Michael Dunn Kills Unarmed Teen Jordan Davis: Another Stand Your Ground TragedyPosted: November 28, 2012
(Update 12/5/2012: Reportedly, Jovan Belcher was out with another girlfriend night before killing. Belcher’s mother states Perkins and Belcher argued before shooting. Time for Football/Sports community to look at connection between DV and violent sports? And, anger & guns don’t go together.)
(Update 12/3/2012: Sportscaster Bob Costas calls out for gun control after the murder-suicide of Kansas City Linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend, Kassandra Perkins, and Jordan Davis for loud music, during Sunday Night football half-time show. Memo to Costas: Jovan Belcher killings was a domestic violence murder-suicide not a gun-control killing)
(Update: 11/30/2012: Moments ago, Jordan’s father, Ron Davis, said on HLN, he doesn’t believe it was race that killed his son, “I think it was anger and handguns that killed my son”. Mr. Davis said he is ” going all the way to the Whitehouse” with his “Kill Guns, Not Kids” campaign. Mr. Davis lived through the Watts riots and “wants love and peace, not revenge”.)
This time it was 17-year-old Jordan Davis, who was shot and killed by a Florida man, Michael Dunn, this past weekend. Dunn fired his loaded gun 8 times into a car full of teens as he sat in an adjacent car at a gas station. Dunn claims he asked them to turn down the music, an argument ensued and Dunn felt threatened and thought he saw a gun. Dunn, just like George Zimmerman, has also been charged with murder and is claiming the killing was justified under Florida’s Stand Your Ground (SYG)Law.
What? Mere words and playing loud music justify killing someone, and almost killing the other teens in the car. Wow, have we learned nothing from the Trayvon Martin killing? Have we become a society that emboldens its citizens to shoot each other wherever and whenever and expect to be shielded by the law?
Clearly, the SYG law is a dangerous law being misused and misunderstood in Florida. Unarmed people are being killed in public by citizens carrying loaded weapons. And, frankly, I agree with the many law enforcement agencies that initially opposed this law. It is a law that encourages and may just protect many vigilantes, especially in situations where there are no witnesses. And, apparently, in Florida, it may also protect those who use a gun in a fist fight.
But, Dunn faces a big evidentiary problem.
As stated in the Florida Statute Title XLVI 776.013, in pertinent part, “(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”
Unlike the Trayvon Martin case, there is no evidence of a physical altercation or an “attack” between Dunn and Davis or any teen, as the SYG law requires. Dunn opened fire on several teens and Davis as they sat in the adjacent car. Where is the physical threat or an attack?
And, again, unlike the Trayvon Martin case, there was no “force” used by Davis or any teen, as required by the SYG law. Heated words do not amount to force.
Without that evidence, the SYG law doesn’t apply. Dunn faces murder, not likely first degree murder unless there was evidence of premeditation. Dunn more likely faces murder 2 “heat of passion” or manslaughter, if he is lucky.
And, lastly, where is the community outrage for the killing of Jordan Davis or for the other teens that were almost killed similar to what we witnessed for the tragic killing of Trayvon Martin?
Just remember when bad laws are passed, terrible tragedies follow. It’s time for the legislatures to repeal SYG laws or at a minimum, change “meet force with force” to “meet force with equal force”.
Simply my opinion, what say you?
(Also read about SYG in Trayvon Martin case)