If you believe the shooting was racially motivated — and civil rights groups including the NAACP do — then the answer is nothing. Wafer is guilty as charged. Prepare the lethal injection (or a noose, if one is more convenient).
Wafer, of Dearborn Heights, Mich., the New York Post writes, was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in connection with the shooting death of McBride on Nov. 2. Wafer maintains that he heard pounding on his front door in the early hours of the morning. Following the advice of Vice President Joe Biden, Wafer fired his shotgun through the closed door.
A 911 call from Wafer was received at 4:42 a.m., in which he told the dispatcher: “I just shot somebody on my front porch with a shotgun, banging on my door.”
As best as police are able to reconstruct the events, McBride, a former high school cheerleader, was involved in a car accident. Her family says she likely approached Wafer’s home for help.
The rest is history, except that the usual array of suspects, including Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, are seeking to make this shooting into a federal case involving racial animus. The Post writes “they have held numerous local rallies and vigils since Nov. 2, and protesters have compared the case to the death of [Trayvon] Martin, who was black and unarmed.”
On Friday, the Detroit branch of the NAACP released a statement reading:
Often, many of us are very anxious and impatient when it comes to justice being equally applied in every situation. This particular case had the appearance that it might have been headed down the same road. While no trial has been held, and Mr. Wafer has yet to be brought before the court, anxiety is still high as the jury is still a long way out.
But Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy reacted by specifying that race was not a factor in her decision to file charges and that comparisons between this case and the Trayvon Martin shooting are unwarranted. She told reporters:
It’s always interesting to me what the public makes their decisions on when it comes to one way or another. We have the facts. We have the evidence. We make our decision on that and that alone.
In this case, the charging decision has nothing whatever to do with the race of the parties. Whether it becomes relevant later on in the case, I don’t know. I’m not clairvoyant.
Worthy further stated that she does not believe, based on a preliminary investigation, that Wafer acted in lawful self-defense. Under a 2006 Michigan self-defense law, a homeowner has the right to use force during a break-in. But there is no evidence of forced entry.
A toxicology report released Thursday showed that McBride had a blood alcohol content of about 0.22, more than twice the legal limit for driving. Her blood also tested positive for the active ingredient in marijuana. Whether these details will be relevant remains to be seen.