The state’s controversial “stand your ground” law, which came to light after the Trayvon Martin killing, is about to be the centerpiece of another trial.
It’s been almost nine months to the day since George Zimmerman shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin, causing a firestorm of racial controversy. At the heart of the fight was this question: Has Florida’s “stand your ground” law granted too much leeway to gun-toting citizens?
Today, that very important question is being asked again, as Michael Dunn is in police custody after killing 17-year-old Black teenager Jordan Davis in Jacksonville, Florida, and all over a dispute about loud music.
Will this finally be the long overdue last straw in Florida?
CBS News reporter Casey Glynn sketched out the initial details of the case:
At a press conference Monday, Lt. Rob Schoonover of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said the deadly incident occurred around 7:40 p.m. Friday.
Schoonover said [Jordan] Davis was sitting in a parked SUV with three other teens, when [Michael] Dunn parked next to their vehicle and made a comment about the loud music the group was playing. The 45-year-old apparently got into an argument with Davis, who was sitting in the back seat. During the altercation, Dunn allegedly took out a gun and shot into the vehicle, striking Davis twice. Schoonover says the vehicle had been shot 8 or 9 times in total, but no one else was injured.
Dunn and his girlfriend, who was inside the gas station during the shooting, drove away from the scene, police said.
Naturally, Dunn is telling police he “felt threatened” before opening fire, despite the fact that the boy he killed was sitting in the backseat of the car over which he was standing with a loaded gun.
If the “stand your ground” law works in this case, and Dunn is able to prove that he did in fact fear for his safety, there’s a chance he could go free. Regardless of what happens, it seems high time for Florida to start asking itself if the grown adults gunning down unarmed Black teenagers are really the ones who need to fear for their safety any more?
It doesn’t look like it from where I’m standing.
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