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The Latest Potentially-Explosive Racially-Charged Murder
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:43 pm    Post subject: The Latest Potentially-Explosive Racially-Charged Murder Reply with quote

I hadn't even heard about this story until today when it showed up on Democracy Now!'s page. On 2 Nov 2013, Renisha McBride, a 19-year-old black girl, had a car accident and went to seek help at the house belonging to Ted Wafer, who is white, whereupon he shoots her in the face--through the door--out of fear she is trying to break in. As of today--as far as I can tell--Mr. Wafer has not been taken to Dearborn Heights Police Headquarters for questioning and people are beginning to get upset, rightfully so in this case.

Unlike the disastrous Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman fiasco, there does not appear to be any logical ground for Mr. Wafer to claim any form of self-defense, given that Ms. McBride was not trying to break into the house. Unlike their Florida community, this neighborhood has apparently been very segregated for a long time--this community has a vast majority of whites in it and, according to the story, the police department is comprised entirely of whites (but this would need to be verified).

On a side note, I am uncertain why Amy Goodman was interviewing the people she was interviewing about it--one is a documentary maker and another from CAIR but neither person involved is a Muslim...I guess because they are both Detroit natives and she knows them? *shrug*

Anyway...now that the story is poised to break national news we will see a new round of racially-charged accusations flying on both sides. Clearly, Mr. Wafer needs to be officially questioned, have his weapons impounded pending the investigation, and should be charged by the DA should the evidence point to that conclusion (which appears likely in this case).

Totally unlike the Martin/Zimmerman case, Mr. Wafer decided to shoot first through his front door and ask questions later--if this is indeed what happened then there is a clear case of murder. Complicating the matter is Michigan's Self-Defense Act of 2006, but I doubt it will apply since she wasn't trying to break in.

Read the article and I'll see if I can dig up the story from a Detroit-area newspaper.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's difficult - well, impossible - to think of a valid reason that he has not yet been to the police station.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed.

Although I don't think he deliberately shot her, I do think he probably shot deliberately, if you can see the distinction. Murder might be too strong a term though.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure nutters spraying bullets around cinemas, fast food outlets or malls are not deliberately shooting the victims as a him or her, but its still murder.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Point taken, finn...and I am absolutely not defending Mr. Wafer, but there is certainly a distinction between someone who (in your example) goes to some venue and starts spraying lead around vs. someone (ala Mr. Wafer) who is irrationally freaked by someone from an other group coming to their door in the middle of the night and shoots them without any discernable provocation.

Former situation is clearly premeditated murder with no mitigating circumstance or motive. Latter isn't rational, but probably does not rise to the level of Murder One. Easy second degree conviction, but the proof bar for that is much lower.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although this is cutting the semantics a little thinly, yes--he probably didn't shoot at Ms. McBride because of her skin color, only because someone was on his porch. Even here in Texas you can't shoot someone for being on your porch and knocking at your door; you may legitimately shoot only if the actor is actively breaking into your house or has already done so.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Savor Dam wrote:
Easy second degree conviction, but the proof bar for that is much lower.

I think questioning the shooter at the police station is a part of that proof bar, so, in this case, an impossible conviction. And if they ever do get around to questioning him at this point, and things go to trial, they suddenly will remember that memories change after a fairly short time. So his testimony can't be used, and the trial will be dismissed for his having been put in the position of not being able to properly defend himself.

And, of course, the police will get a stern warning about proper procedure in the future.

*high five*
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well it's refreshing to see that everyone including the media learned their lesson about jumping to conclusions in criminal cases before all the facts are known... Rolling Eyes

From the available information it sure sounds like the shooter was unfamiliar with his firearm and accidentally shot the woman through the door. Sounds like manslaughter to me, and sounds like he should have been taken in for questioning at the time of the shooting.

But.......We just don't have enough information to make that judgment at this point.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's significant that he killed a person of ANY color, religion, ethnicity, gender, or any other category, with a gun, and was not questioned at the police station. Does that fact seem at all strange? Maybe I'm wrong in thinking it seems unusual, whereas it's actually common practice.

But if it IS unusual, I can't help but think it's a bit suspicious.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cail wrote:
Sounds like manslaughter to me...


Agreed, and no doubt that will be the charge and the defence. Based on what we currently know of course.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If Mr. Wafer, peaking out the window, assumed that McBride was a criminal because she was black, no one will ever be able to prove it. If the police went easy on Mr. Wafer because McBride was black, no one will ever be able to prove it. Not unless a lot of other evidence surfaces.

However, the public is free to suspect these things. People don't typically shoot at someone ringing their doorbell, even if it is at 4 AM. People who do aren't usually waved on by the police. People don't "accidentally" shoot other people in the face. Racism is a possible and plausible explanation, and as long as there not any better ones, the public will grant it credence.

The Police in Detroit don't have to address the potential for racism in this incident. But if they are concerned about outrage and image, they may want to do some extra work to show it can be ruled out. Integrity also means avoiding even the appearance of impropriety.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

People do, in fact, accidentally shoot other people in the face. Ask Dick Cheney about that one.

What I suspect is that the homeowner groggily came downstairs with his Joe Biden-approved shotgun, heard and saw a stranger banging on his door, had his adrenalin jacked up, and jerked the trigger (which, boys and girls, is why you never place your finger on the trigger until you're ready to fire), shooting the woman through the door.

But that's a WAG.

