Fla. Man Asserts ‘Stand Your Ground’ Defense as Justification for Allegedly Killing Unarmed Black Teen


(UPDATED December 22, 2012) A Florida man has been accused of shooting and killing an unarmed Black teenager over an argument about loud music, and is invoking the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law in his defense.

Police said Michael Dunn, 45, and his girlfriend, in the Jacksonville area for his son’s wedding, stopped at a convenience store Nov. 23 where Jordan Russell Davis, 17, and four other teenagers sat in a sport utility vehicle.

After parking next to the young people, Dunn asked the teens to turn the music down, Jacksonville police told The Orlando Sentinel.

According to the police account, words were exchanged between the two, after which Dunn fired eight or nine rounds, striking Davis twice and killing him instantly. No one else sustained injuries.

After the shooting, Dunn and his girlfriend sped away from the scene, but witnesses obtained his license plate number.

Dunn was later arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder. His lawyer said that her client acted “responsibly and in self-defense,” according to the Sentinel.

Dunn claimed he used self-defense in the incident, invoking Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. The law has become a hot issue following the February shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. by George Zimmerman, who has also claimed its protection.

Rebecca Dunn, Dunn’s daughter, defended him in a telephone interview with Jacksonville, Fla. ABC affiliate WJXX, saying her father did not intend to kill anyone.

“He got threatened and had to do what he had to do, and it’s sad, so sad,” Rebecca Dunn told the station. “A terrible tragedy on both sides. It really is. I don’t know. What are you going to do in that situation? You don’t know what you are going to do. He just reacted”

Davis was a student at Samuel W. Wolfson High School, a magnet school in Duval County, Fla. He will be buried in his hometown of Marietta, Ga.

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