Marian Wright Edelman

(NNPA)—The headlines in the case were sadly familiar. An angry adult armed with a gun used it to shoot and kill an unarmed Black teenager he thought seemed “bad.” This time because the teenager and his friends were sitting in a car listening to loud music the grownup didn’t like. In this outrageous Florida case a middle-aged White man, Michael Dunn, was convicted of three counts of attempted murder and one count of shooting a gun into an occupied car. Jurors agreed he faced no threat after he was annoyed by loud music—coming from a car he had deliberately chosen to park next to—and then started an argument, pulled a gun on the car’s Black teens, and fired three shots at the young men inside the car as they tried to drive away.

But the jury could not agree on the most serious charge of first-degree murder for shooting the first seven bullets at the stationary car and hitting 17-year-old Jordan Davis in his lung, liver, and aorta. Florida’s notorious “Stand Your Ground” law which gives gun owners a license to kill if they feel threatened was reportedly enough for three jurors to vote against conviction. At least one juror said she believed Michael Dunn did get away with murder.

In an interview with Good Morning America, Jordan’s mother, Lucia McBath, said: “Justice for Jordan will be, ultimately, really when we change the laws. Because that will be not just justice for Jordan, and justice for Trayvon, and justice for all the children at Sandy Hook, and justice for Aurora, and justice for Virginia Tech, and the Navy Yard—it will be justice for everyone that has suffered because of these laws, and will continue to suffer. So once the laws are changed, that’s the ultimate justice for all.”

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