Another man who fatally shot a black teen in Florida is claiming a Stand Your Ground defense, according to reports.
A year ago, 45 year old Michael Dunn fatally shot 17 year old Jordan Davis after a dispute over loud music. Witnesses say Dunn fired into the vehicle, killing Jordon, even though the teens in the vehicle were unarmed.
Dunn is reportedly using Florida’s Stand Your Ground defense, which became notorious during the Trayvon Martin trial. The law allows gun owners to use deadly force without the duty to retreat. In short, even if a person feels that he or she can safely leave the scene, they have no duty to do so.
Dunn insists that someone in the car brandished a gun before he fired into the car with his 9mm, but police found no weapons at the scene or in the surrounding area. Dunn’s defense attorney claimed during a previous hearing that Davis’ friends left the scene after the shooting and may’ve hidden or disposed of the weapon:
During Tuesday’s bail hearing, defense attorney Cory Strolla said two people who called 911 that night reported that the Durango left the gas station parking lot moments after the gunfire. Strolla said those witnesses reported seeing two men jump out of the SUV and it appeared as if they were trying to hide something.
Detective M.A. Musser disputes this claim and says the teens never left the scene.
“They were just kids. … They have never been in trouble. The kids had no weapon; they had no drugs in the car,” said Davis’ father, Ron.
Although Dunn says he feared for his life when he fired into Davis’ vehicle, he did not explain why he fled the scene after firing into the vehicle. There were also no reports of Dunn calling 911 to report the incident.
In Florida there are 15,000 gun carry permits issued per month. Sadly, this is surely not the last stand your ground case we will see in the state.
Dunn has been charged with first degree murder and his trial is expected to begin soon.