A Detroit-area homeowner who shot in the face a 19-year-old girl at his door will be charged with murder, Wayne County prosecutors announced Thursday. The charges include murder in the second degree, which carries a term of up to life in prison; a manslaughter charge with a maximum term of 15 years in prison; and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony or attempted commission, which carries a term of two years in prison.
In the two weeks since Renisha McBride was shot dead outside the Dearborn Heights home, protests have escalated around the country to charge the homeowner, suggesting comparisons to the killing of Trayvon Martin. The shooter was white and McBride is African American. While the homeowner, now identified as Theodore P. Wafer, age 54, initially told police he discharged the gun by accident, his lawyer since told the press the shooting was “justified” and “reasonable,” invoking language from Michigan’s “Shoot First” laws that allow immunity for some self-defense shootings.
At a press conference Friday, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said her office determined that Wafer “did not act in lawful self-defense.”
It is now clear that Michigan’s Stand Your Ground-like laws did not stop prosecutors from charging Wafer. Wafer may, however, still seek immunity from charges at trial.
You know the thing that kind of bothers me about this story is that it was NOT simply assumed that a man who shot an unarmed person standing outside of his house would be charged with murder.
We now live in a world where the onus seems to be to convince the police that the victim did NOT deserve to die before they will level charges. A world where killing a young man armed with an iced tea and a bag of Skittles. is not enough to send you to jail.
That is a world that we need to change.