KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ralph Yarl’s family tells FOX4 they’re happy the 16-year-old is alive and charges have been filed, but they’re still searching for answers.
Yarl’s mother Cleo Nagbe, aunt Faith Spoonmore and the family’s attorney Lee Merrit spoke with FOX4 moments after they met with the Clay County prosecutor Tuesday.
Andrew Lester, the Kansas City man charged with shooting Yarl last week, turned himself in Tuesday and then bonded out shortly after.
Yarl’s family said the teen is still day to day despite being released from the hospital Monday. But they’re glad to see signs of his usual personality.
“Ralph is OK and still has jokes. That’s OK,” Nagbe said.
The family said Yarl spoke with President Biden and Vice President Harris on Monday. In both calls, he was making jokes, Yarl’s family said.
But even after charges were filed against the 84-year-old suspect, the family and their attorney still want more answers.
They believe this case moved so quickly only because of the national outcry.
“In those 24 hours, they were able to get a witness statement,” Merritt said in regard to part of KCPD’s explanation for why Lester had initially been released from custody.
“They had more than enough probable cause to make an arrest, and it’s a pretext that they’re standing behind because they embarrassed because for their lack of action, and they had to be shamed into action.”
The family said even though this tragedy has affected the 16-year-old and them, they understand that this stretches past just the Yarl family.
“The fight is bigger than you. That’s where it comes from. The fight is much bigger than just our family situation. The fight is a lot bigger. This fight is for every other mom that has lost a child,” Spoonmore said.
See the full interview with Yarl’s family in the video player below.
As Yarl continues to fight, day in and day out, his family is confident he will return to the excellent student and talented musician that he’s been described as.
And they remain grateful for a community and a country that has wrapped their arms around them.
“For me I want them to know there is a God, and it takes a village to raise a child,” Nagbe said. “And it takes a village to keep a child going, and thank God for the village.”