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I don’t think anyone will ever be able to connect the racism dots when it comes to George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. The really creepy part about the two names is that they will forever be interconnected, like Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth. While not of the same magnitude as a presidential assassination, a life is still a life is still a life, and none is more valuable than another, whether red, yellow, black, white or any shade in between. We’re not talking red state/blue state; we’re talking about life and death, and it’s not a game.

Let’s take a quick look at the sad case of 45-year-old Michael Dunn. News reports say he “allegedly” fired 8-9 shots into an SUV parked at a convenience store on Friday night. I say there’s nothing alleged about it. He did it. The question is why. He said he didn’t mean to kill anyone. 8 or 9 bullets and he didn’t mean to what? The fact that he fired at all is a tragedy.

Michael David Dunn

From all accounts, Dunn and his girlfriend had just left his son’s wedding reception and stopped at a Gate Post convenience store in Jacksonville on the way back to their hotel room. He pulled up next to the SUV that had music booming LOUDLY. When he got out of his vehicle, he confronted the occupants and complained. TURN IT DOWN, he screamed. An argument ensued and Dunn pulled out his gun. Some of the shots struck and killed 17-year-old high school student Jordan Davis, who was sitting in the backseat. No one in the SUV was armed, according to initial reports. Lt. Rob Schoonover with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said, “They were listening to a little music. It was loud, they admitted that, but, I mean, that’s not reason for someone to open fire on them.” (See: Many unanswered questions in loud music killing)

Jordan Davis fb pic

I hate to drag Florida through the coals again because shootings happen all over the world. Texas is a great state for shooting from the hip, so we are far from alone. Taken at face value, this seems to be your typical white-on-black shooting, and in some circles, the killer would be considered justified because of two simple “reasons” — the shooter owned his gun legally and the victim was black. Or African-American, if we need to be politically correct. Need more ‘splainin’? Talk to the hand. But it seems that the mere fact of being white and owning a gun somehow legitimizes a killing, but only if the victim is of color. God forbid that two white boys with concealed carry permits gun each other down. That would never make the news because there’s no worthy angle, and angles are the nature of news; black/white or white/black. Just like Hispanic/Hispanic doesn’t go far. There’s no racial edge.

We may question the motives of an angry white man leaving his son’s wedding reception where, I’m sure, alcohol flowed freely. We don’t know if Dunn even had a drop to drink, but we do know that a defenseless 17-year-old boy is dead. Others were injured. What sort of threat could any of them have been to the gunman? Why, if the shooter was so innocent, did he leave the scene and return to his hotel, only to drive home to Brevard County in the morning, where he was found and arrested? No one EVER shoots up a vehicle and leaves the scene unless they hope they were never noticed.

Dunn entered a not guilty plea on Monday to charges of murder and attempted murder. His attorney said he acted responsibly and in self-defense. Shades of stand your ground! I can see it coming! At the precise second Dunn pulled out his gun, he felt threatened.

While I feel that people like George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn make a mockery of the stand your ground law, some dynamics are at work. While its intent may be all well and good, there are idiots who interpret SYG as a license to kill. They take more than the law into their own hands because, in both situations here, the shooter was the instigator, the judge, the jury and the executioner. It seems as if people like them believe they are wearing SYG armor and are impervious to prosecution. It’s called an arrogant sense of entitlement. Go figure.

Mark my words, Dunn’s defense team will subpoena Jordan Davis’s cell phone records. If the boy owned a smart phone, the defense will collect information from it; who he talked to, sent text messages to, and where he visited online. Rest assured, if he listened to Hip Hop music, used Hip Hop text language and visited gangsta sites, like all of today’s youth, he will be painted as a no good degenerate, just like the picture Mark O’Mara will try to portray of Trayvon Martin. It’s called character assassination. This leads me to an obvious segue. Please allow me to ‘splain. Yo, Yo, Yo…


Word on the street (and in the Orlando Sentinel) is that law enforcement has failed to download all of the data from Trayvon Martin’s cell phone, particularly what’s stored on the chip residing inside the phone. Why? Because the phone is still password protected. Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father, knows the PIN, but he has yet to turn it over to authorities. There may be a few reasons for withholding that number, too, but what’s important to note first is that the defense does have information regarding the last few calls, according to Mark O’Mara. We’ll get back to that.


The gist of the matter is rather plain and easy to understand, but first the problem about perception. If Tracy Martin is keeping the PIN away from law enforcement, he must be hiding something, right? I mean, what else could the reason be? This would prove the kid was up to no good and deserved to be shot. George’s mission from God that night was to take out a boy who was clearly on a path of evil and destruction. Who knows how many people he would have harmed had he not been stopped right then and there; the night of February 26?

Yeah, right. How delusional.

If the Sanford police came to my door, showed me a photograph of my dead son and said he was killed in self-defense, only to find out later that the circumstances might not have been as law enforcement presented them; that my son was actually the victim instead, would I be inclined to trust them with any evidence at all? Remember, it was the Sanford police that insisted the screams for help came from Zimmerman, and when pumped for an answer to that very question at a most inopportune moment, Tracy said he didn’t think it was Trayvon’s voice. Is it? Is it? Well, is it? The man was in agony and denial at the time. What would anyone expect from a grieving father, minutes away from finding out his son was dead and never coming back?

As time went on, it became apparent to Trayvon’s parents that the police were doing nothing to seek the truth regarding the death of their son. Things had deteriorated to the point that, on March 5, Sgt. Joe Santiago asked Tracy for the PIN, and his response was, at best, less than obligatory. He told the sergeant he’d check with his attorney. Three days later, during a March 8 news conference, Martin told the media he would not help the police because they were of no help to him. “My son left Sanford, Florida, in a body bag while George Zimmerman went to sleep in his own bed.”

What we must remember is that, while the PIN has been elusive, gaining important information from the phone has not. It was eventually sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, where crime lab specialist Stephen Brenton was able to analyze the contents of the SIM and SD cards. Without the PIN, the data on the phone’s internal chip remains a mystery, but the two cards were revealing enough. From the Orlando Sentinel:

The information downloaded by Brenton at the FDLE lab “tells me the last few phone calls, but that’s about it,” [Zimmerman defense attorney] O’Mara said. “It looks like there is other information that I should have.”

This leads me right back to the heart of the matter. What difference does it make to anyone about the phone calls, text messages and Website visits Trayvon made hours, days and weeks leading up to his death? Just like what I expect any criminal defense team to do, O’Mara’s goal will be to assassinate the character of Trayvon Martin. What other purpose would it serve? That would mean Trayvon would die twice — once in real life and once in the courtroom — and if I were his parents, I’d do nothing to help the defense team. Absolutely nothing. Because everything will be taken out of context in a world where half-full becomes half-empty, and innocent texts between Trayvon and his mother could readily turn into a new and freakier Casey Anthony sideshow; where simple words become innuendo, perversions, and complete distortions of the truth. That would truly be heartbreaking.

trayvon cellphone

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Comment Preferences

  •  Dave (0+ / 0-)

    thank you for this excellent post.  i have a semi-related question in regard to Zimmerman's attorneys reportedly requesting and being given duces tecum subpoenas to Trayvon Martin's school records, Facebook, and perhaps other social media.  

    first, aside from blaming the victim, is there any reasonable need for O'Mara to have these records?  second question is kind of an extension of the same.  what do they intend to blame him for, exactly?  

    i'm not really seeing how Trayvon Martin, a minor child, can be portrayed as anything but the victim he was.  

    •  Blaming the victim? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Hi, Avila. No, I know of no other reason why the defense wants Trayvon's school records, et al. The boy has no police record and, in the end, I believe it will be futile. Nothing damning will come out of the documents, but the defense does have a right to look. No matter what they cull, it will still be a tough sell on a jury. One doesn't prove another. In other words, spray painting graffiti does not make a person violent any more than Google searching a butterfly makes one a lepidopterologist.

      •  thanks, Dave (0+ / 0-)

        i appreciate the reply, and was disappointed that Trayvon's information was provided to the defense, even so.  i mean, they may have the right.  it's hard for me to be objective about this.  

        my hope is that O'Mara's attempt to blame a child who was walking home and fatally shot by Zimmerman will have the opposite effect.  

        what are your thoughts on Serino's retaining a defense attorney?  it surprised me at first.

  •  Casey Anthony (0+ / 0-)

    i'm pretty sure i met you with Judge Blevins, during this trial?  he was a huge fan of your work, no?  i'm pretty sure you're the same Dave. ;)

    •  Judge Perry (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Judge Belvin Perry took over when Judge Stan Strickland had to step down from the bench.   It was Strickland who complimented Dave on his writing.  Yes, you are right, it is the same Dave who runs this blog.

      Hope it was okay for me to answer, Dave.  

      The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

      by Tidalwave on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 06:16:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  thank you, Tidalwave (0+ / 0-)

        i remembered he was sort of a local celebrity. ;)

      •  Tidalwave is correct (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It was Judge Strickland and I have nothing but the utmost respect for him.

        Yes, Tidalwave, it was okay for you to answer. I've been busy.

        •  sorry, couldn't recall (0+ / 0-)

          exact details, but i forced myself to finish reading Jose Baez' Presumed Guilty, and he mentioned you in the book, as you probably know.

          Judge Strickland, i agree, and respect him tremendously as well.  i actually cannot imagine any circumstances in which he'd allow his courtroom to degenerate into the chaos we saw during the trial that was.  

          thank you, Dave, and thanks again, Tidalwave.

  •  Great Post (0+ / 0-)

    I think Dunn had one too many at the wedding.  Some people get nasty when they drink and it seems he may be one of them.  I don't believe he lacks for money but I doubt if he can buy his way out of this one.  We will see a high profile attorney come aboard to try and save his butt.

    The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

    by Tidalwave on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 04:08:24 PM PST

  •  Dave (0+ / 0-)

    Here is some evidence that will be damning to Dunn...

    Our victim was shot a couple of times. …They were listening to the music. It was loud; they [other teens] admitted that. But I mean that is not a reason for someone to open fire on them.

    When his girlfriend returned to the car, Dunn drove off, admitting to her that he “fired at these kids.” After hearing a news report that someone died in the shooting at their Jacksonville hotel, the couple returned to their home to Brevard County, Fla. Witnesses of the shooting took down Dunn’s license plate number, which, on Saturday, helped police find Dunn’s house, where he was then arrested


    Jacksonville Attorney Gene Nichols, however, said that although Dunn will most likely make a “Stand Your Ground” defense based on his statements in court, it’s a tough case to make.

    He said:

    Mr. Dunn is going to have to answer the question, ‘Why did you not call the sheriff’s office? If you are reasonably protecting yourself, why did you leave the scene, get in the car, and the next day, flee the jurisdiction of Duval County?’ … There’s no indication that Jordan or anyone else in that car had a gun, there’s no indication that they were any threat to Mr. Dunn.

    Read more here at ....


    The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

    by Tidalwave on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 09:24:56 PM PST

  •  Dave-more info (0+ / 0-)

    This is very interesting...Michael Dunn's daughter speaks out and shows  some pics of her and Michael.


    The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

    by Tidalwave on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 09:37:22 PM PST

  •  Dunn claiming self-defense/SYG (0+ / 0-)

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Michael Dunn is claiming self defense in the shooting death of a local high school teen. Dunn could try for a "Stand Your Ground" case.

    Two criminal defense attorneys, Janet Johnson and Randy Reep, both joined us in the Action News studio to break down all the details. Watch the video for more.

    A legal look at Michael Dunn's defense

    The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

    by Tidalwave on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 09:46:17 AM PST

  •  Dunn charged with 2nd Degree Murder (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The man who police say killed a teenager at a Southside gas station is now charged with 2nd Degree Murder.

    Read more here...

    Gas station shooting suspect charged with 2nd degree murder

    The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

    by Tidalwave on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 09:49:32 AM PST

  •  Dunn the new Zimmerman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Now, for the first time, we’re hearing Dunn’s side of the story, from his attorney Robin Lemonidis. She said, “They were blasting some rap music. And he said he rolled down his window, pulled up on the passenger side, and rolled down his window and asked, would you mind turning that down? And said it very politely.”

    The attorney says the teenager in the front seat turned down the radio. But then she says her client heard the teens cussing at him, making threats. She says Dunn rolled down his window and said, “He said excuse me, are you talking to me?”

    At that point, she says one of the teenagers told Dunn he was dead. “And that’s when the guy in the back seat raised the barrel of a shotgun over the rim of the window,” said Lemonidis. “At that point, he just snapped into self protection mode.

    Dunn’s attorney claims that’s when her client reached for a gun he had in the glove compartment of his car, loaded it, and fired. “Firing at the car, because they’re showing him a gun, and he can’t see their hands,” she said. “And he doesn’t know. They’re about to blast him in the face with a shotgun, as far as he knows.

    "There are no comparisons to the Trayvon Martin situation,” said Robin Lemonidis, Dunn’s attorney. “He is devastated and horrified by the death of the teen.

    Read more here....

    Jordan Davis Isn't Trayvon Martin, But Isn't Michael Dunn The New George Zimmerman?

    The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

    by Tidalwave on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 01:53:36 PM PST

  •  Attorney Mitch Stone joins defense (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As family members of 17-year-old Jordan Davis mourn his death, the man accused of killing him is building his case. That includes the addition of one prominent local attorney, Mitch Stone, who has had success using the "stand your ground" defense before.

    Still, defense attorney Gene Nichols says it will be an uphill battle for Michael Dunn, who's charged with murder after police said he shot into an SUV during a dispute over loud music at a gas station, killing Davis (pictured below).

    "It's going to be incredibly hard to establish a 'stand your ground' defense if they cannot establish that a gun was involved," Nichols said.

    Read more here...

    Michael Dunn adds prominent defense attorney

    The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

    by Tidalwave on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 02:05:04 PM PST

  •  Video-Lawrence O'Donnell mourns Jordan Davis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

    by Tidalwave on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 02:30:13 PM PST

  •  Just my opinion (0+ / 0-)

    I think the prosecution will focus on Dunn’s frame of mind when he left the wedding so will delve into finding some answers. Was his ex present at the wedding that may have opened some old wounds? Why was Dunn and his son estranged for five years? This may indicate the booze mixed with his past may have been the reason he left the wedding early. His son said he left early to take care of a new puppy. His girlfriend purchased wine and they headed off to their hotel. Was the puppy at the hotel? Once he learned about the shooting, he took off for to their home 150 miles away??? He left the scene of his gun happy escapade not knowing someone took down his license plate number. Rebecca, his daughter said her father was a smart smart man… well, he just wasn’t smart enough when he did not call 911 and report the incident. This case reminds me a bit of John Goodman…rich dudes who think they are above the law.

    The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

    by Tidalwave on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 12:09:06 PM PST

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