In a tragic case that bears striking similarities to the shocking murder of teenager Travyon Martin, details are emerging regarding the death of African-American 17-year-old Jordan Russell Davis at the hands of 45-year-old Michael Dunn. When the news broke on Tuesday, news outlets justly honed in on the fact that Dunn, a White man, confronted Davis while visiting a nearby convenience store in Jacksonville while attending his son’s wedding.
As NewsOne previously reported, Dunn pulled alongside a SUV, where Davis and other teenagers were listening to music. Reportedly asking the group to turn down their music, Davis and Dunn began to exchange words, which led to the older gentleman opening fire on the vehicle. Davis was in the rear of the truck and was hit twice; he reportedly died in the arms of one of his friends.
Dunn claims he felt threatened by the teenagers. According to Davis’ father, Davis was unarmed.
Upon hearing the gunshots, Dunn’s girlfriend drove off. Amazingly, Dunn returned to his Brevard County home along with his partner, but was promptly arrested Saturday night after witnesses provided tag numbers and other important details.
Even though Dunn has since been charged with second-degree murder, Dunn, a software developer and gun collector, may have protection under the controversial “Stand Your Ground” law that George Zimmerman is using as justification for shooting and murdering Trayvon.
In response, civil rights group the Advancement Project has rallied their legal team to call for a repeal of the law.
Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis released the following statement on Wednesday:
We can’t wait until another Black child is killed in Florida before the state sees the fallacy of Stand Your Ground. This law is not about self-defense.
It is a criminal protection law.
It not only sanctions killing a person at will if one feels threatened, but it reflects racial biases in how it is evoked and enforced. It’s no surprise that the most high-profile cases surrounding the law both involve Black teenage boys who appeared ‘threatening’ to their assailants. It’s bad public policy that must be repealed now.
Without the full details, much can be speculated upon. What is evident is that Dunn, like Zimmerman before him, took matters in to his own hands by refusing to follow the proper protocol of alerting the authorities. Regardless of the exchange, Dunn’s response to a handful of young men posing no obvious threat to him was excessive and out of line. Should Dunn get to weasel out of serving justice for the slaying of Davis, Florida will once again become a powder keg of racial tension.