By Brandon Lewis, Staff Writer
Here we go all over again. Nine months after the shooting death of Travyon Martin, another black teenager has been senselessly murdered. Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old Florida boy, was shot and killed Nov. 23 by Michael Dunn, a 45-year-old white male. Dunn and his girlfriend were in the Jacksonville, Fla. area to attend the his son’s wedding, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
They stopped at a convenience store where Davis and his friends were sitting in a vehicle in the store’s parking lot. Dunn confronted Davis and asked him to turn down the volume of the music coming from his car. Words were exchanged and escalated to Dunn pulling out a gun and firing eight to nine shots into the vehicle. Davis was shot twice while the other passengers, including the driver, were not injured. All in all, it seems to me that another innocent black youth was gunned down for no apparent reason at all.
Davis’ death has been compared to that of Trayvon Martin. In both instances, the victims were unarmed and confronted by the suspects. Both suspects claimed that they felt threatened by the unarmed victims. And the parents of Davis and Martin revealed that their sons were upstanding and innocent individuals. The major difference in the Davis case is that Dunn has already been charged with murder, while it took more than six weeks for George Zimmerman to be arrested and officially charged. The fact that Zimmerman was not immediately charged was what baffled the public and caused backlash and protests across the nation. It seems as if Davis may receive justice before Martin does.
What baffled me were the self-defense claims in both cases. Martin was on his way to his father’s home when Zimmerman confronted him. Zimmerman claimed he felt threatened by Martin but decided to follow him rather than listen to the objections of the 911 operator on the phone.
If you felt your life was at risk, you would not follow the person causing your fear. You would just call the police and listen to their instructions. The same goes for Dunn. If he felt his life was in some sort of danger, he should have removed himself from the situation instead of taking the matters into his own hands.
Both cases have brought up the question of whether the “stand your ground” law is a good idea. U.S. News & World Report describes the law as giving a person the right to use deadly force in self-defense without the duty to retreat when faced with a reasonable perceived threat. Zimmerman was not immediately arrested because of this Florida law. He claimed that he was defending himself, but he brought the situation to himself. Martin was minding his business and had no intention of interacting with him. Same goes for Davis. He was enjoying time with his friends listening to music and was confronted by the perpetrator. Those that feel threatened in a situation usually don’t bring these situations on themselves. Davis had no weapon on him to make his killer feel threatened.
Personally, it’s just sad that another young black male won’t get the opportunity to attend college or chase his dreams. It’s unfortunate that Davis’ parents won’t get the chance to see him marry and establish a family. Death came too soon for both these young men for reasons other than health or pure accident. Their deaths were deliberate, and the violence needs to stop, plain and simple.