What Happened to Renisha McBride – Murdered for Seeking Help?

Earlier CBS  reported:

(CBS/AP) DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. – Prosecutors are seeking more information from police before deciding whether to charge a man who fatally shot a 19-year-old woman who may have gone to his door seeking help after a car accident.

Renisha McBride was killed by a shotgun blast around 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

Family members say that McBride had gone to the home after her cell phone died following a car accident. They say McBride was shot in the back of the head when she turned to leave.

“He shot her in the head … for what? For knocking on his door,” McBride’s aunt Bernita Spinks told the Detroit News. “If he felt scared or threatened, he should have called 911.”

According to reports, the shooter apparently told police he fired his weapon in self-defense, thinking that McBride was an intruder.

“You see a young black lady on your porch and you shoot?” Spinks said. “There was no window broken. My niece didn’t bother anyone. She went looking for help and now she’s dead.”

Police say they’ve identified the person who shot her and requested a warrant in the case. The Wayne County prosecutor’s office says it sent the request back to police Wednesday for additional investigation before making a charging decision.


Later the Detroit Free Press reported

Dearborn Heights police say a homeowner told investigators his shotgun accidentally discharged, hitting Renisha McBride in the face as she stood on his porch.

“This man’s claiming – believed the girl was breaking into the home. And he’s also saying the gun discharged accidentally,” Lt. James Serwatowski, chief detective, said today.

Serwatowski also said 19-year-old Renisha McBride was not shot in the back of the head,as her family has stated. The family said she had gone to the house seeking help after being involved in a car accident several blocks away.

“This girl was not shot in the back of the head while leaving the porch,” Serwatowski said “I don’t know where the family is getting this. She was shot in the front of the face, near the mouth.”

McBride was killed early last Saturday as she stood on the porch of a house in the 16000 block of Outer Drive, near Warren, in Dearborn Heights, police said.

“I know the family is anxious to see this man (the alleged shooter) charged but the prosecutor’s office is telling us they want a lot more information before they make a decision,” Serwatowski said.

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office reiterated today that it is awaiting further investigation by Dearborn Heights police before deciding whether any criminal charges will be authorized in the case.

“I’ll confirm that she was in an accident in Detroit and that she left the accident scene, and then some hours transpired” before the shooting, Serwatowski said.

Serwatowski said the shooting occurred about 3:40 a.m. and the accident happened at about 1:30 a.m. He declined to say what police believe McBride was doing before and after the accident.

The homeowner’s .12-gauge was seized by police and the Michigan State Police crime lab is analyzing it, Serwatowski said.

Activists are planning to rally at 6 p.m. today outside the Dearborn Heights Police station over McBride’s death.

“Black life is not valued in America, not worthy, not respected,” said Detroit activist Yusef Shaker, who is helping lead the rally. “Here was a woman who was seeking help from potential danger and her life was taken…It’s a Trayvon Martin case all over again.”

Writer dream hampton and Illana Weaver, a Detroit rapper known as Invincible, are also helping organize the protest, Shaker said.

The rally is about “recognizing the value of a woman and the value of a black person,” Shaker said.

An assistant to Dearborn Heights Police Chief Lee Gavin declined comment on the rally.



Huffington Post reports the similarites many make in the case to Jonathan Ferrell:

In September, North Carolina police officer Randall Kerrick shot former football player Jonathan Ferrell 10 times leaving his parents and the local NAACP chapterquestioning whether race played a role in the shooting.

After crashing his car, Ferrell attempted to seek help in a nearby neighborhood. A homeowner made the 911 call after Ferrell knocked on the door, mistaking him for an intruder, according to the Associated Press. Police responding to the breaking and entering call said Ferrell continued to run toward them when Kerrick shot him. Kerrick has been charged with voluntary manslaughter.

But…as it currently stands, #RenishaMcBride‘s case is a more egregious example of the dangerous side of “castle doctrine” or SYG laws

— TouchVisionTV Munk (@Felonious_munk) November 6, 2013

Michigan has a version of a “Stand You Ground” law, which allows individuals to use deadly force without first retreating if they believe it’s necessary to prevent imminent harm or death. Some activists and legislators have called for the law to be changed.