Fourteen Year Old Asking For Directions To School Shot At By Neighbor

Jeffery Zeigler

Jeffery Zeigler is a White man of 53 years-old.  He lives in the Christian Hills subdivision of Rochester Hills, Oakland County, Michigan.  He is a retired Detroit firefighter.  Because of his actions on Thursday, he has been arraigned on charges including assault with intent to murder and felony firearms.

On Thursday, April 12, 2018, Zeigler’s wife called 911 and reported that her husband had chased a Black male who tried breaking into their house.  Oakland County Sheriff deputies learned that a shot had been fired and found the 14-year old Brennan Walker down the street, unarmed.

Brennan told deputies that he missed his school bus.  His mother had taken away his phone so he didn’t have that to use to get directions.  He tried walking the bus route, but got lost.  He knocked on the door to Zeigler’s house.  A woman inside began yelling “why are you trying to break into my house?”  Brennan said he tried to explain to her that he was trying to get directions to Rochester High, but she continued yelling.

Jeffrey Zeigler came downstairs and grabbed a gun.  When Brennan saw the gun, he started to run.  While he was running away, Zeigler fired a shotgun.  Brennan ran further, hid, and broke down crying.

The Zeigler’s have home security video, and their story is contrary to what the video shows.

Brennan’s mother, Lisa Wright, said it was clear to her what was behind the shooting after investigators showed her the security video.

“After watching the video and hearing the wife say ‘why did these people choose my house?’ I knew it was racially-motivated,” Wright told WXYZ-TV. “I don’t know what other ‘these people’ she could possibly have been talking about. He was by himself. Wright said people in the neighborhood shouldn’t be afraid of a child, ‘let alone a skin tone.’”

Fox News 2 told Lisa that her son almost became a hashtag.

“Exactly, and that’s exactly how I feel. Like, wow. Because you were trying to get to school.  I found out later the only reason [the man] missed is because he forgot to take the safety off.”

Lisa was at work when she got the call from the Sheriff’s office, and her husband is deployed in Syria.

Brennan Walker

At his bond hearing, Zeigler attempted to tell Judge Julie Nicholson a historically acknowledged race based defense — he was protecting his wife who was screaming and crying.  Judge Nicholson stopped Zeigler from continuing his story because he did not have an attorney present.

Zeigler’s bond was set at $50,000. He was ordered to have no contact with Brennan nor his family.  He was ordered to wear a GPS tether and to turn over any weapons to the sheriff’s office. Judge Nicholson also ordered that Zeigler stay at least 10 miles from Brennan’s Rochester Hills home, which means that Zeigler cannot return to his house in the same subdivision.

Judge Nicholson set an April 24 probable cause conference and May 1 preliminary exam.

This brings back memories of Renisha McBride and Ted Wafer.   Wafer was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to at least 17 years in prison for shooting and killing 19-year old Renisha.  Wafer filed an appeal to his sentencing, alleging that jurors should have been given an instruction that he shot Renisha McBride because her actions showed she was breaking into his house.  Judge Dana Hathaway who presided over Wafer’s trial explained self-defense to the jury, but rejected that specific instruction saying there was no evidence that McBride, who was intoxicated and crashed her car, was trying to break into Wafer’s home.

This week, the Michigan Supreme Court upheld Judge Hathaway’s decision, with Chief Justice Stephen Markman dissenting.

 

 

Posted on 04/14/2018, in Cases, Gun Control and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 58 Comments.

  1. Wow, mind blowing, I’m just happy this young man is alright.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Ladylove,
      INDEED! God was looking after Brennan.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Yes he did, that was nothing but God. I just read that a friend of the guy who shot at this young man states thst he’s s good guy and was protecting his home. He also stated that he had no malice in his heart and he knows for sure that he wasn’t trying to kill this young man.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Ladylove,
          That might have been the video that I saw. His friend is just like him if he assumes that the kid needed to be frightened. Frightened from doing what? Asking a White person for directions to the school? It goes back to the days when Blacks were not allowed to look a White person in the eyes. Sick.

