Testimony began Feb. 7 in the murder case of Michael Dunn, a Florida man accused of fatally shooting 17-year-old Jordan Davis after arguing with the Black youth about music playing in a car in which Davis was a passenger.
Dunn, 47, who is White, shot Davis at a Jacksonville, Fla. convenience store in November 2012. Dunn told authorities he thought the youth had a gun.
But friends who were with Jordan said Dunn was aggressive and had rudely challenged them about music that was playing in the car.
Jordan’s friend, Tommie Stornes, testified Feb. 7 about the events that occurred on the night of the shooting.
“I was in a panic,” he said. “I remember running around the car…” He testified that there had been no gun in the car that night.
A jury of 12 and four alternates was selected Feb. 6.
Dunn claims that the killing was justified under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, a statute that allows individuals in fear for their life to defend themselves with deadly force, without the requirement to attempt to retreat first.
According to the Associated Press, Dunn’s attorney, Cory Strolla of West Palm Beach, Fla., said Dunn “feels that he was the victim of a political system pressured to appease a certain body of constituents.”
“It has been a very long and tenuous year for my client, spent in isolation in the Duval County jail,” Strolla wrote in an e-mail to the AP. “Mr. Dunn has been continually threatened, harassed and tormented by inmates for over a year now, and has received almost no mental health counseling by staff.”
“It’s spooky how racist everyone is up here and how biased toward Blacks the courts are,” Dunn wrote in a letter from jail that was released by prosecutors. “This jail is full of Blacks and they all act like thugs…This may sound a bit radical but if more people would arm themselves and kill these **** idiots when they’re threatening you, eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior.”
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