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Michael Dunn Verdict: Encouraging Or Terrifying?

    February 15, 2014
    Toni Matthews-El
    Comments are off for this post.

On Saturday evening at about 7:00 pm a Florida jury managed to find Michael Dunn guilty of four charges in relation to the death of Jordan Davis. The case was dubbed the “loud music trial” as the altercation started because Dunn had a problem with the music blasting from a car that Davis was in. Words were exchanged and the situation escalated to a point where shots were fired and a teenager was killed.

It is likely that Dunn will be faced with prison for the rest of his life as a result of the convictions on lesser charges, including attempted murder. However, the lack of a conviction for first degree murder and yet the willingness to convict for multiple counts of attempted murder is puzzling.

There was a sense that a hung jury might be possible when it was learned that the jury had reached a verdict on every charge but one, which they were struggling with as late as 4:45 pm on Saturday–less than three hours before the verdict was read. In the end the jury could not decide whether to convict or acquit on the fatal shooting of the 17-year-old Davis.

The hung jury resulted in the judge declaring a mistrial on the murder charge, which means that Florida prosecutors must now decide whether or not to re-try Dunn for murder.

The jury included four white women, four white men, two black women, an Asian woman and a Hispanic man. It may be argued in the coming days that the racial makeup of Florida juries is a major deciding factor of guilt or acquittal. After all, Florida juries are made up of Florida citizens. Therefore, it must be asked what the individuals selected for these sort of cases say about the state of Florida.

Florida is seeing an increase of high profile cases involving unarmed individuals being gunned down and the armed individuals falling back on a “stand your ground” defense. It does not help that the basis for such defense is often seen as in fact “grounded” in racial prejudice, stereotypes, and inexplicable fear.

The state of Florida is starting to find itself developing a reputation of paranoia combined with an excessive willingness to start shooting anything that moves. More troubling than this is that state citizens seem to be struggling with an ideology where this is anything less than the norm; where they cannot fathom whether or not this excessive fear does or does not justify opening fire at unarmed strangers.

Dunn, unless his convictions are overturned, may very well grow old in and even die in prison. The family of Davis may or may not see the guilty verdicts as closure.

Still, others must wonder why Florida citizens are reluctant to call a fatal shooting where murder if it shakes the foundation of “Stand Your Ground”. And even if it’s possible there was no real ground to stand on.

For those who are uncertain about safety in a state with controversial and potentially lax gun laws, the precedent set by these cases may make individuals mark Florida off their list of places they desire to set foot in.

Image via Youtube

  • keithpridgeon

    As licensed carry individual in the state of florida for 23 years now I gotta say a couple of things. First and foremost Dunn should have been convicted of murder and Zimmerman should not have. I always said this was the case if anti-gunners wanted put Stand your ground on trial as Dunn had absolutely no defense in his actions. And no duty to retreat was the common law of the united states until the 60’s when over zealous prosecutors started putting forth the legal argument avenue and ability to escape. Almost no state has codified this tenant it was case law that made avenue and ability the law of the land not legislators. And lastly, I have carried a handgun very nearly every day of my life since leaving the army with out once feeling need to display it much less us it. We are not paranoid, racist, or fearful, merely prepared. I also carry a leatherman, and flashlight, both of which have been much useful than my handguns.

    • Swayderia Jodalina

      It is quite clear by the rash of “stand your ground” cases in Florida in recent years, Mr. Keithpridgeon, that not everyone in Florida has your common sense. So, I beg to differ, “We are not paranoid, racist or fearful” is not a true statement. It in fact, seems to apply to only some of the population of Florida. Just because you are a reasonable person who carries, doesn’t mean everybody else is. That’s the major problem for me with gun laws. The world is full of too many crazy, paranoid, fearful, and yes, racists people to support the freedoms allowed. It’s become quite clear to the rest of the country that the laws of Florida swing one way and if your skin tend to lean to the darker side, watch out. These verdicts only serve to prove what Black people in this country have known and continue to live through daily, their lives are of little value to the people of Florida.

      • patrickhenry13

        anybody who could convict zimmerman is a racist,plain and simple,and the missing 3 minutes where these black punks went and hid the gun should have been further looked into..there is now a man going to jail for protecting his life…black racists have made that happen,shame is what you should feel,deep shame..

    • Karen Matthews

      Unfortunately, not everyone thinks like you. Florida will not be seeing me OR MY MONEY. Not alone in this!

      • keithpridgeon

        That Mrs. Matthews is entirely within your rights and choice, but we actually have a fairly low rate of violent crime once you get north of Orlando, and our weather is beautiful even in February.

