#StandYourGround: Happy birthday Jordan Russell Davis…only the jury seemed to believe a liar and coward for your murder. I guess the fact that Jordan Davis COULD have had a gun is the same as Jordan Davis HAVING a gun, right? Michael Dunn hid behind the racially biased Stand Your Ground law to justify his actions, despite fleeing the scene, ordering pizza, consuming more alcohol, walking the dog, not telling his girlfriend he saw a gun, using the term “thug music,” not calling police to report incident, etc. I guess with all those inconsistencies, his word carried weight because he is WHITE. Ta-Nehisi Coates said it best: “I insist that the irrelevance of black life has been drilled into this country since its infancy, and shall not be extricated through the latest innovations in Negro Finishing School.”
The shock of the jury being deadlocked on the murder charge in the Michael Dunn murder trial for the shooting death of unarmed black teen Jordan Davis has reopened the old wounds in the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of another unarmed black teen, Trayvon Martin. The fact is that it is too easy for a ‘shooter’ to ‘defend’ himself from a perceived threat with deadly force. The fact is more blacks have died at the hands of whites using Stand Your Ground as a defense than black-on-black and black-on-white cases. This is truly a sad way to celebrate the memory of Jordan Davis on his birthday — essentially saying Michael Dunn was justified in killing an unarmed black teen during altercation over “thug music.”
We can’t ignore the fact that “Stand Your Ground,” which is the law in 20 states, is problematic, at best, for blacks and Hispanics, more than it is for whites. This is a throwback to the Jim Crow era when Emmett Till was beaten and thrown in a pond for looking at a white woman, and no-one was found guilty on the charges. It is part of the collective consciousness in these states with Stand Your Ground laws empowers some people to take out their gun and shoot when they ‘perceive’ a threat. It’s not right. It’s frightening and could have created a reasonable doubt in the minds of some jurors. Some people have said Stand Your Ground wasn’t introduced in the case. On the contrary. Defense attorney Cory Strolla made it clear that Michael Dunn had a right to stand his ground. The SYG principles were included in the jury instructions.
John Roman, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center, recently conducted a study examining racial disparity using FBI data on 43,500 homicides from 2005 to 2009, the most recent years for which data was available. He sifted out only the killings in which there was a single shooter and a single victim, both of whom were strangers to each other — narrowing the pool to about 5,000 homicides.
Roman also found that Stand Your Ground laws tend to track the existing racial disparities in homicide convictions across the U.S. — with one significant exception: Whites who kill blacks in Stand Your Ground states are far more likely to be found justified in their killings. In non-Stand Your Ground states, whites are 250 percent more likely to be found justified in killing a black person than a white person who kills another white person; in Stand Your Ground states, that number jumps to 354 percent. Source: PBS Frontline
Below is a chart with figures representing the percentage likelihood that “deaths will be found justifiable compared to white-on-white killings.”
The reality of the deadlocked jury is giving people an open season on killing young black men. Kids should not be afraid to walk down the street and play loud music. Michael Dunn left the scene after shooting into a SUV multiple times. Michael Dunn got away with murder while hiding behind the “Stand Your Ground” law. Something must be done. This is a disgrace. Race played a big role in this case and it was simply unconscionable that Angela Corey and her team, John Guy and Erin Wolfson, didn’t bring up the racist jailhouse letters Michael Dunn wrote, saying the more he got to know blacks, the more he hated them.
The prosecution could have used those letters to counter Cory Strolla’s steady parade of character witnesses who claimed Michael Dunn was ‘gentle’ and a peaceful man. It seems that the prosecution didn’t learn anything from their stinging defeat in the George Zimmerman murder case. They didn’t win the case for connecting the dots and presenting a compelling case to the jury on the hard charge, they won on the easy ones, despite Michael Dunn giving them a gift on a silver platter. Michael Dunn, who had seen his own son only three times in 15 years, expected submission from Jordan Davis, whose father was in his life. When he didn’t get that submission, he pulled out a gun and killed the teen. Race was used in the most insidious way in this case.
Happy birthday Jordan Russell Davis…your killer wasn’t charged with your murder after all despite his claims that you had an imaginary gun.