The fatal shooting of a 19-year-old Michigan woman when she sought help after a car wreck is drawing the same national attention as a similar shooting in Charlotte in which an unarmed man died.
Both shootings followed middle-of-the-night wrecks and homeowners who thought the person at their door was trying to break in and rob them. Both victims were African American.
One notable difference: A homeowner fatally shot Renisha McBride in Dearborn Heights near Detroit on Nov. 2, while a police officer shot and killed Jonathon Ferrell after he banged on the door of a home on Reedy Creek Road in northeast Charlotte.
Ferrell was shot Sept. 14 as he approached three officers who responded to a 911 call from the home.
Less than 24 hours after the shooting, Officer Randall Kerrick was charged with voluntary manslaughter. He is the first officer to be charged in an on-duty shooting in at least 30 years.
Ten bullets struck Ferrell, including five to his chest that were fatal, an autopsy showed. Kerrick “did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon,” according to a police statement.
Prosecutors in the Michigan case are deciding whether to authorize criminal charges, according to the Detroit Free Press. The case has sparked community rallies protesting the lack of an arrest.
“Black life is not valued in America, not worthy, not respected,” Detroit activist Yusef Shaker told the newspaper. “Here was a woman who was seeking help from potential danger, and her life was taken.”
Police said the homeowner fired a .12-gauge shotgun at McBride as she stood on the porch of the home. The man told investigators he believed the woman was trying to break in but that his gun discharged accidentally, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Marusak: 704-358-5067; Twitter: @jmarusak
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