Mar 3, 2014
In a trial in Jacksonville, Florida that should have been simple, resulting in conviction on all charges, once again a jury could not find the way to convict a white man of killing a young black man.
The jury convicted Michael Dunn of lesser charges, attempted murder for shooting into a car against three of its occupants. But it could not agree to convict him of murder for killing Jordan Davis, the young black man in the car whom he shot three times.
At the trial, Dunn claimed he was in fear of HIS life, that he saw a shotgun in the hands of the teen he shot, and that’s why he reached into his glove compartment, pulled out a gun and emptied ten rounds into a vehicle pulling away from him.
No one else saw the gun. No shots were fired from it. The police didn’t find it. Dunn himself never mentioned this imaginary gun for months – neither to the police nor to his fiancée.
His lawyer said only that there COULD have been a gun in the car, but in any case what mattered is that Dunn THOUGHT he saw a gun.
What absolute, foul nonsense. With that kind of “excuse,” anyone could kill anyone else and get away with it.
To be more exact: In this country, in the 21st century, any white racist can still kill a young black man and get away with it. Lynching hasn’t gone away, it’s just taken another form.
In a phone call from jail before the trial, Dunn complained: “I’m the victim here. I’m the victor, but I was the victim too.”
“The victor”? What kind of man considers himself a “victor” because he killed someone?
It’s true that Dunn was convicted of lesser charges because he continued to fire at the car after his first burst of gunfire killed the one young man.
And since then, some of the jurors say they all agreed that Dunn was wrong, that he never should have shot at all. But that jury could not convince itself that the life of a young black man mattered enough to convict his murderer of murder. And this verdict, like others before it, puts a target on the back of every young black man still alive.