After the Monday post-Super Bowl demolition of the Denver Broncos by the Seattle Seahawks, there looms the prospect of a different kind of contest, but maybe just as one-sided. This time it will probably be racial justice on the losing end for a second time in less than two years.
The sides chose themselves. A trigger-happy white guy; an angry black kid. The trial will be a redux of the absurd George Zimmerman farce. You remember, the sham effort to bring a cold-blooded killer to justice after the neighborhood watch shadow made up excuses in his own mind to end the life of a just turned 17-year-old African American youngster who dared to glance at residences while heading to his dad’s girlfriend’s house after returning from a convenience store.
The same case where a gym owner, Adam Pollock, testified in response to a lawyer’s question of whether he would allow Zimmerman to climb into a boxing ring. Pollock, recognizing the necessity as painted by the defense of picturing Zimmerman as a pathetic weakling, responded “Absolutely not, I wouldn’t put him in harm’s way.” Zimmerman, a fame whore as we suspected all along, is currently negotiating a celebrity boxing match for Saturday, March 1st. “I’ll fight anyone, even black people” Zimmerman is quoted as saying. There are at least two mighty tough looking black rappers who have publicly declared that they would welcome the chance.
Gee; what to make of Pollock’s testimony in light of the Zimmerman challenge. Pure b***shit??? Yep, pure BS. Wonder if Pollock was paid to testify? The final insult to decent people everywhere was the decision by Judge Debra Nelson to allow an animated video of the defense perspective of the killing without requiring a scintilla of proof that anything depicted was based on evidence. There was one scene in particular that rankled the hell out of me. The animation lit the death scene up like a used car lot midnight opening to support a witness version of the confrontation that happened in virtual darkness.
With little pushback from a putridly inept prosecution, a gullible six-woman jury swallowed it whole and turned this vicious freak back out onto the streets. Zimmerman has since turned into a pie-faced, albeit infinitely more threatening version of Justin Bieber, repeatedly in the headlines for some kind of trouble, sometimes violent and involving a gun.
Which brings me to Monday’s NPR ‘Morning Edition’ story with eerie similarities to the Zimmerman killing of Trayvon Martin. The story is not new, just the trial. The deadly event occurred on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), 2012. The defense is on sharp alert as jury selection opens in Jacksonville. You can hear the NPR report here.
As reported, many of the statements of the accused beg endless questions. The whole thing started when Michael Dunn, now 47, parked his Jetta at a Jacksonville gas station convenience store next to an SUV with 4 young African-American men inside, including 17-year-old Jordan Davis. Dunn, who, according to Gannet’s “First Coast News”, reportedly had three rum drinks at his son’s earlier wedding reception, told the men to turn down their music after being quoted as telling his live-in girlfriend, “I hate thug music.” She then left the car to buy wine.
The young men initially turned down the music, but then, according to Dunn turned it back up while singing (apparently in unison) “Kill him.”
Here’s where the story, as recorded on video by detectives, gets extremely muddled. Davis is sitting in the back seat at the time. The defendant then claims “This guy goes down on the ground (the floor of the SUV?) and comes up with something. I thought it was a shotgun and he goes, “You’re dead bitch” and he opens the door.” He initially told authorities he saw the barrel of a shot gun come out the window; “or it might have been a stick.” No weapons were found in the SUV or the surrounding grounds.
That’s when Dunn reached into his glove compartment for his 9mm pistol. Here’s where ‘stand your ground’ comes in. Though Dunn admitted he thought Davis had a shotgun, he also said it could have been a stick “or something.” In Florida, “something” is grounds to kill a man, especially a black man. He also claimed that the four young men were piling out of the car with evil intent. That’s when he blasted the SUV with 4 shots. When the young men fled, he emptied 4 more shots into their vehicle for good measure. “Piling out of their car?” Fired INTO the SUV they were piling OUT OF?
CNN shows footage of one of Dunn’s lawyers, Robin Lemonidis, already hyperbolizing the defense tale for Dunn. The threats now become “kill that MF’er, You dead MF’er” and a few other choice MF lines. Funny, nothing about the MF term from Dunn when questioned by detectives. Lemonidis ends the CNN segment by saying a shotgun was coming up over the ‘rim’ of the SUV (I assume the upper edge of the window). She says her client doesn’t’ know how old anybody is, he doesn’t know anything. All he sees are heavily tinted front windows that are up, and the back windows that are down and the car has at least four black men in it. She ends with “He knows a shotgun when he sees one.”
Attorney and client stories don’t jibe. Dunn indeed says he saw something out the window, but then sees nothing until Davis “opened the door.” And if he knows a shotgun when he sees one, why did he say it could have been a shotgun or a stick or something? What you’re seeing is the beginning of strong racists overtones (“at least four black men in it”) and trial by media.
Another big problem here. No witnesses in the convenience store testified that they saw anybody, much less Davis, alight from the SUV. Of course, with a carefully selected, bloodthirsty, racist Florida jury, such testimony goes in one ear, and uninterrupted, out the other.
Dunn fled the scene. His identify might still be unknown had not a sharp-eyed, good citizen noted his license number. He was arrested at his home, some 150 miles distant and subsequently charged with first-degree murder.
I’m a little more hopeful about this case insofar as Dunn has already paid the Davis family a settlement in a civil suit. I said “A little more hopeful.” One thing for certain, we’re in for another circus.
Raised rural & small town, then lived in N.Y., Chicago & LA. Widely traveled. Returned from world wandering to pursue media life of anchorman/reporter and major, medium and small market talk radio. Highly active in politics. Once worked as orderly & security in Mens Lock Ward for the Criminally Insane at a state institution. Much more rational population than current Teapublicans. Great concern for country run by and for the extreme wealthy. The inhumane current running through this country has no precedent in modern history.
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