“I don’t know what went on in that car, and I don’t know what those, what the kids or what the, he said or what he said to Jordan. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. You shot him over some music. And he was in the car. And there’s no, there’s no logical reason, there’s nothing logical you can say to make me think you were threatened.”
– Lucia McBath, Jordan Davis’s mother
The State of Florida is once again at the center of another unjustified shooting of a young African-American teen. Jordan Davis was shot to death at a Jacksonville gas station for apparently playing loud music. This case is similar to the Trayvon Martin case which occurred in Sanford, Florida. Martin, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman who claimed he felt his life was threatened after he followed and confronted Martin, who he believed to be “suspicious”. The only thing suspicious about Martin that night was that he was African American and wearing a hoodie. The only thing Davis apparently did wrong was playing his music too loud.
The only major similarity in both cases is that the victims were African-Americans and that both shooters sought defense under Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law. The law allows anyone who feels that their life is in danger to use deadly force. After the Martin case Florida Governor Rick Scott created a crony commission to examine the law. The commission recently ruled that the law does not need to be revamped or dissolved.
Jacob Jordan of the Associated Press recently wrote an article on the similarities and difference between the two cases (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/30/jordan-davis-teen-loud-music-trayvon-martin_n_2217444.html?utm_hp_ref=black-voices):
“The fatal shooting of a Florida teenager who was listening to loud music in a car a week ago has drawn comparisons to the Trayvon Martin case, but the differences are significant.
Unlike the Martin case, there were several witnesses to this shooting and there was no scuffle before 17-year-old Jordan Davis was shot to death. And notably, the man accused of firing into the car was arrested a day later.
Michael David Dunn is charged with murder and attempted murder in the Nov. 23 shooting at a Jacksonville, Fla., gas station. The 45-year-old Dunn parked beside the sport utility vehicle occupied by Davis and three other young men and told them to turn the music down, police said. Dunn exchanged words with Davis, who was in the back seat, and started firing. He later told police he felt threatened. His attorney has said Dunn saw a gun and shot in self-defense, perhaps laying the ground work for a case under Florida’s “stand your ground” law.”
The following is an excerpt from Leigh Owen’s, of the Huffington Post, article on the matter (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/28/michael-dunn-claims-shotgon-wielded-_n_2207287.html?utm_hp_ref=black-voices):
According to Dunn’s attorney, Robin Lemonidis, he saw a shotgun in the SUV, while the teens yelled threatening, obscenities.
“Kill that mother**er, that mother**er dead, you dead bi**h, and then he sees that much of the shotgun coming up over the rim of the SUV which is up higher than his Jetta,” Lemonidis told reporters. “And it’s-all he sees are heavily tinted windows, which are up and the back windows which are down, and the car has at least four black men in it. And he doesn’t know how old anybody is, he doesn’t know anything, but he knows a shotgun when he sees one.”
Lemonidis says his client was scared after the exchange he had with Dunn. He believed that the teenagers would call friends and have him killed. After the shooting she claims Dunn fled, thinking his eight shots had only scared the teens.
“He didn’t think he had harmed anybody and he just thought he had scared them off and he wanted to report it, but he didn’t want to go in a sense throw himself to the wolves, in a strange city without representation.”
On the night of the shooting however, Dunn heard on the local news station that the shooting had been fatal. Despite this fact he fled the city, driving 159 miles to his home in Brevard County and was arrested the Saturday following the shooting.
As I have wrote in the past Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law is nothing more than a solution looking for a problem. Every American does have a right to own a gun, but it is irresponsible to allow citizens to have a license to kill if they experience false feelings of danger. Florida already had a self-defense law on the books, but to allow citizens to confront individuals with deadly force is unnecessary.
Jordan Davis had his life taken away from him for playing loud music; a 17 year old playing loud music is not reason to kill someone, if that was the case none of us would make it pass 17. Martin Luther King Jr. said “an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. Davis’s death is defiantly an injustice, lets pray that justice is served.