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Michael Dunn’s Murder Trial (also known as “The Loud Music Trial”) is an ongoing trial of Florida resident Michael Dunn for fatally shooting 17-year-old Jordan Davis in November 2012. Since the trial began in early February 2014, the case has garnered much attention in the social media, with many speculating that the shooting may have been racially motivated and others comparing it to the trial of George Zimmerman trial, a Florida man who was charged with the murder of black teenager Trayvon Martin, but found to be not guilty in July 2013.
On Black Friday in 2012, Jordan Davis (shown below, right) was shot and killed by Michael Dunn (shown below, left) in Jacksonville, Florida following an argument regarding loud music coming from the car Davis was sitting in. Following the shooting, Dunn was charged with first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. Davis’ parents Ron and Lucy hired lawyer John Michael Phillips in the case against Dunn and to work against Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” laws.
News Media Coverage
On November 28th, 2012, The Young Turks YouTube talk show uploaded a segment discussing the murder, in which the hosts questioned the validity of Dunn’s “stand your ground” defense.
On July 14th, 2013, Redditor twr3x submitted a post to the /r/news subreddit, asking why the shooting of Jordan Davis was not headline news. Prior to being archived, the post gained more than 2,200 up votes and 530 comments. In the comments section, several Redditors replied that the story was not headline news because it was clear Dunn would be convicted of murder.
Justice For Dunn Movement
On September 26th, 2013, the JusticeForDunn website was launched, which includes Dunn’s version the events in which he claims he shot Davis in self defense after hearing several threats against his life and seeing what he thought was a shotgun in the rear passenger seat of the car. On November 5th, 2013, a the “Justice For Michael Dunn” Facebook was launched for discussions regarding the trial.
On February 3rd, 2014, jury selection for the trial commenced. According to the Twitter analytics site Topsy, there were 24,300 tweets containing the hashtag #dunntrial on February 10th (shown below).
On February 11th, Dunn took the stand to argue his defense, claiming he drove away from the scene of the crime after believing no one had been hurt, adding “I had every right of self-defense, and I took it.” Assistant State Attorney John Guy told jurors that Dunn told falsehoods to detectives during questioning, pointing out inconsistencies regarding the number of drinks he consumed that evening, a scowling man Dunn claims to have seen in the back seat of the vehicle and whether he heard Davis yelling “This (expletive)’s going down now!” prior to opening fire. Dunn’s fiance Rhonda Rouer testified that Dunn did not mention seeing a shotgun or any other weapon following the shooting.
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