On Point with Juandolyn Stokes, Law and Legal with CK Hoffler welcomed attorney’s Darryl Jones, of Transformative Justice and former prosecutor, Keith Lamar to discuss the “unimpressive charges” against the 84-year-old white man, Andrew Lester who shot 16-year-old, Ralph Yarl on April 13 after Yarl mistakenly rang his doorbell looking for the home his younger siblings were visiting.
“We always knew we had to have “The Talk,” said Jones. Apparently, “The Talk” now needs to include being cautious when ringing someone’s doorbell. “It bothers me that Yarl is being devalued. If the roles were reversed, he [Yarl] would be facing an attempted murder charge,” added Jones.
Lester turned himself in, but he is currently out on bail for the two felony charges he faces-assault in the first degree and armed criminal action.
Lamar says he is still trying to understand why Lester was released within the first 24 hours. “If the actions exceed what a reasonable person would do, he should be charged with the highest crime. Prosecutors make swift actions and let the courts decide,” added Lamar.
“This is horrific! It could have been either one of my sons, said Hoffler. “We have to prepare our kids for a world that will never give them the benefit of doubt. They say there are six degrees of separation, well there is only one degree for a Black boy,” she added.
Hoffler added, “We need to vote down the ballot in reference to prosecutors.”
Criminal justice reform and gun reform are two issues also at the forefront in this case.
Although there was no Stand Your Ground threat in this interaction, the attorneys agree the issue of guns will come up to justify the shooting. Lamar said, “They will look at his [Lester’s] history to build a hate crimes case.
“The prosecutor has alluded that there is a racial issue, but we need more evidence and hope the justice department will give a review. We also need an investigator because I am unimpressed that he [Lester] was not charged with murder,” said Jones.