A mourner holds an obituary displaying a picture of shooting victim Renisha McBride during her funeral service in Detroit, Michigan November 8, 2013.

Renisha McBride’s family confident justice will be served


A little over a week after Detroit teen Renisha McBride was shot and killed by a homeowner in Dearborn Heights, Mich., the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office has begun reviewing the case to consider charges against the shooter. 

While they wait for the prosecutor to take action, McBride’s family members remain hopeful that the slain 19-year-old will get justice.

“The family wants a conviction and if it takes the prosecutor a week or two to gather all the evidence to ensure a conviction, the family is reassured with that,” McBride family lawyer Gerald Thurswell said on PoliticsNation Monday.

“The prosecutor is a woman of integrity and her reputation is such that she builds these cases to get convictions and she takes her time,” he added, refering to Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

Thurswell explained the family remains patient as they wait for charges in the case, especially as they learn that the prosecutor’s office is conducting its own investigation. 

“Just to charge this man is not sufficient,” Thurswell said. “They need a conviction in order to have justice. This was a senseless, senseless killing, there was no reason for this girl to die. None whatsoever.” 

McBride’s family believe she was shaken and looking for help after getting into a car accident in the early hours of November 2. Her cellphone battery was depleted, and she wandered to the Dearborn Heights home and knocked on the door. That’s when 54-year-old homeowner told police that he accidentally fired his shotgun, according to the Detroit Free Press, fatally wounding her with a bullet to the face.

The homeowner’s attorney remains confident the facts will clear her client.

“I’m confident when the evidence comes, it will show that my client was justified and acted as a reasonable person would who was in fear for his life,” Cheryl Carpenter told the Detroit News

The case has renewed the conversation around Michigan’s “stand your ground” law, which many expect could become the basis for the shooter’s defense if a trial ensues. The conversation has drawn comparisons to the shooting of Trayvon Martin and sparked protests, prompting Rep. John Conyers, who represents Detroit and the surrounding area, to weigh in. 

“There has been discussion about the impact of Michigan’s controversial stand your ground laws and whether they contributed to this incident,” he said in a statement on Friday, the day McBride was buried. “I have long opposed laws of this nature. I am confident that Wayne County prosecutors and law enforcement will conduct a thorough investigation to ensure that justice is served for Renisha’s family.”

Thurswell remains confident that “stand your ground” will not play a role in whatever trial may ensue. 

“They may use stand your ground as a defense, but it’s not going to hold any water,” Thurswell said. “She had no weapon. She’s five feet four inches tall. He’s got a shotgun. He has to show that he’s in imminent fear of his life. How’s he going to show that?”

“All he had to do was stay in his house, and if he came outside with his shotgun, he didn’t have to pull the trigger,” Thurswell said. 

PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton, 11/11/13, 7:30 PM ET

Slain Detroit teen's family hopeful for justice

After being killed less than two weeks ago, Renisha McBride’s family lawyer tells Rev. Sharpton he is hopeful that the man who shot her will see justice.
After being killed less than two weeks ago, Renisha McBride’s family lawyer tells Rev. Sharpton he is hopeful that the man who shot her will see justice.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misidentified McBride’s place of employment.