A 45 year-old Florida resident has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge days after shooting at unarmed teenagers and killing one of them over a music dispute.
Despite his claim of innocence, shooter Michael David Dunn still got charged with murder Wednesday (November 28).
The man accused of shooting a 17-year-old Wolfson High School student to death Friday night at a gas station during an argument over loud music waived his first court appearance in Jacksonville Wednesday. But while Michael David Dunn wasn’t in court, the 45-year-old Melbourne man’s attorneys were as he was officially charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Jordan Russell Davis. Dunn’s attorney, Robin Lemonidis of Melbourne, stated her client “absolutely” saw someone with a shotgun in the red sport-utility vehicle next to his car at the convenience store that night. (The Florida Times-Union)
A local authority figure has addressed the crime and agreed Dunn is at fault.
“It was loud,” Jacksonville homicide Lt. Rob Schoonover said of the teens’ music. “They admitted that. That’s not a reason for someone to open fire.” After an exchange of words, Dunn began shooting with a handgun, Schoonover said. “Nobody else in that vehicle was struck; it was just our victim [Davis], which was lucky because the vehicle was shot eight or nine times,” Schoonover said. (NBC News)
Slain 17 year-old Jordan Davis’ father has stepped forward to address Dunn’s action and demanded swift action take place.
“We can’t wait until another Black child is killed in Florida before the state sees the fallacy of Stand Your Ground. This law is not about self-defense. It is a criminal protection law. It not only sanctions killing a person at will if one feels threatened, but it reflects racial biases in how it is evoked and enforced. It’s no surprise that the most high-profile cases surrounding the law both involve Black teenage boys who appeared ‘threatening’ to their assailants. It’s bad public policy that must be repealed now.” (Jacksonville)
The publicized shooting has already drawn stark comparisons to the slaying of Travyon Martin earlier this year.
Davis’s death comes about a week after a Florida task force found that the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law is mostly fine as is and recommended only small changes. Florida governor Rick Scott created the task force after the death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in April. The task force made their conclusions despite research that shows “Stand Your Ground” laws actually increase homicides. In response to the task force’s findings, Benjamin Crump, the attorney who represents Martin’s parents, had told the Palm Beach Post two weeks ago: “We all believe it’s asinine that you can pursue someone, that you can be the aggressor and then shoot an unarmed kid and claim you were standing your ground. … Until we fix this law, there are going to be a lot of asinine claims of ‘Stand Your Ground’ when there’s another Trayvon Martin.” (Salon)