Renisha McBride, 19, Shot and Killed on Detroit Porch While Trying To Get Help

Lisa Bloom, News

Hi, I’m Lisa Bloom for Avvo.com.  I want to talk to you today about the Renisha McBride case.  It’s one that’s been getting a lot of attention and comparisons to the Trayvon Martin shooting.  Renisha McBride was a 19 year old, African American young woman, who was driving her car in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, which is a suburb of Detroit.

Unfortunately, she crashed her car at about 1:00 a.m., and she got out of the car, apparently to look for help.  A couple of hours later, and we’re not sure exactly what happened during those couple of hours, she was banging on the door of a nearby home.  The 54 year-old White male who lived in the home, his name has not been released by the police because he has not been accused of a crime, apparently came out of the house with a shotgun and shot Renisha in the face, killing her.  As I say, the homeowner who shot her has not been arrested or charged with a crime, and the community is in an uproar about this incident.

There have been comparisons made to the Trayvon Martin case and also to the case of Jonathan Ferrell, just a few months ago, who was an African American young man in North Carolina who also crashed his car, came out asking for help, banging on doors.  Somebody called the police, and when the police came, he was walking towards the police, and he was shot and killed.  All of these cases raise the same issues that we were concerned about in the George Zimmerman case.

Stand Your Ground laws, which allow people to shoot if they have a reasonable fear of harm, without retreating and lax gun laws.  In particular, Stand Your Ground laws allow people to shoot, even if they could have retreated, escaped from the situation, without causing harm.  And about half the states in the United States now have Stand Your Ground laws, which make it very difficult for prosecutors to go after people in situations like this.  I’m going to continue to follow the Renisha McBride case because it’s very disturbing, and see how the facts develop.  For now, I’m Lisa Bloom for Avvo.com.  What are your thoughts?