Florida’s now infamous "Stand Your Ground" law, that came under fire after George Zimmerman invoked it in the killing of Trayvon Martin, is once again the center of controversy after a 45-year-old White man shot and killed an unarmed Black teenager.
The victim, 17-year-old Jordan Russell Davis, and his friends were listening to music in the parking lot of a gas station when, according to The Orlando Sentinel, Michael Dunn pulled alongside the teen’s SUV and confronted them, asking the group to decrease the volume.
The teens refused and a heated verbal exchange ensued resulting in Michael firing eight or nine shots into the car full of teens, hitting Jordan twice and killing him.
Lt. Rob Schoonover of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office told reporters that the incident took place around 7:40 p.m. Friday. Michael was arrested Saturday and charged with murder and attempted murder.
Authorities are still trying to determine how the verbal altercation escalated into such violence.
In a telephone interview with ABC 25, Michael’s daughter Rebecca proclaimed her father’s innocence saying that he did not intend to kill anyone and was simply responding to a threat.
"He got threatened and had to do what he had to do, and it’s sad, so sad," offered Rebecca. It’s "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."
Michael’s lawyer echoed Rebecca’s claims of innocence, saying her client acted "responsibly and in self defense." The claim falls under Florida’s "Stand Your Ground" law.
Michael, who was a student at a magnet school in Duval County, will be buried in his hometown of Marietta, GA, according to the Huffington Post, which also reported that Michael’s family plans to start a foundation in his honor for teens that have been the victim of tragedy.
Many are already comparing the incident to that of Trayvon Martin who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watchman earlier this year.
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Should Florida repeal the "Stand Your Ground Law" now that another Black teen has lost his life? Leave your comments below.