          Liked by 5 people

          • Sick is right, what did him or his wife fear? The wife set the stage buy stating “them” it was no them just a little boy who lost his way and wanted help getting back on the right track. I hate that as an African American we have these negative stereotypes attached to us. This world has to do better and realize that it’s an issue with color across America. I’m just praying that it will get better for all of us. I’m sick of seeing all this killing of people.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Ladylove,
              Re:

              Sick is right, what did him or his wife fear?

              Both. There’s a good article titled “About the Weary Weaponizing of White Women Tears” and I would add, also their fears; although I would say in this case that the wife acted on entitlement. If she was really afraid, she would not have opened the door and asked Brennan anything. She felt entitled to scold Brennan. Her husband on the other hand, felt it was necessary to validate her entitlement by transforming it into fear which required his protection.

              It’s a sick society.

              Liked by 2 people

            • Xena Amen you hit the nail right on it’s head with your assessment of this whole ordeal 💖💖.

              Like

            • Ladylove,
              What makes it so humanely disappointing is that entitlement, as opposed to privilege, is learned behavior.

              Like

  2. Xena, I give up. It’s hopeless.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Isn’t it funny how people who shoot at unarmed black people are those in service for the city, such as firefighters and police officers? Those take an oath to save lives want to take lives. Such injustice that is happening in the south has migrated to the north. Honestly, I would expect that from the southern states, but not from the northern states. I would love to be a fly on the wall when they bow down to the Lord and plea for forgiveness of their actions.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Well cfbostonbrian, you see it’s like this. People with a sense of entitlement don’t generally practice taking authority over those they see as their equal.

      Ziegler shows us two stereotypes; one by his actions, and another with his story in court. The first stereotype is that Black men all have criminal intent. The second is that all White women are helpless and dependent and need White men to help and protect them.

      If you have time, please watch the following video. You will see the two stereotypes.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Liked by 8 people

  5. I enjoy the video of “What would you do.” However, if I was John, I would say how the experiment went with the white actor. I think it is very important to let others know how many white people left the white actor alone and how many people did not leave the black actor alone. John is just giving props to the white people for doing what is “right” instead of saying both sides of the experiment to others.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh… to make another point… the guy said anything that looks good cannot be up to no good. Well, we know that Satan was the most beautiful angel, yet look at what happened to that situation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • cfbostonbrian,
        It’s said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When people allow society to tell them what constitutes beauty, it can become a hypocritical mountain. People then act like we see in the video where wrong becomes right because of who does it, rather than wrong being wrong all the time.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Bizarre and worrying, is it too late to reeducate the masses?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pvcann,
      Is it too late? For some. Not for all. I remember it being said that you can’t pour new wine into old wine skins. People must be willing to empty themselves of fear and trying to fit things into boxes they created in their minds, before they can be reeducated so they don’t hate, neither justify acts of hatred and fear that harms others. They must wake-up and realize that when they have a murderous heart, they are the living dead.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. yahtzeebutterfly

    I agree with Brennan’s mother that the confirmation of this being a racially motivated crime IS found in Zeigler’s wife’s words:

    ‘why did these people choose my house?’

    I tremble as I think of all Brennan has endured. It is so frightening. I am grateful Brennan is safe and that Ziegler is prohibited from being within ten miles of Brennan.

    When will this hate and fear end ! ? ?

    Just to think what Brennan’s mother is feeling and experiencing! It was so heartbreaking to listen to her interview and to Brennan’s.

    No one should have to worry about the safety of their child because of that child’s color of skin.

    Yes, Xena, it also reminded me of Renisha McBride and Ted Wafer. (Thanks for the update about the Michigan Supreme Court upholding Judge Hathaway’s decision.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yahtzee,
      Along with Renisha McBride, it brought back memories of Jonathan Ferrell, Darius Simmons, and back in 1992, Yoshihiro Hattori. When Yoshihiro was going to a Halloween party and knocked on the door of the wrong house, Rodney Peairs justified his shooting by saying his wife was frightened. Peairs was acquitted.

