TAYLOR, Mich. -- Charges have been dropped against two Black teenagers accused of killing a White mother of six.
Police say ballistics tests show neither had a hand in shooting Wendy Meinke, who was killed July 30 during a dispute involving her son and others at an apartment complex in the Detroit suburb of Taylor. She tried to intervene, and two people shot in her direction.
Taylor police later stopped a car carrying Devin Plummer, 17, and Franklin Smith, 18. Plummer was charged with first-degree murder and Smith with being an accessory for driving the car.
The charges were dismissed after prosecutors received gun-residue tests Wednesday indicating it was highly improbable Plummer could have fired the gun police think is the murder weapon.
The sudden reversal came two days after relatives and Black activists protested outside 23rd District Court. They accused the Taylor police department, which has no Black officers, of racial profiling. The teens have no criminal records, The Detroit News reported.
A 14-year-old from Taylor, who also had been held in the shooting death, has since been released, Jack Fennessey, a spokesman for the Wayne County prosecutor's office, told the newspaper.
A decision was made not to charge him, Fennessey said.