The Jordan Davis murder case is drawing comparisons to the Trayvon Martin case. Davis was a black teenager who was allegedly gunned down by a white man in Florida last year.
Davis, who was 17–the same age as Martin–was shot to death in 2012 by Michael Dunn in Jacksonville. Charged with first-degree murder, Dunn is claiming that he acted in self-defense. The case also has drawn comparisons to the Martin case because Dunn was unarmed when he was shot. Some legal analysts have said that Dunn could invoke Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law, similar to George Zimmerman, who was acquitted this week in the shooting death of Martin.
Ron Davis, the father of the slain teen, said the Florida’s “stand your ground” law is problematic.
“It’s an issue when angry people should not have guns at their availability; they should not be able to reach down in their glove compartment, reach under the seat, and get a gun,” he told WPTV in a recent interview.
According to WPTV, Dunn told police that he asked Davis and three other teens to turn down their music at a gas station while he was parked nearby. He claims they shouted threats at him, noticed they had a gun, and he later told police they were reaching for a shotgun, prompting him to shoot eight or nine times at their vehicle. The shooting left Davis dead.
The 46-year-old Brevard County man faces three counts of attempted murder and a count of first-degree murder. He pleaded not guilty and faces trial on September 23.
Police also said that the gun the teens allegedly had was never found, reported CBS News.
But Dunn’s attorney said that the evidence favors his claims.
“When all the evidence has been flushed out, I believe that it will be extremely clear that Mr. Dunn acted as any responsible firearm owner would have under the same circumstances,” attorney Robin Lemonidis said.
His other attorney, Cory Strolla, told Jacksonville.com that the case will likely draw comparisons to the Martin case.
“I worry they’re going to say, ‘We lost Zimmerman, so let’s get Michael Dunn,’” Strolla said, referring to George Zimmerman, who was acquitted in the shooting death of Martin on Saturday.
It is unclear if Davis will try to cite Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law to overturn a conviction.
The attorney for Davis’s family described the shooting as tragic.
“This was a kid with a big smile, about to graduate high school, with a beautiful head-cheerleader girlfriend,” John Phillips, a lawyer representing the Davis family, was quoted by MSN.com as saying. “He’d been homeschooled with a very Christian mom for most of his life. Teachers loved him. Bright, good kid, no trouble, no more sass than any other 17-year-old.”
On Facebook, a memorial called “R.I.P. Jordan Davis” was set up, generating nearly 200,000 “likes” as of Thursday.
According to a recent interview published by NewsOne, Ron Davis said his son will not die in vain.
“We need people to come forward who think they don’t have a voice. If we know that a situation is happening, we can contact local politicians. Because of the vote on gun control, it seems like it’s a dead issue. It’s a state-by-state case. You have to be proactive to continue the fight. We’re not going to stop in helping to change the gun laws,” he said.