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'He is healing': Family of 16-year-old Ralph Yarl, community seeking justice

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Posted at 11:14 PM, Apr 16, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sunday, the family of 16-year-old Ralph Yarl stood side by side with hundreds of community members from across the Kansas City metro.

Uniting to protest for justice, those who gathered started at a nearby Dollar Tree and marched to the residence where Yarl was shot, located at 1100 NE 115th St.

Yarl's family says they are thankful he is alive but are asking for charges to be brought down against the homeowner who shot the 16-year-old.

“We are telling a story that is different from the stories you normally hear,” said Dr. Faith Spoonmore, Yarl's aunt. “He is alive and he is healing.”

Protesters echoed the family's emotion through their chants: "What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now! If we don’t get it, shut it down!”

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Protesters chant for teen shot in Clay County

Dee Porter with the Peoples Coalition organized the protest and says she wants the presence of the community to be felt by neighbors.

“It gave me sicking feeling, I just kept looking back at the house,” Porter said.

In attendance Sunday, Karen Allman, longtime resident of the neighborhood, says she was home at the time of the shooting and is devastated by the news.

"I was completely shocked ... I wouldn’t have wanted to see it. I was in absolute shock when it occurred,” Allman said.

Others in the crowd shared their sadness and anger for Yarl who was shot while trying to pick up his younger siblings. His parents had asked him to go to a residence in the 1100 block of Northeast 115th Street, but he mistakenly ended up in the 1100 block of Northeast 115th Terrace.

Turning their pain into action, the crowd is calling for the Clay County Prosecutor's Office to take action.

"I realize that justice doesn’t come overnight, but that fact that there is a kid in the hospital and everything I read says not even a charge has been done, that concerns me,” Allman said.

Porter says accountability is paramount, and the large gathering Sunday showed what a community rallying behind a cause can accomplish.

“We are a community — if one of our children is shot [or] killed, we all are here," Porter said.

One of the Yarl family's attorneys shared a GoFundMe page to assist the family with medical expenses.

The GoFundMe page surpassed its goal of $1 million dollars on Monday morning.