The Murder of Renisha McBride

Why is this woman dead and her killer still free? WHY?

I haven’t been able to say anything about the killing of Renisha McBride for the same reason I haven’t been able to write my reaction to seeing 12 Years A Slave.

It’s too real and too much pain involved.   I needed a little time to compress and process.  Now that I have, here’s what I have to say.

Your name is Renisha McBride.  You are 19 years old and you live in Detroit.  You are in the suburb of Dearborn Heights and get in a car crash.  Your cell phone is dead.   You’re injured and bleeding.  You go looking for help and knock on the door of a house.   Someone opens the door armed with a loaded gun, shoots a woman in her face and then claims it “discharged by accident?”

I call “bullshit” on that.

A gun doesn’t aim itself and triggers don’t pull themselves. Human beings do that.

Scared, stupid, racist human beings who can kill an injured and unarmed woman and two weeks later the killer still hasn’t been arrested or even identified.

Smells like George Zimmerman chillin’ at the crib for nearly 45  days after blowing away Trayvon Martin all over again only this time it’s a remix with the bizarre circumstances of the Jonathan Ferrell shooting of a few months ago.  As if Black people needed yet another reminder of how cheaply their lives are regarded by the injustice system here comes a hard slap across the face.

Yes, it’s a different situation from the Ferrell shooting in that in this case if was a homeowner, not a cop, who blew Renisha McBride away.

Otherwise, what’s so different?

The overarching lesson here seems to be if you’re Black and you get in a car crash at night and your cell phone is out of juice and you need help, DON’T go knocking on the door of any nearby homes unless you want to get shot.

Just sit there in the wreckage of your vehicle and suffer. You’ll still be injured, but you might not end up dead.

mcbride funeral

All things considered, is  slowly freezing to death or dying slowly of internal injuries so much worse or any less than being shot in the face with a .12 gauge shotgun by some trigger-happy cretin?

I have no confidence the courts will dispense justice for the killer of Renisha McBride anymore than it did for Trayvon Martin, Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant or Rodney King.

Each of these cases have more than one thing in common. They each have a White shooter (with the exception of Zimmerman) and a Black victim and all of them united by the supposed fear of the shooter of the victim.

Each of these cases shows how “laws” like Stand Your Ground have been designed to protect the killers, not the victims. There is a culture of death that already plagues the Black community as they die by violence perpetrated among themselves, but White fear of Black people has become legally sanctioned as reason enough to kill them with impunity.

The American system of jurisprudence is blind, but it is not color blind. If the race of the shooter and the victim were reversed there is no way a Black man would not be arrested for shooting a 19-year-old White female in the face as she sought help after an auto accident.

We don’t know why Mr. X shot McBride.  We know he is 54 years old and a White male.  His attorney says he feared McBride was trying to break into his home and he shot her accidentally which if you believe that, I have some nice property in the Everglades to sell you.

Where is the evidence Renisha attempted to break into the house of the man who shot her?

Self-defense only applies when someone needs to defend themselves (or at least it did before SYG laws turned the concept upside down). Renisha was injured, disoriented and unarmed. Where is the threat? Or is knocking on a door now grounds to shoot someone in the face?

Trayvon Martin.  Jonathan Ferrell.  Renisha McBride.  Scared shooters.  Dead Black people.

Trayvon Martin.  Black male.  Racially profiled.  Shot by vigilante.  Dead.

Jonathan Ferrell. Black male. Car crash. Seeks help. Shot by cop. Dead.

Renisha McBride. Black female. Car crash. Seeks help. Shot by homeowner. Dead.

Once is accident. Twice is coincidence. Third time is proof.

People whom are not protected by the law will soon have no respect for the law.  If that is the lesson America wants to teach its Black citizens, they should know they are building a hothouse where only discontent, rage and hate will grow.

When it reaches full bloom it won’t be pretty to behold.   That’s not a warning.  That’s a prophecy.

Demonstrators demand justice for Renisha McBride

 

Stand Your Ground (and Kill Who You Want)

A wrong-headed law that gives people to kill without punishment.

A wrong-headed law that gives people to kill without punishment.

With his trial for the killing of Trayvon Martin not slated to begin until next year, don’t think for a minute George Zimmerman isn’t spending his free time dreaming up new hustles to separate suckers from their money.

