Only in Florida could a guy like Michael Dunn believe he can get away with killing an unarmed black teenager by saying he was scared.
George Zimmerman, after all, almost did.
Dunn, 45, was in Jacksonville last Friday when he and his girlfriend stopped at a gas station after his son’s wedding to purchase a bottle of wine. According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, he began arguing with some black youths in an SUV over their loud music.
Dunn wound up firing eight or nine rounds into the vehicle. Two struck 17-year-old Jordan Davis and killed him.
But rather than wait to tell the police what threat these kids posed, aside from being black and profane and blasting the car stereo, to compel him to go for his gun, Dunn and his woman hopped back into his car. The next day, they drove all the way back south, in fact, to his home in Satellite Beach, Fla., where Brevard County sheriff’s officers found and arrested him.
He has since pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder charges. His lawyer, Robin Lemonidis, told CNN that Dunn said he shot at the youths after seeing a gun barrel in their car window and after they cursed him out.
Jacksonville police, however, said there were no guns found in the teenagers’ vehicle.
And other facts that have been revealed so far don’t exactly paint Dunn as a paragon of responsibility – as his lawyer claims he is.
First of all, it was irresponsible for Dunn to get into an argument with teenagers he didn’t know when he was only going to be at the gas station briefly.
It was also irresponsible for Dunn to sit in his car and shoot at a bunch of kids. Even if they had a gun, it would have been unwise to provoke a shootout in a public place – and endanger even more lives.
And if Dunn truly embraced responsibility, he wouldn’t have fled the scene. He would have called the police – and his lawyer.
Yet I expect more people in this state to overreact this way, especially when it comes to black males.