Will Dearborn Heights Killing Become America's Next Trayvon Martin Case?

November 08, 2013, 5:14 AM by  Allan Lengel

Renisha McBride of Detroit (Photo from Fox 2 News)


Updated: Friday, 3:15 p.m. --  The Detroit Free Press reports that a service was held today for Renisha McBride at House of Prayers & Praise Cathedral on Detroit’s west side. The paper reported that the family is asking people to have patience as investigators figure out whether to file charges. 


On Thursday night, a woman who attended a local rally outside the Dearborn Heights Police Department to protest the fatal shooting of 19-year-old  Renisha McBride, told Fox2:

"We are transported back to Sanford, Florida, but now it's in Dearborn Heights."

The reference is to the death of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old shot by George Zimmerman in February 2012 in what became a case of national import, generating protests in black communities. In this case, McBride, an African American, knocked on a stranger's door to seek help after a car accident early Saturday, only to be met with a shotgun blast to the face.

The story has generated national headlines, but so far, protests have not popped up on a national scale.

So the question is: Will this tragic shooting turn into America's next Trayvon Martin case, with protests from coast to coast? 

That's certainly possible, particularly if the shooter is not charged in the case. So far, there have been no charges. The prosecutor's office has promised a thorough investigation.

The shooter has told police the gun discharged accidentally and he thought McBride might be a criminal. The family and protestors aren't buying that.

"Without community effort this will die down and fall under the rug and another young black life will be lost for a no reason, other than fear and being perceived as some sort of criminal when it was absolutely not the case," said the unidentified woman who made the remark about Sanford, Fla.

Community activist Sam Riddle, who also attended the rally comprised of Metro Detroit residencts, summed the sentiments of the crowd, telling Fox2's Andrea Isom:

"You look at the data, and when we look at the data with a critical eye, we see that when white folks kill black folks they get away with. If black folks try to exercise 'Stand Your Ground' they go straight to jail. This dual system of justice must end. The best way to end it, is to revoke -- to end -- 'Stand your Ground'-ism all over this nation."

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