Less than a week after Renisha McBride's death, her family is still searching for answers. Seeking help following a car accident early Saturday morning, the 19-year-old was shot in the head after knocking on the door of a Dearborn Heights, Mich. home. Her family says she only went to the home because her phone had died.
"She probably wanted to ask him to make a call for her or if she could use the phone," her aunt, Bernita Spinks, said.
Though the Dearborn Heights Police Department has been slow to release additional details on the incident, a press released mentioned that they had identified the person who killed McBride. Spinks told the Detroit News that the family had met with both police and the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office and were told the shooter was a man in his 50s.
On Wednesday, police reportedly asked the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office to issue a warrant for the man's arrest, but the office said the request was denied as of late yesterday. Maria Miller, a spokeswoman for prosecutor Kym Worthy, says they want a more thorough investigation from Dearborn Heights police.
While Spinks thanked police for seeking charges, she vowed that the family would not relent until justice is served. "I’m not going to stop until we get it," she said yesterday.
As Gawker notes, Michigan has a self-defense act that's just as troublesome as Florida's stand-your-ground statute, permitting individuals to utilize deadly force "against another individual anywhere he or she has the legal right to be with no duty to retreat" as long as they feel like their lives are in jeopardy. Lord knows there's nothing more frightening than a young black woman in need of assistance knocking on your door at 2:30 a.m. Maybe if Renisha McBride looked like Jessica Epper, she'd still be alive.
This marks the second time in less than two months that a young African-American was shot and killed while seeking help. In September, 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell was shot and killed by police in Charlotte, N.C. while running towards police officers after crashing his car. Following the accident, Ferrell ran to the closest home, but the homeowner called 911 when she didn't recognize him. Police shot Ferrell several times as he approached them.