Michael Dunn Found Guilty of Murdering Unarmed Black Teen Over Loud Music
Seventeen-year-old Jordan Davis was shot just ten months after the death of Trayvon Martin, and the cases immediately drew comparisons. Both were young, unarmed black teenage boys. Both shootings happened in Florida. Both were killed by older, armed non-black men.
However, Davis's killer, Michael Dunn, has now been found guilty of first-degree murder, nearly two years after the incident. A previous trial had ended in a hung jury over the first degree murder charge, though that jury had found Dunn guilty on four other charges.
The incident happened back in 2012. Dunn was at a gas station in Jacksonville when Dunn and four friends pulled up in a red SUV that was playing loud music. Dunn and the teens got into an argument over the music, and Dunn ended up pulling out a gun and firing ten shots. Davis was shot three times, and Dunn didn't stop shooting even after Davis and his friends attempted to retreat.
Dunn said he feared for his life because he thought Davis may be armed. No weapon was found on Davis, in the car, or anywhere in the immediate area.
Dunn's defense tried to claim he was acting in self-defense, though they did not invoke the state's Stand Your Ground law.
Dunn apparently also had an axe to grind against what he called "thug 'culture.'"
"This gangster-rap, ghetto talking thug 'culture' that certain segments of society flock to is intolerable," Dunn wrote in a letter to his grandmother from his jail cell. "They espouse violence and disrespect towards women. The black community here in Jacksonville is in an uproar against me -- the three other thugs that were in the car are telling stories to cover up their true 'colors.'"
"The jail is full of blacks and they all act like thugs," he wrote in another letter. "This may sound a bit radical but if more people would arm themselves and kill these (expletive) idiots, when they're threatening you, eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.