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Parents of Jordan Davis bash Stand Your Ground law during Jacksonville town hall

Posted: May 22, 2014 - 9:26pm  |  Updated: May 22, 2014 - 9:54pm
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Will.Dickey@jacksonville.com  Ronald Davis (from left) and Lucia McBath, parents of slain teenager Jordan Davis, talk with reporters Kent Justice and Melissa Ross during the town hall.  Will Dickey
Will Dickey
Will.Dickey@jacksonville.com Ronald Davis (from left) and Lucia McBath, parents of slain teenager Jordan Davis, talk with reporters Kent Justice and Melissa Ross during the town hall.

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Stand Your Ground has become a ubiquitous phrase in Jacksonville since the trials of Michael Dunn and Marissa Alexander. On Thursday it was the focus during a town hall meeting at the studios of WJCT that included supporters and opponents of the controversial law.

The 2005 Stand Your Ground law removed the duty to retreat in Florida for those who believe their lives are in danger, allowed the use of deadly force and provided immunity from criminal prosecution or civil lawsuits.

Ron Davis and Lucia McBath, the parents of a slain Jacksonville teenager, spoke against Stand Your Ground at the start of the program Thursday.

“We know this law is not a good law,” McBath said. “It does not protect citizens as it was designed to.”

Dunn, the man charged with killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis, never claimed Stand Your Ground. But Ron Davis said it may have led Dunn to think he could shoot his son. Also, Stand Your Ground permeated the case because it was in the jury instructions.

Co-host of the town hall meeting Melissa Ross of WJCT pointed out that polls show the majority of Floridians support Stand Your Ground. But Davis said most people don’t understand the law.

The law says you have a right to stand your ground if you have a “reasonable” fear for your life. But what’s reasonable to one person isn’t reasonable to another, he said.

And the law encourages confrontations by removing the duty to retreat, Davis said.

McBath also said she’s trying to put a human face on Stand Your Ground by traveling around the country and speaking about her son.

“A lot of people are very removed from the law,” she said. “They need to see the faces of people who are affected by it.”

Jordan Davis, a black teen, was shot at a Southside Gate gas station in November 2012 by Dunn, who is white and who’d previously complained about the loud music emanating from the car Davis was in.

Dunn later told police that when he asked the teenagers in the vehicle to turn the music down Davis became angry and started cursing him before getting out of the car with a gun and advancing toward him.

The other teenagers in the car said Davis did become angry and cursed at Dunn, but never got out of the car and didn’t have a gun. They said Dunn became enraged when Davis cursed at him, screamed “you can’t talk to me like that” and pulled out a gun and started firing.

Dunn was convicted of three counts of attempted murder for shooting at the three other teenagers in the vehicle, Tevin Thompson, Tommie Stornes and Leland Brunson. But the jury deadlocked on whether Dunn was guilty of killing Davis, and a mistrial was declared.

Ciara Taylor, political director of the Dream Defenders, a group that held a monthlong sit-in outside the office of Florida Gov. Rick Scott in opposition to the Stand Your Ground law, said the law was biased against minorities.

Statistics have shown that white people are more likely to get off than people of color when they claim Stand Your Ground, she said.

But Cord Byrd, an attorney who specializes in gun rights and Second Amendment issues, said self-defense has been an important part of the law for centuries, and Stand Your Ground is an extension of that.

Co-host Kent Justice of town hall co-sponsor WJXT TV-4, asked Byrd if Stand Your Ground wasn’t superfluous if self-defense is already allowed. But Byrd said Stand Your Ground was needed to protect law-abiding people from overzealous prosecutors.

Rod Sullivan, law professor at Florida Coastal School of Law, said Stand Your Ground was a misunderstood law.

The law will be back in the spotlight soon when Dunn is retried for murder. Alexander, who was convicted of firing a shot in the direction of her estranged husband and his two children, is also asking for a second Stand Your Ground hearing.

Alexander had a Stand Your Ground hearing before her original criminal trial. A judge denied her self-defense claim and she was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

But Alexander’s conviction was later thrown out on appeal and she is asking for another hearing before her trial begins.

Larry Hannan: (904) 359-4470

Comments (18)

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Newcastle
1379
Points
Newcastle 05/22/14 - 10:21 pm
0
0
Premium Member

Larry Hannan wrote, "Ron

Larry Hannan wrote, "Ron Davis and Lucia McBath, the parents of a murdered Jacksonville teenager..."

Murder has not been established; the sentence needs to be changed.

