The Detroit News obtained the audio on Tuesday of a police dispatcher sending officers to the scene of the Renisha McBride shooting that took place in the wee hours of Nov. 2. In the recording, the dispatcher reports that a man called 911 to report that he had just shot a person he didn’t know on his porch.
“Just received a 911 call from a male [who] thinks he just shot someone on his porch. Then he hung up; we’re trying to call back,” the dispatcher tells officers around 4:46 am.
About a minute later, the dispatcher says, “Units responding: We have the male on the line. [He] states he doesn’t know this person. Trying to get further [information].”
A responding officer then tells the dispatcher, “There’s somebody down on the porch … it appears it’s going to be a black female.”
The white homeowner (whose name has not been publicly disclosed) has said through his lawyer that he thought McBride, an African-American woman, was trying to break into his home and that he shot her by accident. McBride had gotten into a car accident earlier in the night, and since her cell phone had died, her family believes that she knocked on the man’s door for help. McBride’s autopsy confirmed that the 19-year-old was shot in the face. The man who shot her has not been charged with a crime and is not in police custody.
The incident has spurred a national outcry over Michigan’s version of the “stand your ground” law and race relations in Detroit, nearby Dearborn Heights — where the shooting took place — and across the nation. Civil rights groups protested in Detroit this weekend.
The protests are stoked by several other racially-charged shooting incidents in the past few years. This summer, George Zimmerman was acquitted of fatally shooting a black teenager, Trayvon Martin, during an altercation in Florida. Martin had been walking home after buying Skittles and a Snapple while wearing a sweatshirt with his hood up.
In September, a police officer in Charlotte, North Carolina was charged with voluntary manslaughter after killing Jonathan Ferrell, 24. Ferrell was a former college football player who, like McBride, was looking for help after a car accident. Both Zimmerman’s acquittal and Ferrell’s killing were the catalysts of protests before this most recent incident.
Detroit community activist, Rev. Charles Williams II — a pastor of King Solomon and president of the Michigan chapter of the National Action Network — said at a community rally he organized on Nov. 9 with 200 attendees, “We cannot allow the moment of Travyon Martin to come and go. We cannot allow the moment of Renisha McBride to come and go,” the Detroit News reports.
The investigation into McBride’s death is ongoing. A spokeswoman for the Wayne County prosecutor’s office told the New York Times on Sunday that police will present evidence to prosecutors this week so that “we can make a decision on whether to issue charges.” The NAACP, among other civil rights groups, has called for a thorough investigation.
Listen to audio from police scanners the night McBride died below: