The Tragic Story of Renisha McBride and What Needs to Be Done

6775f9db19cee88d

By: Gus Navarro

Early in the morning of Saturday, November 2nd, a 19-year-old African-American girl from Detroit named Renisha McBride was shot and killed.

Reportedly, she was shot to death early Saturday morning outside a home in Dearborn Heights where her family believes she was asking for help after a car accident. The details of this case are highly contested as the Dearborn Heights police disputed early statements by the family that McBride was shot in the back of the head as she turned to leave the porch and that she was hit in the face after the shooter accidentally fired his shotgun. There are questions as to when the car accident occurred, what time Renisha was shot, what transpired between these two events and if the shooter even called 9-1-1 or if it was a neighbor. The identity of the shooter is still unknown, an arrest has not been made and the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office issued a statement saying that it is awaiting further investigation by Dearborn Heights police before deciding whether any criminal charges will be authorized in the case.

According to the shooter’s defense attorney, Cheryl Carpenter, the story hasn’t been told from all angles.

“He realizes the extent of this tragedy,” Carpenter states, “right now, he’s a monster in the eyes of the public. I can’t wait to share who he really is.”

Early in the morning of Saturday, November 2nd, a 19-year-old African-American girl from Detroit named Renisha McBride was shot and killed.

Obvious comparisons to the Trayvon Martin case will be brought up as Michigan also has similar “self-defense” legislation to that of Florida. Clearly there is still a lot of information that needs to come out regarding what happened, but it is more than likely that this will be dragged on in the courts for months on end. We will see the defendant, learn who he is and hear his side of the story. There will be gut-wrenching images of Renisha’s friends and family as they relive their loss over and over in the public eye. Gun advocates will defend the homeowner’s right to fire his .12 gauge shotgun under the Michigan self-defense laws, and anti-gun activists will demand a change in the right to own, carry and operate firearms. There will also be those that say this isn’t about race.

via mlive.com

Early in the morning of Saturday, November 2nd, a 19-year-old African-American girl from Detroit named Renisha McBride was shot and killed.

I recently attended a screening of Fruitvale Station with a panel discussion that followed. The movie tells the story of Oscar Grant, an African-American male that was killed by police officers in San Francisco while he was lying on the ground, handcuffed and unable to move. The panel consisted of local African-American scholars, artists and filmmakers that spoke about their research, personal experience and activism regarding racial violence, police brutality and marginalization based on race. Included in this, various African-American members of the audience offered up their experiences with losing loved ones to gun violence. Following the film and discussion, there was an emotional heaviness that hung in the air as the crowd processed the injustice that was witnessed on screen and in person. The issue of racial profiling and gun violence does not exist in the abstract. It is very real and something must be done. This specific discussion centered on the African-American experience, but it affects all of us. For instance there is a long history of police brutality and marginalization directed at the Native American, Arab-American, Asian-American and Latino communities around the country. Taking race out of the Reshina McBride tragedy would be to deny the history of systematic racial violence and discrimination in the United States, preventing us from learning from the past and creating a better future.

Early in the morning of Saturday, November 2nd, a 19-year-old African-American girl from Detroit named Renisha McBride was shot and killed.

This is a moment when the criminal justice system, historically distrusted in minority communities around the country, could step up and bridge the gap between the people and the authorities. So far, this has not happened. The lack of transparency is only bolstering the distrust and anger that already exists. On that Saturday night, the Detroit community lost a young girl and nothing can bring her back. This does not mean that action can’t be taken. In fact, there are things happening in the Detroit community combining art, hip-hop, activism, political action and social media centered around this injustice.

via mlive.com

Detroit activists Invincible, Yusef Bunchy Shakur and Sacramento Knoxx of the Raiz Up have been integral in organizing a protest march and have spoken out against this crime.

Dream Hampton puts Renisha’s death into a larger, societal context with this short film documenting the protests following Renisha’s death:

The Detroit community is coming together around this issue with artists, activists, musicians and community members seeking justice for Renisha. We all need this because Renisha’s death has to be a rallying cry for all those that have lost their lives due to racial profiling and fear. It is time that we demand something different, something better. This can only be done through widespread community action with the goal of raising awareness and creating a dialogue.

Early in the morning of Saturday, November 2nd, a 19-year-old African-American girl from Detroit named Renisha McBride was shot and killed.

My question is this: where is everybody else? Why isn’t this all over national media outlets right now? What makes Renisha’s death any different than the national tragedy that was Trayvon Martin? Is it because it happened in Detroit and all the national news pundits want to talk about the bankruptcy? Why is it when you search the name “Renisha McBride” on the New York Times, Washington Post and Boston Globe websites that nothing comes up? Is it because Renisha is a Black girl from Detroit?

In the coming months, this story will develop and drag on in the courts. Many arguments will be made and what this is really about will become tangled in over-complicated rhetoric and slow legal proceedings. It will get to the point that it is difficult to discern fact from fiction and right from wrong. We can’t wait for judges, lawyers and politicians to sort this out for us; we must take action. This is already happening within the Detroit community and for all of us outside, we have to get on board because this is not just a Detroit issue. True justice for Renisha will not be about seeing the shooter behind bars. It will be about communities coming together to raise awareness so that Renisha, Trayvon and all those that have been killed do not become statistics, their lives thrown to the wayside. As this story moves forward and we learn more, we cannot lose sight of this:

Early on the morning of Saturday, November 2nd, a 19-year-old African-American girl from Detroit named Renisha McBride was shot and killed.

These are two quick actions you can take regarding this issue:

Call the Dearborn Heights Police Department at 313-277-6770

Sign this letter set up by colorofchange.org: http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/renisha_mcbride/

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One thought on “The Tragic Story of Renisha McBride and What Needs to Be Done

  1. It’s amaƶing to pay a quick visit this site and reading the views of all friends concerning this post, while I am also keen oof getting knowledge.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 762 other followers

%d bloggers like this: