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Protests grow outside trial of Jordan Davis' killer, jury deliberates fourth day

By staff

Social media banner used by rally organizers in Jacksonville

Jacksonville, FL – Protests continue to grow outside the murder trial of Michael Dunn. Dunn is the racist vigilante who shot and killed 17 year old African American youth Jordan Davis for playing loud music. Forty people chanted, “Turn up for Jordan Davis” and “Murder is a crime, Michael Dunn should do the time” outside the Duval County Courthouse on February 14.

Members of the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference are leading the protests.

The atmosphere outside the courthouse was tense as the majority-white jury deliberated on the first-degree murder and attempted murder charges faced by Dunn. Many protesters discussed the disturbing similarities with the George Zimmerman trial, in which the killer of Trayvon Martin received a not-guilty verdict. State Attorney Angela Corey's office failed in its prosecution of Zimmerman and now their case against Dunn seems shaky.

“The only way we can be counted and heard is to speak up loudly when injustices are happening,” said Estefania Galvis, an organizer with the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition. Galvis was one of the lead organizers of the Justice for Trayvon Martin protests after the Zimmerman verdict in Sanford, FL last year.

Critics of State Attorney Corey point out that she did not charge Dunn with hate crimes, despite letters Dunn wrote from jail that contain explicitly racist messages, referring to young African Americans as “thugs”.

“Michael Dunn has shown a supremacist attitude, not only towards the young African American man he murdered, but also toward the woman in his life,” said Galvis. “He denies that the word 'thug' is part of his vocabulary, and calling his partner 'emotionally incapable of remembering' his mentioning a gun, are examples of his racism and sexism.” Dunn's fiancé, who was in the car with him when he killed Davis, testified that Dunn never mentioned seeing a gun the entire day after the shooting took place.

After the jury deliberations ended for the day, Jordan Davis' father, Ron Davis, gave a short statement to the press on the steps of the court. He thanked the media and people of Jacksonville for supporting his family and his son throughout the trial.

Activists outside the trial are holding a press conference at 9:15 am on Saturday, shortly after jury deliberations resume. Courthouse demonstrators will hold vigil throughout the day, and organizers plan a large rally after the verdict. Many are dismayed that the jury is deliberating such a clear-cut case of cold-blooded murder. They are worried the result will be a hung jury, or even worse “not guilty”. Turnout for the Saturday protest is likely to be bigger.

Before the protesters dispersed for the night, Galvis added, “It is important for the people of Jacksonville to come out and demonstrate given the fact that it's the only way we can truly be represented – by raising our voices and taking a stand for justice for Jordan Davis. We need justice for all Black and other oppressed nationalities that are being imprisoned and murdered every day.”

Rally organizers are asking people on social media websites, like Twitter and Facebook, to show their support using the hashtag, #Justice4Jordan.

Protesters leading chants outside courthouse

Protesters rally outside courthouse demanding justice for Jordan Davis

Father of Jordan Davis at press conference after jury deliberations end for day

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