The latest homicide? 19-year-old Renisha McBride from Michigan sought help after her car crashed in Dearborn Heights, a neighborhood where 86% of its residents are white. She walked up the porch steps, knocked on the door, and was shot in the head and killed.
Needless to say, her family wants answers.
They are asking prosecutors for information on the incident that left the unarmed young woman dead. Details have been scant although the Detroit News reported “Dearborn Heights [Police Department has] identified the person who fired the shot and killed the woman.” The police, however, have claimed that the shooter believed McBride to be an intruder and shot in self-defense. Initial police reports that described the 19-year-old’s body as having been “dumped” have been amended to state that she was found on the shooter’s porch.
But as time goes on, the shooter’s story seems to change.
Now, the homeowner responsible for shooting Renisha McBride claims that his gun accidentally discharged, reports the Detroit Free Press.
“This man’s claiming [he] believed the girl was breaking into the home. And he’s also saying the gun discharged accidentally.” said Detroit police Lt. James Serwatowski.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, the 54-year-old homeowner’s lawyer said that evidence would show the shooting was “justified.”
Self-defense gone wrong is not a sufficient excuse for a bullet in the head, McBride’s family has stressed: “He shot her in the head … for what? For knocking on his door,” said Bernita Sparks, Renisha’s aunt. “If he felt scared or threatened, he should have called 911.”
Police have now asked that charges be brought against the shooter. But since a “stand your ground” law applies in Michigan, the charges may not stick. As Rania Khalek has rightly pointed out on her blog,:
“The problem with a law like Stand Your Ground is that it excuses and encourages deadly force against ‘perceived’ threats. In the United States, where implicit and structural racism persists on a vast scale, is it wise to empower people who almost certainly have irrational and racist fears.”
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