      Liked by 4 people

    • I believe we all can appreciate your being sorry for what happened, however, I’m just curious how Dionne Warwick’s song applies to Brennan and his mom.

      Like

    • roderick2012

      yahtzeebutterfly: When will this hate and fear end ! ? ?

      Nail on the head.

      The fear is what drives this irrational hatred and the irrational hatred drives the fear because the person knows deep down that they are guilty for feeling that way.

      It’s a vicious cycle that most people don’t realize has them trapped much less understand how to change it.

      And now we have a troll in the Oval Office who enjoys exploiting the bases’ emotions to stroke his ego.

      God help us!!

      Like

  8. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    This is the sad state and reality of the African Americans in this supposedly great country!! Living in America while Black …

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Reblogged this on Scotties Toy Box and commented:
    I am tired of the bigotry so prevalent in parts of our country. The last two weeks I have been frustrated trying to a person to understand white privilege. This is a case of bigotry because of the assumption a black kid knocking on your door and on your doorstep is automatically assumed to be breaking in. How out of reality do you have to be to make that leap of non-logic. If a white teen had knocked on the door the reaction would have been far different based only on the skin color of the teen. This has to be acknowledged so racial bigotry can be wiped out once and for all. Thank you Xena for posting this. Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

    • Scottie,
      Thanks for the reblog, dear friend, and for your excellent comment. You know, the media interviewed one of Ziegler’s friends who said that it’s his impression that Ziegler only fired at the kid to scare him. Since when does firing a gun at a running child a proper thing to do? People might fire a gun to scare off a pack of wolves, but Brennan was only one kid, already running away —- and a human being. Hopefully, he will not be emotionally scarred for life.

      Liked by 2 people

      • The fact that the teen hid and cried is a sign he was and will be traumatised by this. I wonder what the man who did this would have thought if some one had done the same to his child at that age. He would have raged and taken action. I can see him storm how dare they. Yet someone else child, a black one at that, he has no empathy or care for. It makes my heart hurt. I think you for making the post. We all need to know these things. Hugs

        Liked by 3 people

        • Yes Scottie. We had a local case where two cops shot unarmed Mark Anthony Barmore in the back 3 times in a church’s daycare center in the presence of staff and children. There was a lawsuit against the city on behalf of the children because they suffered extreme trauma.

          Ziegler has no empathy nor respect for human life. He saw a Black teen and felt that he was entitled to fire a shotgun at him. Instilling fear and killing is a part of the oppression that this country has practiced for centuries. My heart hurts along with your own.

          Liked by 3 people

  10. Why cant people just stop been scared of difference in life!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Tales,
      People are afraid of what they don’t know. Staying in ignorance and only hearing bad things about others builds into bigotry. Our own president would have America believe that all immigrants from Muslim countries are here as terrorists, all immigrants from Mexico are rapists; all Black men carry illegal guns and deal drugs; all Black women are uneducated and ugly; but all Whites addicted to drugs and who commit mass murder are misunderstood with mental illness. What is very scary and sad is that there are people who believe him.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. The wife’s a dumbass. Kid politely knocks on a door and she instantly screams “why are you trying to break into my house?”??? Uh, if he was, I doubt he’d be knocking at the front door…idiot. I think they were itching for some trouble. I think this is proof that guns in the house don’t really make people feel any safer, because I’d have thought knowing her husband was home and with his gun collection, she should’ve been more calm and confident. Something about their demeanor just feels so damned wrong, and I can’t put my finger on it. But then again, maybe it’s everything, and that’s why I can’t figure it out.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Chatty,
      It’s everything. White flight in America is historical, and once they make that move, they don’t like seeing minorities become their neighbors. The wife evidently recognized that it was a teen and that he didn’t come to rob her house, because she took authority to question him. Who does that when they can close the door?

