Top Celebrities Support Ralph Yarl After Tragic Kansas City Shooting

Top Celebrities Support Ralph Yarl After Tragic Kansas City Shooting
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe | Faith Spoonmore; Getty Images | Photo by Robin L Marshall, Amy Sussman

Hollywood actors Halle Berry, Viola Davis, Kerry Washington and Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson along with other celebrities, are joining the call for justice for Ralph Yarl, the 16-year-old boy who was shot in the head after ringing the wrong doorbell in Kansas City, Missouri. Yarl’s attorneys, Lee Merritt and Benjamin Crump said the Black teen was shot twice by a White man who was released 24 hours after Thursday’s shooting without charges, as per Business Insider.

Halle Berry took to Twitter to demand prosecutors bring charges against the shooter, Andrew Lester, while Yarl remains in critical condition after suffering life-threatening injuries. “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,” the Academy Award-winning actress wrote. “This innocent child is now fighting for his life. This could be your child. This should NOT happen. Please do something today!”



On April 13, Yarl's parents had asked him to pick up his younger siblings, but when Yarl mixed up the address and rang the doorbell of the wrong house, the homeowner shot him in the head, the Kansas City Police Department said. The police took the homeowner into custody, but released him 24 hours later as they investigate, the chief of police said at a news conference Sunday.

Now, activists and celebrities are demanding justice for Yarl, who remains hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. Ralph's aunt set up a GoFundMe after last week's shooting, and it's quickly received more than $1.8 million in donations -- and that includes a $1K donation from actress Julianne Hough and another $1K from comedian Lil Rel Howery. Actress Christina Ricci and author Pamela Meyer each sent $500 to the fund, and a whopping $5K donation came through from Guy Oseary, Madonna's talent manager, TMZ reports.



Viola Davis also made a call for action on Instagram, writing, “ALL HANDS ON DECK!!,” as she shared a statement from Yarl’s attorneys demanding justice. The Oscar winner also shared a comic strip detailing what happened when Yarl mistakenly went to N.E. 115th Street in Kansas City instead of nearby N.E. 115th Terrace on Thursday evening to pick up his twin brothers. The comic strip noted that Yarl, a high school junior, was a talented student and musician. He is a member of his school’s Technology Student Association and Science Olympiad Team and plays in the jazz and competition band.



Kerry Washington, of Scandal fame, also pleaded for action. “Instead of waiting around for #LoveIsBlind…make a phone call,” she tweeted with the number for Clay County Prosecutor Zachary Thompson. Supermodel Naomi Campbell echoed Berry’s statement on Instagram and added: “Saddened and sick to my stomach, when will this STOP? Heartbreaking beyond words an innocent child, son, brother.”

Famous civil rights lawyers Lee Merritt and Benjamin Crump - who have worked on high-profile cases involving Black victims such as Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, George Floyd, Keenan Anderson and Tyre Nichols - have been retained by the victim and his family. “Despite the severity of his injuries and the seriousness of his condition, Ralph is alive and recovering,” the attorneys said in the statement. Recent reports from CNN and KCTV5 suggest that Andrew Lester has turned himself in and faces two felony charges – assault in the first degree and armed criminal action.

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