The shooting death of Jordan Russell Davis has reignited the fury behind Florida’s “stand your ground” law.
Davis, 17, was shot by a man at a gas station after an exchange over his refusal to turn his music down.
Michael Dunn, shot and killed the unarmed teen claiming that he was in fear for his life. He alleged to have acted in self-defense after seeing a shotgun come out of the window that Davis and his friends were riding in, but was still arrested on murder charges. While he remains in custody, his lawyer implied that she will use the “stand your ground” defense in building the case, and shot down the notion that the incident is akin to the Trayvon Martin case.
Clear parallels including Davis’ age, the fact that he was a Black teen, while his killer was a white man, have drawn comparisons to the Martin shooting, which brought second-degree murder charges against George Zimmerman.
Since his death, advocates for gun control and civil rights organizations like the NAACP, the Color of Change, and the Urban League are intent on reigniting a campaign against the law. The groups will lobby state legislatures at the top of the year, arguing that “stand your ground” makes citizens believe that they can shoot to kill without fear of legal action.
Aside from Dunn, a senior citizen in Florida shot and killed a 41-year-old man using “stand your ground” as his reasoning. Trevor Dooley, 71, was found guilty of manslaughter for the shooting death of 41-year-old David James, after an argument erupted over a skateboarder being allowed on a basketball court.
Dooley, a Black man, believes that had the races been reversed he would have been found innocent.
Photo: Daily Kos