Renisha McBride's Killer Found Guilty of Second-Degree Murder

3 years ago

[UPDATE 8/7/2014: Thomas Wafer was convicted of second-degree murder in the porch shooting death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride. --Grace]

Are you following the Renisha McBride case? It’s a story that bears stunning similarities to the Trayvon Martin case: an unarmed Black teenager was shot and killed by a white man who felt she was a danger. The differences: Renisha was a Black woman, and her story has garnered only a fraction of the attention of the now infamous Florida incident.

Image Credit: msnbc

A jury is now deliberating the second-degree murder and manslaughter charges against 55-year-old Theodore Wafer of Dearborn Heights, Michigan. McBride was shot after she banged on the door of Wafer’s home in the early morning hours of November 2, 2013, after she had a car accident. Forensic work reported that McBride had alcohol and marijuana in her system at the time.

At Dame Magazine, Kirsten West Savali analyzes the gender inequalities of the lack of media coverage and community outrage over McBride’s death, especially in light of recent debates about gender reciprocity in the Black community:

As Renisha McBride’s life is reduced to half-hearted, malicious media coverage and social-media fodder, the silence from some who claim to care about the violence inflicted upon black women grows louder. And positioned as it is against the unified outrage surrounding the brutal slaying of Eric Garner, the devaluation of black women’s lives stands in stark relief.

Like George Zimmerman, Wafer maintains that he shot McBride out of self-defense. Unlike Florida, the state of Michigan does not have a Stand Your Ground law, but as Hilary Crosley writes at Jezebel, the defense is relying on another tactic commonly used to discredit women:

Blaming the victim is a routine defense strategy in cases such as these and Renisha McBride will be no exception.

For more updates on the jury deliberations, follow these Twitter accounts:


News and Politics Editor Grace Hwang Lynch blogs about raising an Asian mixed-race family at HapaMama.

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