His latest one is a post on his official website when Zimmerman claims  the “George Zimmerman Defense Fund is at its lowest, and new funds must be raised to support George’s living expenses and legal costs.”   Give now and you’ll receive a note that reads “Thank you for your support, [signed] your friend, George Zimmerman.”

I have no idea what kind of person would give money to a cowardly punk like Zimmerman and I hope I never meet anyone that would.   I’m not a violent man, but I do have fantasy of what I might do if George Zimmerman, a metal baseball bat, a locked room and me were to all converge simultaneously in an act of cosmic justice.

Who needs a bloody fantasy when  you can make them reality and under Florida’s twisted Stand Your Ground law you can kill who you want when you want because you want  and  nobody seems interested if  allows people to get away with murder.

Michael David Dunn will be brought from Brevard County to Jacksonville after entering a not-guilty plea to charges of murder and attempted murder in the Friday shooting death of a 17-year-old student at a Jacksonville gas station.

Dunn, 45, of Satellite Beach, waived extradition and should be en route back to Jacksonville before Thursday to face charges in the death of Jordan Russell Davis, according to Lt. Tod Goodyear, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

A gun collector in Jacksonville for his son’s wedding, Dunn told police he felt “threatened” after an argument with the Wolfson High student over loud music coming from a sports-utility vehicle parked next to him at the Gate station at 8251 Southside Blvd. Davis was in the back seat when “there were words exchanged,” followed by gunfire at 7:40 p.m., said Jacksonville homicide Lt. Rob Schoonover.

“Our suspect produced a weapon and started firing into the vehicle. Our victim was shot a couple of times,” Schoonover said. “ … They were listening to the music. It was loud; they [other teens] admitted that. But I mean that is not a reason for someone to open fire on them.”

Jordan Davis.  Victim.  Dead.

Jordan Davis. Victim. Dead.

Schoonover said Dunn and his girlfriend were next to the red SUV containing Davis and three of his friends. Dunn’s girlfriend was inside when Dunn and Davis exchanged words. Shots were fired, leaving Davis hit and eight or nine bullet holes in the SUV, Schoonover said.

The couple drove off after Dunn told her he had “fired at these kids,” Schoonover said. They went to their hotel, then returned to Brevard County when they learned what had happened from local news.

Witnesses gave police Dunn’s license plate number, which led police to his home. Schoonover said Dunn was planning to turn himself in when he was arrested.

Ever been at a red light when right next to you some big-ass Escalade rolled up and the bass was bumping so loud it’s not just rattling their windows, it’s rattling yours too?   How many times have you wished you could scream, “Hey!  Turn that shit DOWN!”   But you don’t.  You just sit there fuming and wishing the damn light would turn green already.

Or maybe if you’re strapped and feeling like you’ve had about as much as you can stand, you do tell the rude kids in the big-ass Escalade to turn that shit down.  Maybe you even follow them and decide to enforce some city codes about noise.

Dunn’s attorney explained what her client’s defense would be for shooting the unarmed Davis, “It will be very clear that Mr. Dunn acted very responsibly and as any responsible firearms owner would have acted under these circumstances.”

Lemonidis told a Jacksonville television station, “All he did was pull up next to this car, or the car pulled up next to him, he’s on the passenger side of their car, and he said, he rolled down his window and politely said, ‘Would you mind turning that music down?'” Lemonidis said. “And the driver apparently turned it off immediately. Then he hears from the back, ‘That (expletive), he can’t, that (expletive), we ain’t going to tell us where to turn our music down,’ and boom, they cranked it back up as loud as it would go. Louder than it had been.”

“When he saw the shotgun barrel come up in the rear passenger window, he saw about three to four inches of it,” Lemonidis said. “He estimated the gauge of the shotgun, the type, everything, he’s very familiar with firearms, as I said, owns firearms and has since he was in third grade. He immediately went into self-defense mode, which any responsible firearms owner would do.”

When informed the police said no weapon was found in the vehicle Davis was riding in, Lemonidis replied, “I humbly suggest that they may not have looked hard enough, and it certainly would not have been in the vehicle when they looked unless they had stopped it immediately, which I doubt they did.”

Lemonidis did not say whether Dunn would invoke the Stand Your Ground defense.

This isn’t self-defense.  This isn’t even Zimmerman’s bullshit claim that his role as part of a neighborhood block watch gave him the authority to stalk, confront and kill Trayvon Martin.   This is straight-up street justice when whatever it is that annoys or scares you is all the pretext needed to pull out your piece and start blasting.

