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When Klint Ludwig learned his grandfather, Andrew Lester, a White homeowner in Kansas City, had shot a Black teenager who rang his doorbell, Ludwig was repulsed — but not entirely surprised.

“The warning signs were there. I wasn’t shocked when I heard the news,” Ludwig told CNN on Thursday. “I believe he held – holds – racist tendencies and beliefs.”

But Ludwig’s older brother, Daniel, reportedly disputed the notion that race played a role when their grandfather, 84-year-old Andrew Lester, shot 16-year-old Ralph Yarl in front of his door on April 13. 

Daniel Ludwig doesn’t think his grandfather would have opened fire had Ralph not “gone for the door,” the older sibling told The Kansas City Star

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Andrew Lester, who was initially detained and released hours after the shooting, has now been charged with two felonies

On Wednesday, Lester pleaded not guilty to the charges of assault in the first degree and armed criminal action. He is out on $200,000 bond and is due back in court June 1.

Ralph, 16, went to the wrong address to pick up his younger siblings – 1100 NE 115th Street instead of 1100 NE 115th Terrace. After ringing Lester’s doorbell, Ralph was shot in the head and arm. 

Lester has told police he did not exchange words with the teen before he fired at him through a locked glass door, according to a probable cause document obtained by CNN. 

The homeowner said he thought Ralph was trying to break into the home and he was “scared to death” due to the boy’s size, according to the document. 

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Research agrees physical misperceptions of Black men have racist roots and deadly consequences

According to the American Psychological Association, people have a tendency to perceive Black men as larger and more threatening than similarly sized White men, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

“Unarmed Black men are disproportionately more likely to be shot and killed by police, and often these killings are accompanied by explanations that cite the physical size of the person shot,” said lead author John Paul Wilson, PhD, of Montclair State University. “Our research suggests that these descriptions may reflect stereotypes of Black males that do not seem to comport with reality.”

According to Scientific Journal PNAS, young Black men are stereotyped as threatening. These threat stereotypes are even greater for tall Black men, who face greater discrimination and elicit stronger judgments of threat.

Ralph’s aunt told CNN her nephew is less than 6 feet tall and probably under 170 pounds.

Ralph, miraculously, has been released from a hospital, but the high school bass clarinetist faces a long road to recovery, his family said.

Yarl hopes to attend Texas A&M to major in chemical engineering.

Hailing from Charlotte North Carolina, born litterateur Ezekiel J. Walker earned a B.A. in Psychology at Winston Salem State University. Walker later published his first creative nonfiction book and has...

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