And so it begins. It was November of 2013 when 19-year-old African-American woman Renisha McBride had the misfortune to knock on the door of a 55-year-old white man named Theodore Wafer. Although the details of what happened in the interim will be argued in court, one fact is undisputable, and that is Renisha McBride won’t be there to tell her side of the story.
As with Trayvon Martin, 19, Eric Garner, 42, and Jonathan Ferrell, 24, Jordan Davis, 19 — Renisha was left dead at the scene. And in all the cases the murderers were non-Blacks who somehow felt threatened by these unarmed Black people. Ferrell who like Renisha had been in a car accident prior to knocking on a strangers door for help, was tasered and then shot 10-times by a police officer (who fired 12 rounds at him). Michael Dunn who murdered Jordan Davis felt threatened by the “loud music” emanating from his car. Eric Garner was allegedly selling “loosies” — or “untaxed cigarettes” before NYPD police officer , Daniel Pantaleo (who has been named in at least two previous civil suits) approached him from behind and placed him in a choke hol, slammed his head to the round and he died at the hospital. And of course Trayvon Martin who was stalked by George Zimmerman because he didn’t look like he belonged in the development. So George followed him, approached him and ultimately took his life and walked away a free man.
So there can be no predictions of the outcome for this latest trial. The prosecutor in opening arguments called the defendant’s actions “unnecessary, unjustified, and unreasonable.” But the defense attorney said that at 4:30 a.m. her client was “sleeping soundly when he heard banging on the front door. His heart is racing“. He saw a “shadowy figure” and was “terrified intruders were going to break-in”.
Who will the jury decide to believe? It’s a coin toss, and it’s a shame what that says about being Black in America.