    • http://thenonlatinaafricanfromcuba.blogspot.com/ MilagrosGV

      This ia not about Zimmerman its about Dunn and the timid prosecution here in Fla where I have practiced law for over 40 years.
      My career has been focused on wrongful convictions and IMO this man planned to murder any Afrikan desc who spoke back to him..His holier than thou supremast mindset is what put is body in motion

      Dunn is a RACIST And he was out of line when asking citizens to turn music down.. Who does he think he is? MOVE! There were many spots where he could have parked?

      Case in point There is a perception about every Afrikan male in this US ” READ ” How to create a thug by Mychal smith! and then put your gun away .Who are you trying to impress here by telling readers that you own a gun? duh! Who does that?? You should be ashamed

      Being born an Arikan desc and living in amerikkka is a risk no matter my own success I am Afrikan Cuban! and every white timid man wants to murder me and my 5 sons

      Any responsible gun owner :
      1 Calls the police when he has to discharge his firearm
      2 Any decent human stands his ground and waits for the police to arrive and not leave the scene and go eat pizza
      3 A decent law abiding human does not believe ” quote” I did nothing wrong” after firing 9 rounds at a moving auto in a busy shopping area UNLESS he has something to hide?
      YES! whites are bent on one thing The murder of Afrikan desc any and everywhere they can and with impunity and by any means necessary.

      This is not over. Now last If you have a prob with my words, my gramma, run on sentences LOL, way of writing et/al lets dialouge after all its not about you or me RIGHT! I am on facebook Google me

      • Saramada7979

        HI MilagrosGV, I’m a afro Cuban too, I ‘ve born in Cuba, and now living in Florida I’m interested to read your blog , but it’s for invitation only. can you hand me one? I would like to read it .It’s very rare to find a Cuban, that mind other causes beside, our own ” CUba libre de los Castros “

  • ConciousConsumerDE

    Both, Dunn and Zimmerman should have been convicted of murder. Both men killed unarmed, under age victims. Zimmerman made the choice to get out of his vehicle although he was instructed by the police to do the opposite.

    • pita

      Totally agree with you…

    • keithpridgeon

      Dunn shot an unarmed honor student for plating music to loud in a parking lot across the street from where he was pumping gas. Zimmerman shot a self proclaimed thug with an admitted history of violence who attacked him while he was doing something completely legal. The police did not have a case against Zimmerman and they knew it. A year and half and several million dollars later so does everyone else without partisan glasses clouding their vision. Now would I have gotten out of my truck and followed a person I suspected of robbery, not a chance. I would have called the cops and let them do their job as long as they were not engaged in physically harming someone. But it was not illegal for Zimmerman to follow Martin on a public sidewalk. So Martin had no legal right to attack Zimmerman for doing so. Now I am a big guy, but if someone attacks me I am going to engage in physical combat only until I can retrieve one of my handguns and then I will shoot them until they stop attacking me or I run out of ammunition.

      • Kenshin0011

        You weren’t there…So Dunn can be a cry baby and claim he felt his life was in danger and shoot up a van full of teens and get away with murder…and you can’t assume that Trayvon fought in self defense against Zimmerman who was stalking him and from cell phone testimony we know Trayvon felt threatened…hmmm. Zimmerman should have most definitely gotten manslaughter

        • keithpridgeon

          No I wasn’t there but the testimony, the evidence, and the personal history of Martin and Davis are pretty clear.

          • Kenshin0011

            Woah man, don’t even TRY to say the Dunn case is fuzzy, nothing fuzzy about that Dunn is supremely guilty. Now the Martin case is tougher, Nd you point out personal history of Martin…Did Martin ever assault cop or his girlfriend? No, Zimmerman did, talk about TRUE freak history. The evidence shows that Zimmerman stalked Trayvon in the night and that Trayvon felt threatened. Those are facts. Martin was unarmed. That’s a fact. Martin had no issues with Zimmerman besides being threatened by him. In this case, he should have gotten manslaughter

          • keithpridgeon

            No I did not say that, in fact I said the opposite. Davis was an honr student who had never been in any kind of trouble. And Dunn had a history of not getting along with neighbors and co workers, There is no comparison of the 2 cases. Zimmerman was justified, Dunn is a murderous cretin who should have been convicted of 1st degree murder.

          • Kenshin0011

            You weren’t there, how do you know that Zimmerman didn’t have his gun exposed. Hmm, you’re Trayvon and your minding your own business walking home when there’s a random guy stalking you and you even tell your girlfriend that he’s stalking you. Why would Trayvon decide to suddenly attack this guy unless he was provoked to defend himself against Zimmerman? The facts show that this is Manslaughter

          • keithpridgeon

            Again their history, Martin had history of violence and aggression. His own tweets and im’s proved this. Davis did not.

