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Justice delayed, justice denied

renisha mcbrideWhat can be so complicated about the shooting death of Renisha McBride? One shooter, one victim, one crime scene and nearly two weeks later no arrest, no statement of the facts, nothing but official silence.

Race is the complication. White man in the “sanctity of his home” armed with a shotgun and a “justified” fear of a Black person. Black female dead.  The police did arrest someone, but then let that person go.

Meanwhile, the rumors, speculations and possible scenarios swirl around the community. What if the shooter were Black and the victim white, people ask. Many comment, “we know that the killer would most likely be behind bars and the media full of stories of any and all wrong-doing ever committed by that person.”

The delay feeds the mistrust and fear in a city already angry over loss of the vote, loss of public institutions ranging from Recorder’s Court to the schools to Belle Isle, and a city looking at the theft of pensions from neighbors and friends. Detroit is a community stripped of power, resources and respect. Add a historically hostile neighboring community’s delay in investigating the shooting and tempers flare, anger rumbles.

Dearborn Heights must conclude the investigation quickly. It is difficult to see how anything less than a charge of murder can come from the circumstances as revealed so far. Let’s not have a Michigan Trayvon Martin case where white killers can hide behind a “stand your ground” law stretched beyond believability. Trayvon had no gun; Renisha had no gun. Zimmerman could have stayed in his car; Renisha’s killer could have stayed behind the closed door.

Let justice be done.

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