By ALEJANDRA PAULINO, age 12
On November 2, 2013, Renisha McBride, a 19-year-old African American woman, was killed by 54-year-old homeowner Theodore Wafer after she knocked on his door in a suburb of Detroit, Mich. McBride had had a car accident, and her family says they believe she was looking for help. Wafer says he thought McBride was breaking into his home. He shot her in the head through a screen door.
Wafer was charged with second degree murder and manslaughter. A judge ruled that there is enough evidence that he had other options besides shooting McBride. For example, he could have called the police. Wafer is scheduled to go to trial this January.
Renisha McBride’s family is seeking justice. In a public statement, her mother said, “I can’t imagine what that man feared from her. I would like to know why.”
In a statement given to the Los Angeles Times, the NAACP* made connections between McBride’s death and the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida in February 2012. Martin, a 17-year-old African American boy, was killed by a neighborhood watchman. The watcman said he killed Martin in self-defense. Martin, like Renisha McBride, didn’t have a weapon. Martin’s death “continues to haunt many in the African American community,” said the NAACP.
In the days that followed the shooting of Renisha McBride, people in Detroit took to the streets in protest. In an interview with the New York Times, LaToya Henry, of the Detroit branch of the NAACP, suggested the killing of McBride may have been driven by racism, “because this was a young black woman in a neighborhood that is predominantly white.”
*NAACP: the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, an African-American civil rights organization.