          • Kenshin0011

            ZIMMERMAN IS THE ONE WHO HAD A LITERAL CRIMINAL HISTORY OF VIOLENCE. Assaulting a police officer, abusing his girlfriend, abusing his gf even after the trial, and doing a celebrity boxing match (HIS idea) with some rapper as if he is some celebrity for stalking and starting an altercation with Trayvon

        • patrickhenry13

          the punks in the suv had a gun,they had 3 minutes to ditch it,and if gaytron had not picked a fight he woudn’t be dead..

          • http://thenonlatinaafricanfromcuba.blogspot.com/ MilagrosGV

            Prove it

          • patrickhenry13

            the truth was shown to the zimmerman jury,the only thing dunn did wrong was not find a lawyer that was willing to fight for him..but black racists are getting caught at their lies,an it will get easy’re to catch them,more cameras,more eyes,more people willing to speak the truth…

      • Swayderia Jodalina

        Must be nice for you spell it out all black and white like that. Zimmerman was the good guy, Martin the “thug.” Helps you justify your stand to reduce that child’s life to a one word “epithet.” Half the people I know today who are productive artists, lawyers, businessowners, etc. smoke reefer when they were young. I suppose your teenage years were perfect, without fault. So, is what you’re saying that because this kid smoke reefer and make some mistakes in his life he deserved to shot down like a dog by a man who followed him? You can spin all you like, I disagree. I saw Zimmerman for what he was during the trial and his actions afterward only proved me right. Funny how you mention Martin’s shortcomings before the shooting, but you Zimmermites ALWAYS neglect to mention the troubles “Georgie” had with the law, with his wife, his in-laws. He was a cop wannabe who stalked this kid. There is nothing disputing that he stalked in the night, in the dark, in the rain. The defense contends Trayvon attacked him. There is NOTHING proving that, however, I believe it. Because I believe Zimmerman showed his gun, pulled it and Trayvon fought for his life. You better hope that some guy doesn’t swing at you one day coming out of a bar, you swing back, he hits the pavement, cracks his head — DEAD! Self Defense right? I sure do agree with your statement about “partisan glasses” Only I think you and other Zimmermites are the ones wearing them. He got away with it, he killed the kid, he got to play out his wannabe cop fantasies. What are you still whining about?

        • keithpridgeon

          Martin referred to himself as a thug and had bragged about beating people to the ground and slamming their heads against the ground. I have smoked weed and got into fights, so no I don’t think some weed and a fist fight makes a person deserving of death. But pretending Martin was a 12 year old angel who never did anything wrong was as disingenuous as calling Zimmerman a stalker and a cop wannabe. The evidence was fairly clear. Zimmerman was stupid, but he did not commit any illegal acts. You cannot assault people for following you on a public sidewalk. And if you brag about thuggish behavior it probably won’t reflect well in trial

      • patrickhenry13

        most people in the area are saying the punks in the suv were armed,and they had 3 minutes to get rid of it,,,maybe more people will arm themselves with dashboard cameras..then racist little black punks won’t get away with sending a guy to jail for the rest of his life,just for protecting himself..

        • keithpridgeon

          The young man in the SUV, and honor student and athlete named Jordan Davis who had never been in any trouble along with friends who had never been in any trouble were not only armed, but had the presence of mind to dump a shotgun so thoroughly that the police could not recover it, all while their friend lay dying.His life blood soaking into their clothes and the truck seats. I find that doubtful at best.

    • don76550

      He was instructed by a police dispatcher, not a police officer. Zimmerman was justifiably defending himself and all the whining and moaning of liberal racists like conscous and pita will not change that fact.

      • carson81

        No he wasn’t..He also neglected to tell them hey I have a loaded andgun on my hip and im following someone.irresponsible

      • patrickhenry13

        when he was instructed he started returning to his car,,get the facts straight,andstop helping these black racist pukes..

    • patrickhenry13

      dunn is a innocent man now going to jail for protecting his life,that you want to hide these punks behind a racist shield is shameful..black racism is shameful,you should know better..

      • Leo Jones

        go kill your mother and go swallow some pills u ignorant fool

  • don76550

    first degree murder requires premeditation. There was no premeditation here. He should have been charged with 2nd degree murder or manslaughter. Another case of white liberals overcharging to appease black racists.

    • Pariss K. London

      @Don76550, you never have a had a mind ,to lose it, you f n moron! I will be arm from now on, and I’m not taking any shit from guys like you, who have no f n balls! bitch

    • Marilynne Cathy Ousley

      Or they overcharged him purposely anticipating an acquittal on the murder charges. You don’t really know, do you?

    • keithpridgeon

      Depraved indifference is also murder one, so is homicide in the commission of a felony.

    • patrickhenry13

      lol,black racism,aint it cool.

