Michael Dunn, 47, is currently on trial for the senseless murder of African American teen, Jordan Davis. Similar to the Trayvon Martin murder, Davis was killed following an altercation about loud music.
Davis was murdered on November 23, 2012. He was only 17. Three bullets pierced his skin while he was sitting in an SUV.
And of course, this took place in Florida.
It seems unclear which way the jury is swayed. Yesterday, jurors listened to emotional testimony from three witnesses who were present at the shooting. Leland Brunson (18), Tommie Stornes (20), and Tevin Thompson (18) detailed how Dunn approached the teens at a gas station, and complained that their music was too loud. He then revealed a gun, and shot Davis when Davis refused to turn down the music.
The teens had no weapons, although Stornes has a criminal record, and is currently on probation. Reportedly, the song “Beef” by Lil Reese was playing. Dunn shot at the vehicle 10 times. He’s claiming self-defense.
The similarities to the Trayvon Martin trial are evident. We all remember the general facts Trayvon Martin case; Trayvon was on his way home from the store when George Zimmerman confronted him. He then shot Trayvon in self-defense. Trayvon, donned in a hoodie, had no weapons; only Skittles and Arizona iced-tea, which would eventually become the symbol of prejudicial suspicions for Black teens. When Zimmerman was found not-guilty, the issues further divided Americans. Some believed that Zimmerman was the victim, who finally cleared his name. Others, like myself, believed that Zimmerman got away with murder. To date, the incident is still very controversial.
The Trayvon Martin travesty ignited the racial justice lobby. It dominated news cycles, and encouraged heated cross-racial dialogue about race relations and prejudice. President Obama held an unscheduled news conference following the verdict, which further legitimized that oftentimes overlooked reality that we are not as progressive of a society as we would like to be.
Social media campaigns were remarkably prevalent. Online petitions spread rapidly. Trayvon’s story spread across national borders, and into even the most embattled areas in the world. The trial was broadcasted to the global audience, and we all shuddered with every misstep. Celebrities showed their solidarity with Trayvon and his parents. We all cared, deeply, about the fate of this trial and what it would mean for racial justice in America.
But all of this is lacking for Jordan Davis.
There is no hooplah. There are no cross country rallies, no public sentiments expressed by our public leaders. No one seems to care.
Jordan Davis’ murder was not widely publicized, neither is the trial of his killer. Why this is, I cannot say. Perhaps we moved on to the next big story. Perhaps we’re entirely too disillusioned by the Trayvon Martin travesty. Perhaps we’re unable to face another blunt defeat.
Whatever the reasons are, we cannot let another injustice prevail without a collective response.
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