Nineteen year-old Renisha McBride — an unarmed Black woman from Detroit — was tragically shot dead in a mostly white suburb of Dearborn Heights, MI on Saturday, November 2, 2013. She was seeking help after being involved in a car accident nearby. Renisha was lost and frightened when she approached the home of 54-year-old Theodore Wafer. But instead of offering this distressed innocent young woman a helping hand, Wafer fatally shot her through the front door of his home.1
Jury selection in the trial of Theodore Wafer is set to begin today.2 Now is our chance to demonstrate that Renisha’s family is not alone in their calls for justice and that they have the love and support of people across the country who are counting on the Wayne County Prosecutor, Kym Worthy, to deliver justice the first time so that this case won’t have to be argued in higher court.
Show your love and support for Renisha. Please share this image with your friends and family to send a powerful message that we’re paying close attention, we want a full, fair and just trial and that we are prepared to take action.
The tragic murder of Renisha hasn’t stopped calculated attempts to smear and criminalize her by Cheryl Carpenter, Wafer’s defense attorney. Carpenter recently requested a judge let jurors see photos of Renisha that show her with wads of money, alcohol and marijuana.3 As the trial gets underway this is likely the storyline that the media will run. But we can change this narrative and make it clear that this trial is not about calling up ugly racist stereotypes; its about justice, ensuring that Black lives are valued and protected, and that perpetrators who commit unconscionable, violent or deadly acts against Black folks are held accountable.
Renisha’s life was cut brutally short in circumstances that have become far too familiar — a young unarmed Black person gunned down by a white person harboring dangerous racist stereotypes, deep-seated and unfounded fear and a proclivity for racial profiling.4 Renisha is lovingly recalled by her family as “a caring person who loved cars and shopping, worked for Ford Motor Co. and had aspirations of becoming a police officer.” Renisha deserves to be alive today to fulfill her dreams. And while a murder conviction could never bring Renisha back, by sharing this powerful graphic we can send our love and support to her family, loved ones and Detroit community and fight back against irresponsible efforts aimed at criminalizing and putting the victim on trial.
Please share this powerful image to show your love and support for Renisha. And when you do, please ask your friends and family to do the same.
Thanks and peace,
— Rashad, Matt, Arisha, Aimée, Jamar and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
P.S. Click here to download either the poster-size version or the Facebook share size of the image.
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1. “Community rallies, demanding justice for 19-year-old Renisha McBride,” Fox Detroit, 11-07-13
2. “Theodore Wafer Trial Judge Disallows Victim’s Texts,” Huffington Post, 06-27=14
3. “Defense May Question Renisha McBride’s Lifestyle In Murder Trial,” Newsone, 04-04-14
4. “Yes, It Is About Race,” Huffington Post, 03-13-14
5. “After funeral, Renisha McBride’s family looks to ‘bring the tenor down’ on outcry as shooting investigation continues,” MLive Detroit, 11-08-13
TODAY: Remember Renisha
Matt Nelson, ColorOfChange.org
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