      Liked by 3 people

  12. This is sickening, yet not surprising in America. Everybody knows that guy would’ve never shot that kid if he was white. People need to stop watching so much mainstream media (news and entertainment) and check their own prejudices. Unbelievable.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Ospreyshire,
      You might remember Jonathan Ferrell. He had a car accident, walked to the nearest home for help, and a White woman opened the door thinking it was her husband. She closed the door, called 911 and said that a Black man was trying to break into her house. She was alone with an infant. Jonathan had walked back to where his car was when the cops showed up and he was shot dead. Randall Kerrick was the cop that killed Jonathan. The jury deadlocked; 4 voted guilty, 8 to acquit. The city paid Kerrick a settlement in exchange for his resignation after prosecutors decided against a retrial.

      Then too, there’s the case of John H. Spooner in Milwaukee, who murdered 13-year-old Darius Simmons who was setting out the garbage can for pick-up. Spooner had surveillance video showing that he directly pointed a shotgun at Darius and shot him. Darius was able to run for a bit before he collapse. His brother ran to his aid and Spooner testified that he was going to shoot the brother too, but by that time other people were around. Spooner also testified at his trial that he shot the Black kid for “justice” because he thought Darius had broken into his home. Spooner was sentenced to life. Spooner was 76 when convicted, and is now 81 years old, sitting in the Dodge Correctional Facility.

      The cases go on and on and it causes me to think back to what brought me to the internet and what has been said about that case:
      “Just imagine if we lived in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon a ride home to get out of the rain.”

      Liked by 4 people

      • Very strong points. I’m glad there’s people like you who are conscious about these issues. On an unrelated note, I literally just found out that Starbucks is caught discriminating again as they deny a Black man from using the bathroom without paying anything while a White guy was able to use the bathroom without paying.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Ospreyshire,
          Thanks for your kind words. Regarding Starbucks, I patronized them maybe 3 times, in 2 different cities. When I go to an area of shops, paying attention to the demographics, I take note of who is working. Does the staff represent the community? If not, then they don’t deserve my money. Each time with Starbucks, I did not see where the workers represented the community. They were all young Whites — no Latins, Asians, Blacks. Heck! Even McDonald’s in those same areas had a diversity in staff, including diversity in age, so Starbucks couldn’t find qualified minorities?

          Liked by 2 people

          • No problem, Xena.

            That’s a good observation. Most Starbucks I’ve been to weren’t as diverse as other businesses of that ilk including the ones in my hometown which has a diverse population. For me living in a town with over 100k people of all ethnic groups, that’s suspicious. At least there are a few independent coffee shops in town that will get more of my money.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Ospreyshire,
              The best coffee I’ve found locally is guess where? A local hospital’s physician’s and prompt care location. LOL! They have a wonderful coffee and gift shop, with friendly staff of all ages and colors. They don’t have the variety that Starbucks has, but then when I want coffee, I want coffee and not a milk shake impersonating coffee. LOL!

              Liked by 1 person

            • Oh wow! Hahaha! I would’ve never expected a hospital to have amazing coffee. Good on you for finding a great place for coffee even if it’s someplace unorthodox. Very apt point about real coffee vs. coffee imposters.

              Liked by 1 person

            • LOL! I’m like a hound dog when it comes to smelling coffee. I had to go to that facility for a lab test, and my nose picked up on the coffee.

              Sipping coffee

              Liked by 2 people

            • Hahaha! That’s awesome!

              Liked by 1 person

  13. Now the judge’s orders that Ziegler stay 10 miles from Brennan and his family makes sense, in addition to the felony firearms charge. Ziegler was previously charged for shooting at people. He got off on probation.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. yahtzeebutterfly

    Official statement of Detroit NAACP from April 13, 2018
    “BEING BLACK IS NOT A CRIME!”
    http://detroitnaacp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Press-Statement-Being-Black-Is-Not-A-Crime.pdf
    Excerpt:

    “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    “DETROIT – 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. diagnosed for the nation its most dangerous and deadly spiritual ulcer. Yet today, there are still too many in our communities who have failed to heed his prescription to see our character because they are too blinded by our color.

