In the wake of the Trayvon Martin case verdict coming down during the weekend, media attention is starting to shift to similar ongoing cases.
One example, the case of slain 17-year-old Jordan Davis, is now making its way into the spotlight. According to the facts of the case, Davis, who is black, was in an SUV with some of his friends when Michael Dunn, 46, allegedly shot into the vehicle while it was parked at a gas station following an argument about “thug music.”
Dunn and his girlfriend, Rhonda Rouer, were on the way back from a wedding where he had consumed at least three alcoholic beverages, according to Policymic.
As reported by First Coast News:
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Rhonda Rouer tells police when they parked next to a car with loud music at the Gate Station on Southside Boulevard November 23rd, Michael Dunn said "I hate that thug music" as he had said to her before. She went inside to buy wine and chips, and heard several shots fired while she was inside.
She looked out and saw Dunn, but did not see a gun. She went outside and he urgently told her to 'get in the car, get in the car!' As she did, she saw Dunn put his gun back in the glove box. Dunn told her he shot at the car with the loud music — she asked him why.
"He said 'I feared for my life.' I said 'why?' He said 'they threatened to kill me.'"
Police: "And he also told you at some point they were advancing?"
Police: "But he did not elaborate on what advancing meant?"
Following the shooting, Dunn and Rouer drove back to the hotel where they were staying and claim that they only discovered that Davis had died after seeing a report about the incident on the news the next day.
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Dunn has invoked Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” defense and is saying that he fired into the SUV because he believed there was a weapon inside the vehicle and that the teens “threatened to kill me." Dunn is being charged with first-degree murder as well as three counts of attempted murder.
Rolling Stone reported on the case back in April and had some interesting facts about Stand Your Ground.
In the eight years since the passage of Stand Your Ground, self-defense killings have more than tripled in Florida, and prosecutors sometimes have little choice but to accept the shooter's story: The only other witness is in the morgue. And like most of the gun amendments incubated in Florida, this one quickly went viral. It's now the law of the land in more than 20 states. Has it reduced violent crime, the stated goal of the law? Certainly not, according to study after study; homicides are up in SYG states, though they're down almost everywhere else. More than 500 people are dead from such shootings. And the prime victims of these crimes, according to one 2012 Georgia State University study? White males, or precisely the sort of men whom SYG was built to protect. But that's what guns do: They backfire and kill.
After two judges have left the case, Judge Russell Healey is now presiding over the matter. Since there are conflicting stories about what actually happened, surveillance video of the incident will be an important piece of evidence.