    • liam0530

      Premeditation is not defined only by preplanning It can happen in an instant.
      The fact that he shot 10 times with a weapon that required him to consciously pull the trigger for each shot, could be viewed as premeditation, It is not the same as using an automatic weapon where you simply pull the trigger back and the weapon continues to fire.

  • Matt

    @keithpridgeon:disqus But being friends with some of Zimmerman’s friends, they all said he was crazy (I’ve also lived in Manassas all my life and my friends went to the same school he did). Zimmerman assaulted a cop and his ex-girlfriend, but Zim fought these charges to the death b/c he still really wants to be a cop someday and doesn’t want to have any kind of a record (it also helps his dad was a former judge who can very easily corrupt the system). Even his ex-wife says Zim thinks he’s invincible and says he’s a bad person. Trayvon was not guilty of anything…Zim just found an opportunity and ran with it. Even one of the jurors admits Zimmerman got away with murder and he did. Zim is reckless and if he doesn’t shape up NOW, he’s going to end up just like O.J. Simpson!

    • patrickhenry13

      did you follow the trial? are you proud of being ignorant? are you proud of being a black racist? are you proud of defending the guilty,and condemming the innocent..

      • Matt

        No…I’m proud of defending the innocent, which were Davis and Martin. Question is, did YOU follow the trial? Are YOU proud of being ignorant? Are YOU proud of being a white racist? Dunn was in no way, shape, or form innocent. He was a fat, middle-aged trigger-happy racist looking for an excuse to kill. And he did and this time, the whole “Stand Your Ground” defense worked against him. Don’t be mad because there was actual justice in this case. Oh, and btw I’m white.

        • patrickhenry13

          matt,matt,matt,i think we both know your black,but it’s ok being a black racist is cool,the lawyer in the zimmerman case did his job,he proved that the punk was a theif,a druggie,and hoping to kick zimmermans arse…the lawyer in the dunn case didn’t do his job,just the fact the little black punks left the station,were gone 3 minutes then returned..which gave them the time to ditch the gun..now there is a innocent guy that is going to be sitting in jail for the rest of his life..but, being the 5 year old black racist that you are it will take more then my words to show you the truth,i’ll just have to wait for the day you get into the same situation,and have it proven to you,or go talk to your local police,they will tell you how many times little black punks will lie,even if there is ten people standing right there that saw the truth..you’ve been deluded matt,go find reality matt before it leaves you behind forever…save yourself matt,your the only one who can..

  • patrickhenry13

    most grassroot comments from that area are sayig there was a gun pointed at him,along with the right to carry,florida should insist that all people have cameras running at all time..maybe that missing 3 minutes would show up somewhere,and the gun would be found..

    • carson81

      Maybe if dunn cae the piole instead of aci likit never happene would’ve helped

    • Kenshin0011

      Bullsh!t, if Dunn truly saw the gun than he wouldn’t have fled like the pansy he is

      • patrickhenry13

        dunn, did what he should do,he shot at someone pointing a gun at him,the only mistake he made was letting them run away and hide the gun,he should have reloaded and took out the tires..

      • patrickhenry13

        how long has reality been something you ignore,saw gun, got his gun,shot punks…punks ran away..punks came back after they got rid of gun…end of story…

  • Chris Gil

    There we have it, another classic case of COWARDS walking around with concealed weapons shooting innocent kids and then claiming they were threatened. In the state of Florida and the rest of the USA, when these COWARDS shoot a person of color it is stand your ground, but soon as a white person is the victim it becomes murder. Florida is today, what Mississippi was like in the 50’s and 60’s a bunch of racist rednecks, the only difference is sears can’t sell them any white sheets. The law will only change when they start to shoot unarmed white kids. The WORLD knows that if that COWARD Zimmerman had gunned down an unarmed white kid instead of an unarmed black kid, he would be in prison now. Either way you look at it, that COWARD Zimmerman is hiding under every rock he can find and no amount of concealed weapons can protect this COWARD. It’s just a matter of time before someone catches up with him, he can run but he can’t hide. For all you racist COWARDS hiding behind emails , if it was your unarmed child that Zimmerman and Dunn gunned down what would you do.

  • Jangarvy

    All I have to say is F___ the State of Florida with this B.S. no one should contribute to there economy find some where else to go on vacation.

  • ed

    So if two angry people in Florida gets into an argument with each other and each of them feel they have a right to stand their ground, we could have an old west shoot out. If it is lawful to stand your ground and many innocent bystanders are killed, the killing of the bystanders would be legal or justified because the combatants were engaged in legal activities. More often than not, if citizens are killed while the police are engaged in official duties, it is called collateral damage.

  • CoyoteMan50

    Stand your ground laws are made for white people who don’t like black people or people of other races. Admit that and dump that law.
    This is the 21st. Century not the Gunfight at the OK Corral. 😛