    “America still suffers from an illness rooted in an assumption fueled by a false perception and sustained by our racial condition. The recent shooting at 14-year old Brennan Walker, at a home in Rochester Hills, while simply trying to find his way to school, by a white homeowner, is another case-in-point. According to young Mr. Walker, after he knocked on the door for directions, he stepped back, a lady came to the door and started yelling, “Why are you trying to break into my house?” He indicated he was simply asking for directions. Herein lies the assumption. He is a black youth, at a white door, in a suburban neighborhood, therefore he must be trying to break in. Immediate reaction: grab your gun, shoot first, ask questions later.

    “The perception for many is very simply, if you see one of them – Philando Castile, Stephon Clark, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and others – they must be up to no good so shoot.”

    The statement concludes with

    “Until our society has a heart and a head transformation, we will continue to see not our God given humanity but our contagious racial insanity. Face it America, we have a problem. It’s called racism. Until we own it, we cannot cure it. What are you going to do about it?”

    Like

  15. This has to end. It just has to end.It’s not getting better; it’s getting worse. We have proof by now that white racism kicks off an irrational reflex of fear that is deadly for African Americans. Every time another Black person is shot, we have the same agonizing conversation. Let’s take to the streets and demand new policies that protect African-Americans from insane white paranoia. It’s time for the strict enforcement of strong policies – never mind white feelings. It’s white behavior we can and must control.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Claire,
      Yes! It has to end. Rather than thinking that Ziegler and his wife were afraid, I think they have a huge sense of superiority and entitlement. Had the wife been afraid, she would not have opened her door and talked at Brennan. She did that because she felt entitled. Her husband fired his gun because he felt he had the superior right to shoot at a running Black teen.

      Applying the law equally should have discouraged that type of behavior, but too often defendants know that predominately White juries will either hang or let them walk. So, I hold judges and jury committees accountable for selecting jurors that represent the diversity of the county, and prosecutors accountable for conducting trials that do not hold back on the defendant’s motivations.

      Thanks for your excellent comment.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I see what you mean about white entitlement rather than fear – thanks.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Claire,
          First a seed, then the stalk, etc. Racism in America has a root and once it began to grow, it spread out so we see different parts. Or, we see the part above ground; the fruit. Racism in America has a system. What we see today from the acts of violence all the way to the handling of cases and IF there is a trial, are all parts of that system. We also see in that system, the root works in the defense of defendants, for instance, “The defendant has the right to protect his wife.” “The defendant has the right to protect his home.” Those “rights” are just another way of saying that the defendant was entitled, regardless of the victim’s intentions and actions.

          Liked by 4 people

  16. You are right. But I don’t think we have to wait until all whites understand this*. For centuries, African-Americans have been patiently providing white people with more information about how racism works than anyone should need. As well, whites are born with the same universal human capacity that all people are born with: for choosing right over wrong, and for living lives guided by morality, ethics and spiritual values. Thus, at its heart, racism remains a choice. I’m saying that regardless of how deeply rooted and systemic racist thinking may be, racist BEHAVIOR is easy to see and thus easy to regulate, penalize and drastically limit via strictly enforced law. When the majority of a nation is determined and unified, its people can force that kind of change. I’m saying that our focus should be on policy and enforcement first. This latter focus has the added advantage of allowing discussions of white racism to be an option for Black people, rather than the draining and stressful necessity it has been thus far.

    Thanks so much for your great blog!

    Footnote, see star above
    *(I’m sure that all African-Americans have long understood the system you describe, even if they might not use the same terms to express that understanding).
    I

    Liked by 3 people

    • Claire,
      Thanks for a wonderful comment and your kind words. Yes, racism is a choice. Policies to enforce are established by people who have no experience with racism. It’s like men making rules and laws about what women do with their bodies.

      The system has become so tight that unless a person admits to doing something criminal because of race, it’s impossible to enforce. The debates about being “thought police” has set the standard.

      I don’t have the answers other than to say that it starts with individuals first respecting each other, respecting human life.

      Liked by 3 people

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