Where is the national outrage over the Jordan Davis killing?

February 21, 2014


First there was the Trayvon Martin case where George Zimmerman seemingly got away with killing Martin. This case took place in Florida where they have a law that allows individuals to “stand your ground” and defend themselves, with deadly force, when that person feels that their life is threatened.

The Trayvon Martin case drew national attention and outrage. Protest sprung up and hoodies became a political statement and a condemnation of the justice system towards the black community.

The Trayvon Martin case is pale in comparison to the recent case of Michael Dunn, a white man who fatally shot black teenager Jordan Davis for refusing to turn down his “thug music.” It wasn’t a dark street, with no one around, plenty of witness, and no physical contact or a brawl. Just a man with a gun who felt justified enough to shoot into a vehicle.

Like the George Zimmerman case, the Dunn case was in Florida and Dunn invoked the “stand your ground,” defense stating that he felt his life was in danger.

The killing took place at a convenience store and it was over an argument about the volume of the radio, which Dunn wanted lowered. The two got into an argument and Dunn stated that he saw Davis getting out the Dodge Durango with a shotgun, no gun was found and a forensic expert testified Davis was sitting down when he was shot. Dunn opened fire and poured 10 bullets into the parked SUV killing Davis and wounding his three passengers.

The Florida jury was deadlock on whether or not Dunn killed Davis or acted in self-defense. The juries’ message, basically, stated that a teenager arguing over loud music is enough to be considered life threatening and justifiable enough to take a young persons life! Or to put it another way, just being a Black person is enough for a white person to fear for his life.

While Dunn got away from a murder conviction, he was found guilty of three counts of attempted murder of the other boys in the car and of another charge related to shooting recklessly. Dunn now faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison. Each attempted murder count carries a minimum sentence of 20 years.

It is unsettling despite how far we have come in regards to race relations, diversity, equality, and that we have a Black man as president, a white man’s lies are still more believable than the facts and that it is okay to kill a Black person.

Another unsettling point is that while Treyvon Martin drew national outrage, the killing of Jordan Davis has not drawn out such national outrage. Is it that as a nation, we have become callous to these types of killings?

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