As for the parents, I am sorry for their loss, but they are totally wrong on the issue. Fortunately, most Floridians are in favor of the law. But as we are learning more and more, the will of the people can be circumvented by people in power.

exusarmyranger
203
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exusarmyranger 05/22/14 - 10:57 pm
0
0

If the "Stand Your Ground"

If the "Stand Your Ground" was not deemed acceptable by a judge for Dunn's defense, why are the victim's parents against it? Michael Dunn was an intoxiated, irrational, maniac and nothing he did constitued "Stand Your Ground".

Why should I as a rational, law abiding, gun owner that is licesced to conceal carry, have to retreat if I'm presented with a legitimate threat to mine or my families lives? The key word "legitimate" threat.

The only thing that needs to be clearly added to the law is : You can't start a conflict or confrontation and purposly escalte the situation to be able to justify deadly force.

Marissa Alexander? Did anyone keep up with her first trial? Her ex-boyfriend had a "restraining order" on her, and she had one against him. So, if they had any sense and followed the law the whole incident wouldn't have happened.

During her trial it was brought up, that she had actually retreated out of harms way. The threat was over for her. She returned with a firearm and shot at her ex-boyfriend missing him.

How does that meet any "Stand Your Ground" criteria?

If you train in self defense, you would know that sometimes retreating could put you in a serious disadvantage which could cause you more harm.

Jordan Davis should not have been killed. Michael Dunn will pay for the crime. I shouldn't get punished for Micheal Dunn's lack of good judgement.

Larry Hannan
57
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Larry Hannan 05/22/14 - 11:59 pm
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0
Premium Member

Newcastle: Thanks for

Newcastle:

Thanks for pointing that out. You're right, and the story has been changed.

Max mutt
8522
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Max mutt 05/23/14 - 12:20 am
0
0
Premium Member

It is not only the

It is not only the "defendant" that has to feel there is a "legitimate threat" but law enforcement and ultimately a jury has to agree.
SYG. Is an acceptable law and just because it removes a stupid "duty" to retreat , it does not remove the OPTION to retreat.
Dunn was not thinking SYG and it did not apply to his case.
If a gun had been found in the teens car then SYG might have applied but as ranger stated there was no credible threat and Dunn was guilty of manslaughter or at most second degree.

Davethecaveman
14375
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Davethecaveman 05/23/14 - 05:26 am
0
0

It seems that the whole issue

It seems that the whole issue is really not the SYG law but the SYG effect that is perceived by some Black people. Some look at it as a threat against them for White people to legally carry out their prejudice by shooting them. This is the problem in a nut shell. Of coarse this is not true, but the arguments will continue as long as there is prejudices in this world on both sides.

littleluke
516
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littleluke 05/23/14 - 06:59 am
0
0

If the loudmouth punk thug

If the loudmouth punk thug could have kept his big mouth shut he'd still be alive - just like Traygone. But hey, whatcha gonna do?

The Enquirer
2853
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The Enquirer 05/23/14 - 07:16 am
0
0

They are the ones who don't

They are the ones who don't understand the SYG law. People will always kill regardless of this law. It's up to a competent Jury to know the difference. It's not rocket science. Personally I don't need a law to tell me when to run or SYG. I am not a killer at heart. So if I were to have to shoot someone, you can guarantee it was in self defense and necessary. Davethecaveman is right. The majority of black people are the ones who see a problem with the law. If "ALL" people would mind the law and be respectful of each other, this law would prove to be more effective when used. If you rob, mug, rape and kill each other or break into peoples homes, then this will continue to happen. I am all for being able to defend yourself when required. Do they really believe if the SYG law was appealed or changed, people would do different?

floridakrakker2
1835
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floridakrakker2 05/23/14 - 07:57 am
0
0
Premium Member

I, who can carry and conceal,

I, who can carry and conceal, would remove myself I could. My nature would not be to shoot and ask questions later, human nature is to retreat. However, there are those that are illegally carrying a gun looking to shoot and prove something - like many do today.

Perhaps I am wrong, but from what I read and see in the news, mostly black men/boys that carry the guns. Day in and day out news reports talk of black on black crime. I think that problem should be fixed BEFORE any law designed to give a law abiding citizen the ability to protect themselves is changed.

That said, I would imagine that the duty to "retreat" is likely assumed in the SYG law. I seriously doubt people think they have been encouraged or empowered to shoot as their first move. Unlike the Davis case, Zimmerman was stupid and should NOT have gone back after Martin. As for Dunn, in his case I truly think he if did not have a gun, he would have never told those boys to quiet the music. Albeit, from my own experience, I believe that blasting music is deliberate and pokes at people to react, as was the case for Dunn.

Davis should have, out of COURTESY to others black and white, to tone down the music. There is NO reason that music has to be blasting in the first place sitting idle at a storefront or red light for that matter. No one of any race in their 50's wants to hear blaring music.

