for a felony investigation, and following that they must be arrested or formally charged.
Investigators will also consider whether or not the suspect was protected within the Stand Your Ground laws.
Officials would not confirm the number of times the homeowner shot the victim or where his injuries were.
Hundreds of protesters turned up outside the alleged gunman’s home on 115th Street on Sunday afternoon, demanding immediate justice.
Ralph’s aunt added: ‘This was not an ‘error.’ This is a hate crime. You don’t shoot a child in the head because he rang your doorbell.’