Dunn Trial Verdict: American Irony At Its Best

Michael Dunn

After four days of deliberation, the jury announced a verdict in the State of Florida vs. Michael Dunn. Dunn is the 47 year old Florida man who, in a fit a rage over loud music and Black insolence, fired 9 times into a car full of Black teens, killing one, Jordan Davis.

When the jury announced they were deadlocked on one count, I  knew in my heart they’d been unable to reach a unanimous decision on 1st degree  murder. Ultimately the  jury did find Dunn guilty of three counts of attempted 2nd degree murder and one count of shooting a deadly missile. He faces up to  75 years in prison.

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But is this justice?  If Jordan Davis were alone that night, or if Dunn killed everyone in the car,   he might be a free man. At the most, he’d face 15 years for firing a deadly weapon.

Dunn will serve time for the three men who survived, not for the teen who would be turning 19 tomorrow. Yes, the survivors deserve justice as well, but  once again the American legal system is sending the message that killing a Black man is a crime unworthy of conviction. Dunn, in spite of his potentially hefty sentence, joins the ranks of countless police officers, self-appointed vigilantes, and white Knights who’ve murdered innocent Black men without repercussion.

If we are to get really honest about the final verdict, Dunn is being penalized for having poor aim, not for murdering a Black teen.

But I don’t blame the jury. I blame Florida’s state prosecutor Angela Corey. During my stint in  Jacksonville she an I exchanged many amicable pleasantries. I enjoy her as a person.  But it wasn’t until I left, that I realized she is incompetent when it comes to upholding color-blind justice.

This was not a first degree murder case. If I were a juror, tempted as I may be, I would have had a hard time voting on a first degree murder charge. This is clearly a 2nd degree  murder case, a non-premeditated killing resulting from an assault in which death of the victim is a distinct possibility.


Angela Corey over-charged in the George Zimmerman trial as well, though, it was easier to prove  murder in the 1st degree in that trial (given Zimmerman followed him), than in the case against Michael Dunn. Corey is also the same state prosecutor that initially  hesitated to charge Zimmerman at all, and the same prosecutor that had a Black woman, Marissa Alexander, incarcerated for firing warning shots near her abusive husband.

It’s time to hold her accountable for being an incompetent public servant, unless her position actually entails doling out uniquely “American” justice which often consists of hyper-policing and overcharging Black suspects, and  circumventing the system for others.

The targets on the backs of Black men in America just grew larger.


*For my video commentary on the Michael Dunn Trial in this weeks webisode of “Off The Record” watch here.



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