It’s a horrible flashback to a case that shocked the country. Like Trayvon Martin in February, another teenager in Florida has been murdered because a grown adult with a gun felt “threatened.” Even though the teen wasn’t armed. Even though his only crime was being a teenager caught in public.
Jordan Davis was coming home from the mall with three of his friends. They were riding in an SUV, and admittedly listening to some loud music. As they stopped to put some gas in the car, Michael Dunn and his girlfriend pulled up. The 45-year-old reportedly asked the teens to turn their music down. When they refused, he picked up a gun and shot at their car eight or nine times, killing 17-year-old Jordan.
After shooting at the car, Dunn didn’t even bother to stop and check out his own destruction. He simply sped away with his girlfriend and spent the night in a hotel. Police tracked him down, and he says that he was getting ready to turn himself in.
Dunn’s legal team is claiming that he saw a shotgun in the SUV before he open-fired on a bunch of kids. The man says he felt “threatened.” We’ve heard this all before. It’s the basis of Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law.
The problem with these laws, of course, is that once you’ve killed the person who supposedly made you feel threatened, your “He Said, She Said” case only has one side to share. We can’t hear what Jordan Davis’s side of the story was. He’s gone. His parents are burying their 17-year-old son because some guy at a gas station thought his music was too loud.
To be fair to the Florida police department, they arrested Dunn the day after the murder took place. Davis’s family didn’t have to wait a month and rally for national television coverage before the law enforcement acted on this death. Also, Jordan Davis wasn’t alone. His friends were there to tell what happened from the victim’s point of view.
This death should make all of us think very critically about “Stand Your Ground” laws. Michael Dunn wasn’t defending himself. He was attacking unarmed kids for having their music up too loud. Now, one of those young men is dead. His parents are mourning and his future was cut short.
There’s no mention yet if hoodies were involved. We haven’t seen what Michael Dunn’s attorneys will do to paint Jordan Davis as some type of a threat. But this was a kid. Dunn deserves to be in jail and teenagers deserve to feel safe on the streets of Florida, without the fear of somehow offending an armed aggressor just looking to pick a fight.