Man Charged In Detroit-Area Killing of Teen that Raised Racial Tensions


On Nov. 2, Renisha Marie McBride, 19, died on the front porch of a stranger’s home just outside Detroit of a shotgun blast to her face. McBride was black in the mostly white suburb of Dearborn Heights. The New York Times says the case has stirred long-simmering racial tensions between mostly black Detroit and its whiter suburbs and provoked comparisons to other racially charged cases. Today, the Detroit News reported that Theodore Wafer, 54, was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and possession of a firearm in a felony.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said “self defense was not warranted.” Worthy said Wafer shot McBride through a locked screen door. Protesters had held a vigil outside the house where she died. Wafer may have belived that McBride, who tests have shown was intoxicated, was trying to break in. Anguished family members and friends, wearing shirts with messages like “Justice for Nisha,” believe she was merely seeking help at random homes after her car crashed nearby.

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