Agreed though that the police really should have taken the guy in for the exact reason Wayfriend stated.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surely this has just got to be involuntary manslaughter at the very least, if not voluntary manslaughter or second degree murder at worst, dependant upon whether a jury find Mr. Wafer's story of an accidental discharge of his shotgun credible or not.

In any event, a crime has very obviously been committed and it's unbelievable that Wafer wasn't instantly taken in for police questioning. A clearly identifiable individual killed someone else, fercrissakes... doesn't that merit a police investigation?

As FnF asks above, can anyone even think of an even vaguely viable reason why he wasn't? And has he been taken in yet?
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The police ignoring this incident is very problematic.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SerScot wrote:
The police ignoring this incident is very problematic.
Agreed, unless there's a crucial bit of information we don't have.


Well here you go.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the Detroit News today: homeowner charged with second degree murder in McBride case.

Quote:
Detroit — A Dearborn Heights man was charged Friday with second-degree murder, manslaughter and possession of a firearm in a felony in the shooting death of 19-year-old Detroiter Renisha McBride.

Homeowner Theodore Wafer, 54, faces arraignment Friday afternoon in the charges, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced.

McBride was fatally shot in the face early Nov. 2 by Wafer,whose lawyer said was “justified” in firing at McBride. About two and a half hours earlier before the shooting at the home in the 16800 block of Outer Drive, McBride crashed into a parked car a mile away on Brammell and Warren in Detroit.

Worthy said Friday that the evidence shows Wafer shot McBride through a locked screen door. He is not in custody and will be asked to turn himself in to authorities, the prosecutor said.

“We have issued these charges because we believe the evidence will show that self defense was not warranted,” Worthy said.

“Under Michigan law, there is no duty to retreat in your own home, however, someone who claims self-defense must honestly and reasonably believe that he is in imminent danger of either losing his life or suffering great bodily harm. and that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent that harm,” she added.


Notice that one part--he shot through the locked screen door. That will be important once I link the op ed from the Detroit News from the 13th, titled [url=blogs.detroitnews.com/politics/2013/11/13/slaining-renisha-mcbride-racial-perceptions/]Renisha McBride and racial perceptions[/url].

Quote:
It’s been over a week since the homicide of a black teen by a white male homeowner in Dearborn Heights, reviving old discussions about the role race and class play in law enforcement detainments, investigations and the criminal justice system.

Renisha McBride, who was killed at the front door of a Dearborn Heights home was unarmed. According to the shooter’s attorney, he accidentally – yet justifiably – shot her because he was frightened. In fact, he was so scared that he opened up the door to shoot her, instead of keeping the door closed.

Huh?

I have vocally posed the question at rallies: Would the Dearborn Heights Police have bought that excuse and not detained and charged the shooter had he been a black, Latino or Arab male shooting an unarmed white girl? I’ve also audibly wondered if the white shooter would have been scared if he saw an injured white female teenager at his door.

Race plays a part in how people view situations. Skin color and dress trigger visceral reactions in most of us. How many of us view a threat based on these prejudices? Let’s be honest.


So...he opened the door, saw who it was, and then fired his gun? Is that an accurate representation of actual events? *shrug* I do not know yet but if these two articles are in agreement with each other, despite the fact that one is an op-ed, then that would appear to be the case.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again, it's tough to really figure out what happened. What we do know is that 2 hours after she left the scene of her accident (a crime), her BAC was nearly 3 times over the legal limit (underage drinking, DWI, public intoxication) and she was high on pot (also a crime). It's not beyond the realm of possibility that she was trying to break into the man's home, nor is it beyond possibility that she was incoherently pounding on his door.

But what happened at the door is completely unknown. Still, it's pretty clear that the homeowner didn't just kill himself a black woman for the hell of it.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cail wrote:
People do, in fact, accidentally shoot other people in the face. Ask Dick Cheney about that one.

My kids often make a similar claim. It's "an accident" that the bicycle they were riding in the kitchen broke the casserole disk that they laid on the floor to try and ride over, for example.

No one can accidentally be carrying a loaded shotgun with the safety off.

He may have inadvertantly fired his weapon. But he can't claim it was all an accident.

TheFallen wrote:
As FnF asks above, can anyone even think of an even vaguely viable reason why he wasn't?

The beauty that is Stand Your Ground?

Quote:
The Detroit News obtained an audio copy of the 911 call placed by Wafer from his home at 4:45 a.m. — about an hour after he shot McBride. [[url=sandrarose.com/2013/11/renisha-mcbrides-killer-waited-an-hour-before-calling-911/]link[/url]]

If this bears out ... and it may not ... and you consider that the only version of the story we have is Wafer's ... then this whole thing may not be anything like what it is claimed to be at the moment.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Cail wrote:
People do, in fact, accidentally shoot other people in the face. Ask Dick Cheney about that one.

My kids often make a similar claim. It's "an accident" that the bicycle they were riding in the kitchen broke the casserole disk that they laid on the floor to try and ride over, for example.

No one can accidentally be carrying a loaded shotgun with the safety off.

He may have inadvertantly fired his weapon. But he can't claim it was all an accident.
Meh, I'm not interested in playing semantic games. Based on what I've read I see no indication that there was any intent to shoot the woman. I'm prepared to be proven wrong when the facts come out, and I have utterly no horse in this race whatsoever.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cail,

If she was drunkenly pounding on the mans door in the early hours of the morning that doesn't give rise to cause to shoot her.

This gentleman's best defense is to claim the shooting was an accident (and it may have been) but if he can't show she was attempting to break in he's going to be in for a rought time.
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