Like many people with an interest in the outcome of the investigation into the shooting death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride in Detroit, I have a lot of questions. To date, the circumstances surrounding her death haven’t been as forthcoming as some would like. With a longtime distrust of police and the judicial system, this isn’t a good thing. If anything, it gives rise and opens a space for any number of conspiracy theories related to race, with very little facts to support many arguments. Already, a comparison to the death of Trayvon Martin has been drawn. And as heightened as racial tensions are in Detroit as a result of McBride’s death. My only hope is that it doesn’t become the three-ring circus as was the trial of George Zimmerman.
This from MLive.com:
DETROIT, MI — The killing of 19-year-old unarmed Renisha McBride on the porch of a Dearborn Heights home after 2 a.m. Nov. 2sparked protests and concerns about Michigan’s stand-your-ground law, which allows for the use of deadly force if a citizen fears an imminent physical threat.
Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Maria Miller said the office has begun reviewing the Dearborn Heights Police Department investigation for possible charges against the 54-year-old homeowner who shot McBride in her face.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s office requested more information from the department last week.
“They have completed most of it and we’re still waiting for a few things,” Miller said. “But we have begun our warrant review process.”
Miller said the review “should not be protracted” but could not provide a specific timeline for completion.
“I can’t tell you that; I have told you everything that I can tell you,” Miller said when asked if completion hinged on receiving the couple remaining pieces of information requested from police.
I listened to MSNC’s Melissa Harris-Perry make such a connection on her show yesterday. Now I happen to enjoy Melissa Harris-Perry’s show; and as a longtime fan of her work, I consider it to be a breath of fresh air. However, I think it’s irresponsible journalism to link the shooting death of Renisha McBride to “Stand Your Ground” laws like Melissa Harris-Perry did in yesterday’s episode. At this point, there’s an ongoing investigation; and, there are very few details to arrive at this conclusion. To her credit, Melissa Harris-Perry acknowledged the lack of information. And like the family of McBride, I’m sure that Melissa Harris-Perry and those of interested are anxious to know the eventual outcome. But hey, until then, can we just chill the fuck out with the race cards being slapped on the table? Why lie by mentioning that black folks always get the short end of the stick, as victims, under “Stand Your Ground” laws. As I’ve written on this very site before, it is an absolute lie, and there are studies to support the truth (read here).
Not that I’m trying to derail the conversation that is race and the American justice system — no, I’m about that conversation all day every day; hell, use the search box on this very site if you don’t believe me. But for Pete’s sake (whoever he might be) can we talk about the irony of 17 people being shot in the city of Detroit in the last week? Not that I’m suggesting that with Detroit being a violent city, that Renisha McBride deserved to be shot in the face after knocking on the door of a white man as she sought help after a car wreck. However, what I am saying is that Detroit is a very violent city, and there’s an obvious reason why this is so. We can debate the root of the problem all day long. However, it’s important to understand that it’s not a problem that even Detroit’s recently elected white mayor, Mike Duggan — Detroit’s first white mayor in 40-years — can fix overnight.
Detroit has a huge problem that goes well beyond “Stand Your Ground” or Renisha McBride being killed. If anything, Detroit’s gun violence is exacerbated by conditions created by politicians who have left the city fraught with poverty and a lack of economic mobility. It didn’t happen overnight, but what it do was to produce a populace gripped with fear as an everyday existence, as most Detroit residents will tell you.
If we are to throw down race cards, why not throw that one.
This from Al Jazeera America:
Gun violence in Detroit has claimed 17 lives in the past 10 days, according to police tasked with patrolling a city where economic turmoil, empty houses and high unemployment have lent itself to creeping lawlessness.
On Sunday, a baby girl was delivered after her mother was shot dead, but later died in the hospital, on the city’s west side. Wednesday, a promising law student was found in her car in a vacant lot after she was shot in the head. The same day, three men were killed and six wounded after gunfire erupted in a barbershop known for gambling. Meanwhile the killing of a teenage girl, shot in the head last Saturday on a stranger’s porch while asking for help after a car accident, has increased racial tensions in the city.
The list of killing goes on.
Police say the deaths in the past week bring the total homicides for 2013 to 292.
“The reality of it is we’ve had a violent week of crime. Everyone in this department is very cognizant of it. But at some point, the public has to take culpability and be a part of the solution. It’s not just a Detroit Police Department problem, it’s a city of Detroit problem, and we all need to stand together,” Detroit Police Chief James Craig’s spokesman, Sgt. Michael Woody, told Detroit News.
Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in July, with a debt of about $18bn. The filing is the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history, and the economic impact can be seen throughout the city in its abandoned buildings, vacant lots, and unemployment rates of over 18 percent.
Bill Nowling, a spokesman for the city’s emergency manager Kevin Orr, said the recent spate of killings highlighted the challenges facing the city and suggested prioritizing police activities in upcoming budget restructuring, according to Detroit News.
Watch Melissa Harris-Perry’s “Race Talk” below: