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Man had no right to confront teens blasting music: Mitchell

Michael Dunn

Michael Dunn

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Updated: March 12, 2014 6:26AM



It wasn’t “loud music” that led to the killing of 17-year-old Jordan Davis in Jacksonville, Fla.

It was the misguided notion on the part of the shooter that he could force his will on teenagers.

Michael Dunn, 47, a white software engineer, is on trial for first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder for a shooting that began with him asking a car full of black teens to turn down their loud music.

The trial is drawing to a close, with no evidence that any of the teens had guns.

Like the Trayvon Martin tragedy, where George Zimmerman felt he had a right to confront an unknown black teenager in his neighborhood, Dunn shouldn’t have said anything to these teens.

In fact, there was no reason for Dunn to think these teens were going to jump at his command as if he were the mall cop.

He’s not special. Most people can’t stand being bombarded with filthy lyrics. But we roll up our windows and keep moving.

The lyrics that pushed Dunn over the edge just happened to be by Lil Reese, a young Chicago rapper whose creative genius consists of how many ways he can call a woman a “b----” and a man a “n-----.”

“Beef” was booming when Dunn asked the teens to turn the music down. At first, the driver of the vehicle complied. Then, Davis told his friend to turn the volume back up and Dunn and the teen exchanged profanities, according to testimony.

Dunn, who had a concealed weapons permit, told police he thought Davis had a gun. After words flew back and forth, Dunn got his 9 mm handgun from his glove compartment and fired at least 10 shots at the parked vehicle, killing Davis.

Police did not find any guns or other deadly weapons in the teen’s vehicle.

After fleeing the scene and failing to report the shooting to police, Dunn is now trying to hide behind Florida’s “stand-your-ground” defense.

“Dunn had every right not to be a victim,” his defense attorney, Cory Strolla, told the jury, according to the Associated Press.

But in this situation, Dunn was far from being a victim.

The teens didn’t drag him out of his car and physically attack him, nor did they harass his girlfriend when she got out of the car to go inside of the store.

What they did was disrespect Dunn’s authority, and apparently that was enough to turn him into an armed aggressor.

Had he not said a word to these teens, none of this would have occurred.

Perhaps, Dunn was emboldened by his “conceal-and-carry” privileges, but he mishandled this situation and is responsible for the death of another unarmed black teenager.

Yes, these teens could have responded differently. They could have said “yes, sir,” and turned down the volume. And I don’t condone teens cursing out adults.

If the teens were breaking the law by playing loud music, Dunn should have called the police, not acted like he was the police.

Frankly, I could understand Dunn confronting the teens had they parked SUV outside his home and bombarded the block with Lil Reese.

But these teens were parked in a gas station/convenience store parking lot.

The most Dunn should have done was complain to the store’s management and ask them to address the nuisance. Instead, Dunn went Rambo. That’s just wrong.

Dunn has the right to hate rowdy behavior.

But he had no right to kill.

For that, I hope the jury puts him in prison where loud music will be the least of his worries.

Email: marym@suntimes.com

Twitter: @MaryMitchellCST



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