In the wake of yet another high profile verdict involving the murder of a Black teenager, here we are grappling with its aftermath. This feeling is all too familiar, and to compound this common pain, is the fact that it occurred in Florida again. Michael Dunn, who gunned down 17 year old Jordan Davis for playing music too loud just had a mistrial. He was found guilty on four counts, but the jury could not decide if Dunn was guilty of killing Davis.
Even at this moment, I find it somewhat difficult to gather my thoughts on the rationale of the charges. How can you find someone guilty of attempted murder of the other passengers in the car, and not reach a similar conclusion on the death of Jordan himself? Also, the implications here are quite unsettling. Is the jury inferring that Dunn only went too far by firing into a car with other people besides Davis? Does Stand Your Ground legally mean “Kill/attempt to kill only one Black person at a time?”
Where does this leave us? Well, logically, it means that as long as Stand Your Ground laws are on the books, cases like this will be ever more common. Until these laws change, then legally, Black life will continue not to matter.