Supporters rally for Detroit-area woman shot dead after car crash

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Michigan Thu Nov 7, 2013 10:29pm EST

Demonstrators protest against the killing of 19-year-old Renisha McBride outside the Dearborn Heights Police Station in Dearborn Heights, Michigan November 7, 2013. REUTERS/Joshua Lott

Demonstrators protest against the killing of 19-year-old Renisha McBride outside the Dearborn Heights Police Station in Dearborn Heights, Michigan November 7, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Joshua Lott

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DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Michigan (Reuters) - Supporters of a 19-year-old suburban Detroit woman who was shot dead last week at a home where she sought help after a car accident held a rally in her honor on Thursday evening amid questions about what could have lead to her death.

About 40 people gathered outside the police station in Dearborn Heights, a Detroit suburb where the shooting occurred, demanding justice for the victim, Renisha McBride.

"We don't want this death shuffled aside. We want a full investigation to happen now," community activist David Bullock, who helped organize the event, said in an interview following the demonstration.

In a statement released before the vigil, McBride's family questioned the actions of the homeowner, who has not been identified by police.

"The alleged assailant did not, according to reports, immediately notify the police that the shooting had taken place," the statement said. "It was reported that instead neighbors contacted police about the shooting."

McBride got into a car accident and knocked on the homeowner's door about 2:30 a.m. on Saturday looking for help, Dearborn Heights Police Lieutenant James Serwatowski said.

The homeowner has told police that he thought McBride was trying to break into his house and that his shotgun accidentally discharged, striking her in the face, Serwatowski said. She died of her wounds on the front porch.

Serwatowski did not say how police were contacted about the shooting.

Police were still investigating the case, which they plan to turn over to the Wayne County prosecutor for possible charges, Serwatowski said.

The Detroit chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People suggested in a written statement that racial profiling could have played a role in the case. McBride was black and police have declined to discuss the race of the homeowner.

"Was this a racial profiling?" the organization said. "Was this shooting warranted when the evidence indicates that Ms. McBride had no weapon, created no disturbance, threatened no break-in, or demonstrated no disrespect to the household in question?"

A funeral for McBride, who according to her family worked for the Ford Motor Company, was scheduled for Friday morning.

(Reporting by Steve Neavling in Dearborn Heights and Kevin Murphy in Kansas City; Writing by Kevin Murphy; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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Comments (7)
gregbrew56 wrote:
“Was this a racial profiling?” the organization said. “Was this shooting warranted when the evidence indicates that Ms. McBride had no weapon, created no disturbance, threatened no break-in, or demonstrated no disrespect to the household in question?”

Ummm, I think I would describe somebody pounding on my front door at 2:45AM as “creating a disturbance”. Lawyer/spokespeople can be loons!

Nov 08, 2013 11:07am EST  --  Report as abuse
tpain697 wrote:
Once people helped strangers in need. Now, we shoot them in the face.

Nov 08, 2013 1:44pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sunshine11 wrote:
tpain697 – while I agree wholeheartedly with you, we can also say, there once was a time when you weren’t afraid to open your door to a stranger as well. Now, we never know what this person’s plans are. It’s sad, but true. It’s not easy having someone banging on your front door at 2:30 in the morning. I can say, I wouldn’t be feeling easy about answering either – no matter what race they may be.

Nov 09, 2013 2:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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