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If I had to guess, I would say that 17-year-old Jordan Davis, like most teens, was excited for the weekend on Friday when he and his friends pulled up to a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida. But thanks to the racist fears of an armed white man, Jordan didn’t make it past Friday night.
Michael Dunn, described as a 45-year-old businessman, pulled up to the same gas station and parked right next to Jordan and his friends whose music was too loud for Dunn’s taste. Dunn complained about the music while waiting for his girlfriend who had gone inside the gas station to make a purchase. Moments later, Dunn pulled out his gun and fired between eight and nine shots at the teens, two of which hit Jordan.
So, what did this kid do that was so terrible, Dunn felt gunshots were warranted? According to CNN:
Dunn told police he felt threatened by the response from the teens, the statement said.
Dunn’s attorney, Robin Lemonidis, told CNN Monday that Dunn told police that he reacted after having seen a gun barrel in the window of the teens’ car and after hearing a profanity-laced string of threats against him and his girlfriend while the teens motioned they were opening the door.
Lemonidis said that was when Dunn reached for his gun and opened fire on the vehicle. She added that, “When all the evidence has been flushed out, I believe that it will be extremely clear that Mr. Dunn acted as any responsible firearm-owner would have under the same circumstances.”
That’s interesting, considering no gun was found inside the vehicle. Then again, that doesn’t really matter if you’re black (like Jordan) in a society that equates blackness with criminality, particularly male blackness. Add loud music and “a profanity-laced string of threats” to that dark complexion and suddenly you’re a walking target for the George Zimmerman’s and Michael Dunn’s of the world.
The worst part is that Dunn couldn’t even stick around after shooting because apparently black men like Jordan are still scary even when riddled with bullet holes:
Lemonidis said her client and his girlfriend left the scene after the shooting, fearing that they had encountered gang members and that more would follow.
The couple went to a local hotel for the night, and saw the news the next morning that Davis had died. They returned to Dunn’s home in Brevard County, where local police arrested him Saturday on an out-of-county warrant.
To sum up, Dunn shot at an unarmed group of teens (of color) because they cursed at him while refusing to turn down their music, which evidently makes them gang members. It sounds to me like Dunn, much like George Zimmerman, may actually believe he is the victim here.
It’s still unclear exactly what Dunn’s defense will be, but since the shooting took place in Florida, there is speculation that he could be aiming for a “Stand Your Ground” defense. WJXT Jacksonville explains:
“Mr. Dunn is going to have to answer the question, ‘Why did you not call the sheriff’s office? If you are reasonably protecting yourself, why did you leave the scene, get in the car, and the next day, flee the jurisdiction of Duval County’,” said Jacksonville Attorney Gene Nichols.
Nichols said Dunn’s statements in court on Monday make a “stand your ground” defense a likely strategy, but not necessarily one that a jury will believe.
“There’s no indication that Jordan or anyone else in that car had a gun, there’s no indication that they were any threat to Mr. Dunn,” said Nichols.
As for Dunn’s girlfriend, a police spokesperson said at a news conference that “She came running outside and she jumped in the vehicle, when they took off.” Despite leaving a crime scene with the shooter without reporting it to the police, she won’t be facing any charges. At least the shooter was immediately arrested this time around, unlike the insanity in the aftermath of Trayvon Martin’s murder. Still, that doesn’t make this story any less disturbing.