"I expect Jordan would expect us to do what we are doing. To be a
champion, not just for him, but for everyone," the teen's mother,
Lucia McBath, told Reuters on Monday.
Michael Dunn, a white, 47-year-old software engineer, was convicted
on February 15 on three counts of attempted murder for opening fire
on a car of black teenagers during an argument in November 2012 in
the parking lot of a Jacksonville gas station.
But the jury could not reach a verdict on a murder charge related to
Davis' death. Dunn faces a minimum sentence of 60 years in prison
and prosecutors say they plan to retry him on the murder charge.
Dunn testified that he feared for his life, drawing comparisons to
the trial of George Zimmerman, the former central Florida
neighborhood watchman who was acquitted last year of murder after
saying he shot a 17-year-old unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin,
The parents of Davis and Martin plan to attend a rally protesting
the state's "stand your ground" self-defense law in Tallahassee
after the Florida legislative session opens on March 10.
They will also be joined by Nicole Oulson, widow of Chad Oulson, a
Land O' Lakes man who was shot and killed by a retired Tampa
policeman in a movie theater in January after a confrontation over
The stand-your-ground law allows a person who "reasonably believes"
they are in imminent fear of serious bodily injury to use deadly
force to defend themselves, even if, despite their belief, no real
The law was adopted in Florida in 2005 and has been copied in more
than 20 states since then.
Civil rights groups and a handful of state legislators are urging a
legal review of Florida's self-defense statute, saying it has
created a license to kill for gun owners who hate or fear young
But gun rights activists, backed by a Republican-controlled
legislature, have resisted all efforts to undo the law.
Davis' parents said the law is too subjective, and allows gun owners
to shoot on the slightest fear, even if only imaginary.
"What is reasonable to you? How gray is that?" said Jordan's father,
Ron Davis, a retired Delta employee. "What was reasonable to Michael
Dunn was certainly not reasonable to Jordan. He didn't reason that
he was going to be shot and killed for what he said."
[to top of second column]
Dunn testified that he thought he saw Davis pick up a shotgun in the
car after the teen mouthed off a barrage of expletives, but
investigators said no weapon was found.
The law "leaves it completely open to people to interpret what that
means, and laws should be concrete and definitive," added McBath,
the mother of the teen slain over loud music.
McBath and Davis are divorced and shared custody of their son,
though the boy lived with his father in Jacksonville for the last 18
months of his life. They spoke to Reuters in a joint interview at
the office of their lawyer in Jacksonville.
McBath said her son always wanted to play all music loud. "He'd say,
'We aren't hurting anybody,'" she recalled ruefully. "'Let the music
After the death of her son, McBath, a Delta airlines flight
attendant who lives in Atlanta, became a national spokeswoman for
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a non-profit group
created in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting in December
"She is very involved in our chapter in Georgia. She's incredibly
eloquent," said Shannon Watts, the group's founder. "She truly
believes this happened for a reason. She believes it's her calling
and what she's going to dedicate her life to," she added.
Taking on a political role felt natural after her son's death, she
said. Her father Lucien Holman was the president of the Illinois
branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People (NAACP) and on the executive board of the national
organization for years.
"I never expected that I would use those roots in this form and for
this reason, but it is a very natural course for me," she said.
(Writing by David Adams; editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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