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Ralph Yarl

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The white man who shot a Black teen in Kansas City, Missouri, last year, is now facing a civil lawsuit, as is the Homeowners Association, which the suit claims should have known of the danger he posed to the community.

According to CNN, the seven-page lawsuit was filed Monday in the circuit court of Clay County by Cleopatra Nagbe, the mother of 17-year-old Ralph Yarl, who was shot twice by 85-year-old Andrew Lester in April 2023 after the teen went to the wrong house to pick up his younger brothers.

“At all times relevant, Plaintiff (Ralph Yarl) never posed or issued a threat to Defendant, Andrew Lester,” the lawsuit states. As we previously reported, Ralph rang Lester’s doorbell and the two never even exchanged words before the elderly man shot the teen in the forehead and then again in the arm as Ralph ran away. The suit also alleges that Highland Acres Homes Association “was aware of or should have been aware of Defendant, Andrew Lester’s, propensity for violence, access to dangerous weapons and racial animus.”

It’s not exactly clear how the HOA would have known about Lesterwho has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree assault and armed criminal action, for which he could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted but his grandson described him as a racist QAnon conspiracy theorist and avid Fox News viewer, and his ex-wife, who says she hasn’t spoken to him in decades despite having three children with him, described him as violent man who she was “always scared of.”

Regardless of why Lester shot Ralph, who is being represented by famed civil attorney Lee Merritt, the lawsuit states that the victim “suffered and sustained permanent injuries, endured pain and suffering of a temporary and permanent nature, experienced disability and losses of normal life activities, was obligated to spend large sums of money for medical and attention and suffered other losses and damages.”

“This incident not only shattered our family but also exposed a critical gap in our societal fabric, where the safety of our children is jeopardized by reckless actions,” Nagbe wrote in a statement. “Through this civil suit, we aim to spark a dialogue on the importance of responsible gun ownership and community safety measures of using words, not weapons. It’s not just about seeking financial compensation; it’s about holding all parties involved accountable and ensuring that steps are taken to prevent such tragedies from occurring again.”

It’s unclear what specific damages the civil suit is seeking. As for Lester’s criminal charges, he remains out on bond and his trial is set to begin on Oct. 7.


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