Hundreds rally to protest the shooting of Renisha McBride
- Oralandar Brand-Williams
- The Detroit News
Detroit—About 200 people turned out today for a community rally protesting the fatal shooting of a 19-year old African-American Detroit woman a week ago at the hands of a 54-year-old white homeowner in Dearborn Heights.
The event, which also focused on the spate of fatal shootings in the city, was held at the Historic King Solomon Baptist Chuch on 14th Street on the city’s west side.
Comparisons are being drawn between the death of Renisha McBride and that of Travyon Martin, an unarmed Florida teen shot and killed last year by a neighborhood watchman. The issues of race and Stand Your Ground law are also framing the debate surrounding the case in which no arrest has been made yet.
Today’s event was organized by community activist the Rev. Charles Williams II, pastor of King Solomon and president of the Michigan chapter of the National Action Network.
Williams told the crowd not to lose sight of the case involving the shooting death of Renisha McBride, the victim, who was laid to rest Friday. The young woman’s family said she was seeking help when she went to the home on Outer Drive near Warren.
“We cannot allow the moment of Travyon Martin to come and go,” Williams told the crowd today at the church. “We cannot allow the moment of Renisha McBride to come and go.
“We are here today because a life has been snuffed out,” said Williams. Community activists and leaders also addressed the crowd. “And how do you (the homeowner accused in the shooting) go home and sit on the couch like nothing happened.”
“How did we get here again?,” asked Victor Muhammad, of the Nation of Islam Mosque One in Detroit at the rally. “How does a 19-year-old woman seeking help end the night in the morgue?”
State Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) said she was devastated over the shooting death of McBride and said “racism is so alive.” She urged those attending the rally to get the families engaged and “do something.”
“Don’t wait for (city officials),” said Tlaib. “Do something about it. Wake up.”
Community activist Helen Moore told those attending the rally that black children are dying violently in cities across the country and that it will continue “until we come together as a people.”
The attorney for the homeowner said the shooting was justified and that he was in fear for his life when the shooting occurred.
Local Muslim and community activist Dawud Walid said “we have to keep the pressure up (law enforcement agencies investigating the incident) and keep the McBride family in our prayers.”
He added “I’m confident (Wayne County Prosecutor) Kym Worthy is going to do the right thing.”
Detroit teen Arzelia Williams was among those attending the rally. The 16-year-old said while she’s watching developments in the McBride case.
“It was wrong,” said Williams about the shooting. “She wasn’t a threat.”
Williams added that she’s also concerned about the number of young people being struck down by violence in the city of Detroit.