In a trial that echoed George Zimmerman’s killing of Trayvon Martin two years ago, another white man has killed a black teenager in Florida without being convicted of a murder charge.
Thanks to the state’s “stand your ground” law, 47-year-old Michael Dunn, responsible for fatally shooting 17-year-old Jordan Davis, was only convicted of three charges of attempted second-degree murder of the three other boys who were involved in the incident.
The beginning of another racially motivated trial happened in a convenience store parking lot where Davis and three of his friends were confronted by Dunn for playing their music too loud. Disliking the teenagers’ “rap crap,” as Dunn called it, the confrontation turned deadly. Dunn claimed that Davis got out of the car and threatened him and that he saw a gun, although police later said there was no gun. Dunn then began to fire 10 bullets at the teenagers’ vehicle even after they fled.
Although race was never a factor to Creshuna Miles, Juror No. 8 and one of the two black women who served on the jury, racism has been a heavy topic associating with the trial.
The jury for the Davis-Dunn trial was predominantly white, with eight white people serving on the jury while only four people of color were on it. Similar the all-but-one white jury of the Martin-Zimmerman trial, the seemed to be strong with the people serving on the jury.
This leads to questioning the lack of racial diversity the justice system had to offer for this trial. Had there been more racial diversity, would there have been complete justice for Davis? Although Dunn’s charges will cost him 60 years in prison, the incarceration hardly proved justice for the death of a young life since the killer was not seen as a murderer in the eyes of the jury, but rather a victim who acted in self-defense. Defense from what? Loud music?
Other issues that must be addressed are about the murderers themselves and why they feel so immensely threatened by young black men. Zimmerman and Dunn, clouded by their racist stereotypes, used their bigotry and fear as an excuse for their violence.
Florida’s stand your ground law permits white men to become murderers of young black men but forbids the justice system from sentencing them to actual justice. The law must be changed to one that does not excuse murder as self-defense, especially when it has already been shown several times to favor protecting white offenders over black victims.