by El Gato News
On Nov 2, a Michigan homeowner was charged with murder in the racially charged death of Renisha McBride, a 19-year-old black woman who was shot in the face on his porch.
Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy stated that Theodore P. Wafer, 54, faces charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of McBride.
The McBride family and civil rights supporters have called for an investigation into the woman’s death at the hands of a white man, and some supporters have compared it to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager shot by George Zimmerman last year in a confrontation in Florida. A jury acquitted Zimmerman of murder charges in that case, finding that Zimmerman acted in his own self-defense.
The cases are not exactly parallel to each other since Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who was off-duty, argued that he saw Martin on a public street and that the two had a scuffle during which Zimmerman said he was injured. Zimmerman said he shot Martin after they had grappled.
In the McBride shooting, there has been no indication that the shooter and victim had any physical contact. McBride’s family has said the woman was involved in a car accident and walked to Wafer’s home seeking help. She went on to the porch and Wafer fired a shotgun blast at her face.
Under Michigan law, a person does not have to retreat into his home when confronted, Worthy told reporters, but for a shooting to be self-defense, “there has to be an honest and reasonable belief of death or grave bodily harm.”
Worthy said there is no indication that that standard was met. She stated evidence showed McBride knocked on the locked screen door, and that there was no evidence of forced entry.
Despite protests from calls by national civil rights leaders that the incident be investigated, Worthy insisted her office had acted without regard to the race of either party. “Race is not relevant to our charging decision.”
Later, an autopsy was released that ruled McBride died of a gunshot wound to her face, meaning she was facing the homeowner when he fired the gun. A recent toxicology report showed Mcbride was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana.
(Sources: LA Times)