Today, the retrial for Michael Dunn, the 47-year-old white man who killed an unarmed 17-year-old African American boy in 2012, begins, reported Reuters. This case carries the echo of the George Zimmerman, but Zimmerman was declared innocent and walked away as a free man. Being such a similar case, will justice be served for Jordan Davis in this case?
Two years ago, Dunn fired 10 gunshots at an SUV filled with teenaged kids over a dispute about loud music coming from the SUV. Some words and insults were exchanged between Dunn and Davis, but that doesn’t constitute reason to open fire.
“Dunn had enough of the mouthy, audacious, disrespectful teenager in the car next to him and with malice in his heart and intent in aim, he took a semi-automatic pistol and fired,” said prosecutor John Guy.
Dunn took the case to trial citing self-defense as the reason for firing on a group of young people. He said he saw, without confirming, that one of the people in the SUV had a gun. However, when police later searched the SUV occupied by David and others, there was no evidence of a gun being present.
Dunn was charged with one count of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder for the three other teens in the vehicle. During his February trial, a jury reached no verdict on the first-degree murder charge, but found Dunn guilty of the attempted murder charges. Many felt a lack of justice served on Davis’ behalf.
Sentencing will not take place until after the retrial. According to Florida state laws, Dunn is facing a hefty sentence. Dunn faces 60 years in prison for the three attempted murder convictions.
Although this case didn’t cause the media spectacle that Zimmerman’s did, the implications are similar and all present. With the many cases of men shooting unarmed teens, something needs to change, and Dunn needs to pay the price for his crimes.
Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.