Hip Hop Caucus Statement on the Shooting of Ralph Yarl

WASHINGTON — Today, Hip Hop Caucus President and CEO Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. issued the following statement in response to the shooting of 16-year-old Ralph Yarl and the felony charges filed against Andrew Lester:

“Hip Hop Caucus extends love to 16-year-old Ralph Yarl who was shot twice by Andrew Lester, an 85-year-old white man in Kansas City, Missouri. This act of violence is a painful reminder of the constant perceived threat embedded in the simple existence of Black lives. It is heartbreaking that multiple adults refused to help Ralph as he was injured and bleeding. Black people, especially our youth, deserve to live freely without the insidious violence of anti-Black racism.

We have seen time and time again how guns do not make us safer. Instead, America’s over-reliance and abundance of guns coupled with sparse regulation and oversight, destroys lives. Though incidents of gun violence are in front of us every day, tragedies like this should not keep happening.

Hip Hop Caucus calls for swift justice in this case, comprehensive action from our elected officials on our nation’s gun crisis, and justice for Ralph Yarl.”

About Hip Hop Caucus 

Formed in 2004, the Hip Hop Caucus (HHC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that leverages Hip Hop culture to encourage young people to participate in the democratic process. Through a collaborative leadership network, HHC addresses core issues affecting underserved communities. HHC programs and campaigns support solution-driven community organizing led by today’s young leaders.