Haven’t we been here before?  Yes, we have and we will revisit this story again with only the names and places changing as long as Florida and other states in this gun-crazy country makes hunting human beings legal.

Mr. Dunn, meet Mr.  Zimmerman.  You two should hang out.  You have so much in common.   Like the blood of dead young men on your hands.

Michael Dunn.  Shot Jordan Davis.  May go free.

Michael Dunn. Shot Jordan Davis. May go free.

Stand Your Ground (and Shoot to Kill) or Go to Jail.

Stand Your Ground or Take A Beatdown.


Marissa Alexander needed the supposed protection of Stand Your Ground if anyone ever has.

 Marissa Alexander was a 31-year-old, 5-ft. 2-in. mother of three, her baby just 9 days old, living in Jacksonville, Fla., a “Stand your ground” state. Her 36-year-old husband Rico Gray was arrested in 2009 for attacking her and sending her to the hospital, after which she got a restraining order against him.

In a 2010 deposition, Gray said, “We was staying together and I pushed her back and she fell in the bathtub and hit her head and that’s the time I went to jail.” In the same deposition, he admits that this was not his first incident of domestic violence against women, saying, “I got five baby mamas and I put my hand on every last one of them except one. The way I was with women, they was like they had to walk on eggshells around me. You know they never knew what I was thinking or what I might do. Hit them, push them.” He also admits that he and Alexander had “four or five” episodes of domestic violence leading up the August 2010 incident that landed Alexander in prison facing a 20-year sentence.

 Alexander retrieved a gun she had in her truck. She returned a fired a shot in the wall. Gray backed off and left. He ran to the police and Alexander was arrested. She claimed she was in fear of her life and cited Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law. The same law that George Zimmerman may use to justify why he shot and killed Trayvon Martin and the same prosecutor, Angela Corey would try to put Alexander away.

Facing 20 years in jail, Alexander was offered a three-year sentence instead, but turned it down and why not? She thought she had defended herself from a man whom had previously beaten her and admitted he liked thumping on woman. She had a permit to carry a firearm. Rico Gray was threatening to kill her or have her killed. She tried to leave the premises by going out through the garage, but couldn’t open the door, something Gray admitted in his deposition that he knew she couldn’t get out that way.

Alexander thought she would go free and why not?  Since SYG became the law in Florida justifiable homicide from it had been cited as a defense in 93 cases involving 65 deaths and successfully most times.

Is Corey using Alexander to warm up for Zimmerman?

Marissa Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in jail.

Marissa Alexander, whose case brought allegations that Florida’s Stand Your Ground law is being unfairly applied, was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday after being convicted of three counts of aggravated assault after firing a warning shot during a dispute with her husband.

The case sparked a confrontation between a congresswoman and the prosecutor after the sentencing in Jacksonville, Fla., WJXT-TV reported.

Alexander, 31, claimed she fired a shot from a handgun into the wall to protect herself during a confrontation with her husband, who she said had abused her, WJXT reported. Two children were with him when she fired a shot in his direction, and she was charged with three counts of aggravated assault.

Her attorneys claimed self-defense and cited the state’s Stand Your Ground law, which gives people some protection from prosecution for using potentially deadly force in cases in which they feel their life is threatened.

The law came under nationwide scrutiny during the Trayvon Martin case, when neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot an unarmed teen and authorities waited weeks before charging him.

But a jury agreed with prosecutors that the law didn’t apply because she left during the argument, got a gun and returned to confront him, WJXT reported.

Last week, State Attorney Angela Corey, who is also handling the Zimmerman case, said she personally met with Alexander and reviewed the evidence in the case, WJXT reported. She said she offered Alexander a three-year sentence before trial, despite the case qualifying for a 20-year minimum mandatory sentence.

This is what happens when a terrible law (Stand Your Ground) and an equally terrible practice (minimum-mandatory sentencing) catch up someone in a squeeze play. To the point if Florida is going to have this awful law, it either needs to be applied consistently or scrapped entirely.

Facing 20 years in jail, Alexander was offered a three-year sentence instead, but turned it down and why not? She thought she had defended herself from a man whom had previously beaten her and admitted he liked thumping on woman.

This is certainly not justice. No way is society a safer place with Marissa Alexander locked up until she’s 51 years old.

One can only hope Corey is as equally aggressive and successful in her prosecution of George Zimmerman who actually put a hole in a human being, not a wall, and killed Trayvon Martin.

Every picture tells a story, don’t it?