This whole ordeal could have been avoided in the first place

GrumpierOldMan
2098
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GrumpierOldMan 05/23/14 - 07:57 am
0
0
Premium Member

"Dunn . . . never claimed

"Dunn . . . never claimed Stand Your Ground."

Although it is not politically correct to say it, had Mr. Davis had been taught common manners and respect for his elders, he would still be alive. His friends had the sense to act in a civilized manner.

This case is a tragedy on all sides.

ratter
3170
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ratter 05/23/14 - 08:20 am
0
0
Premium Member

One would think it might be

One would think it might be more beneficial to have the parents "bash" or comment on things that actually have something to with the death of their son. As in "road rage" or failed parenting, for example.

RetiredJSO
501
Points
RetiredJSO 05/23/14 - 08:36 am
0
0
Premium Member

Now that their son is dead,

Now that their son is dead, they seem to really care about him, when he was alive they did not care that he was hanging out with a convicted felon.

bigeasyz
2240
Points
bigeasyz 05/23/14 - 08:36 am
0
0

Here we go again.. Jordan

Here we go again.. Jordan Davis parents trying to make money off of the death of their son.. Jordan's bad behavior cause his death..I am not saying Dunn was right..It's just if Jordan wasn't acting like a thug he would probably still be alive today, maybe.

Jordan's Parent need to use their son as an example how not to act in public..If everybody respected each other stuff like this would not have happen..

I guess they wont to do away with SYG law. So the thugs can just beat or rob us and we can't do anything about it..

I wont to know what Ron Davis would do if he was confronted by some thugs?? Would he just lay there and take it or would he fight back...

finder
3800
Points
finder 05/23/14 - 09:54 am
0
0
Premium Member

I see there are still a few

I see there are still a few folks that try to mix juries with SYG. If there is a jury it is not SYG. People need to get that trough their head. Including a LOT of the media folks that want to keep stirring that pot to get a story.

Martin was not handled as SYG nor is Davis being handled as SYG. The only similarity to between a jury trial and SYG is that the words for self defense in a criminal trial are similar to SYG but they are two completely different scenarios.

tobot241
7772
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tobot241 05/23/14 - 10:01 am
0
0
Premium Member

""The law says you have a

""The law says you have a right to stand your ground if you have a “reasonable” fear for your life. But what’s reasonable to one person isn’t reasonable to another, he said.""

At the time of the danger the ONLY person who can decide if it is reasonable is the one faced with the threat.
Cops and juries are not present.

If evidence or circumstances show that it was not reasonable SYG is not allowed as a defense.

flusher
538
Points
flusher 05/23/14 - 11:59 am
0
0
Premium Member

Pervasive ignorance on SYG

Pervasive ignorance on SYG and selective outrage continue their march, while avoiding the real issues in the African-American communities. The liberal media are determined to keep the cinders smoldering until all law-abiding citizens are separated from their guns.

IamWatching
145
Points
IamWatching 05/23/14 - 12:59 pm
0
0

Not sure, really, why I'm

Not sure, really, why I'm even bothering to leave a post here. I'm so freakin' fed up with the lame and lazy media market in Jax, which universally likes to push buttons by assigning race when it serves to sensationalize "news" stories.

For example, just the other day I stumbled upon Channel 4's (THE local station...yeah, right!) half-witted coverage of a student beating at Mandarin Middle School, in which school videotape clearly showed a white kid getting pummeled by the fists of a black kid. Not a mention was made about the attacker(s). I guarantee you that if the races were reversed in that beating incident, the story angle would have much different. But why?

Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis were punk thugs who had no regard for anyone's space or rights; they were most certainly not the innocent, misplaced, life-loving darlings we're continuously coaxed to believe. Their types -- whether white, black, asian or hispanic -- permeate society from all corners. They are out to find trouble, and when they do, it's always someone else's problem or fault.

bigeasyz
2240
Points
bigeasyz 05/23/14 - 04:10 pm
0
0

I find this kind of

I find this kind of funny..They could not control their own son, yet they are trying to control a state...

Gadfly
6803
Points
Gadfly 05/23/14 - 04:49 pm
0
0

I agree with "finder" but

I agree with "finder" but take it a step further.

It is one thing to be ignorant of the law (most liberals commenting on this story) and it is another to lie about the Stand Your Ground Law (the Davis family) but for the T-U to willfully refuse to inform the ignorant and to correct the lies in the story is not just a betrayal of the ethics of traditional journalism but in direct violation of the spirit of the 1st amendment.

Same on you T-U for allowing yellow journalism to taint your paper.

I miss the old T-U.

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