Demonstrators march to protest mistrial

By Elizabeth Campbell, General assignment reporter, ecampbell@wjxt.com
Published On: Feb 15 2014 02:40:28 PM EST
Updated On: Feb 15 2014 11:10:00 PM EST

After the verdict was read, many protesters marched to State Attorney Angela Corey's office demanding her resignation. The jury convicted Michael Dunn on all charges except for first-degree murder.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Dozens of "Justice for Jordan" demonstrators who were in front of the courthouse when the verdicts and mistrial were announced are marching to the state attorney's office to ask for Angela Corey's resignation.

The number of demonstrators who been outside during each day of the two-week trial swelled on Saturday -- many asking for the conviction of Michael Dunn and others supporting the defendant.

Dunn was convicted of three counts of attempted murder and one of firing into an occupied vehicle and could face 60 or more years in prison, but some of Davis' supporters weren't happy that Dunn wasn't convicted of murder.

IMAGES: Protester march, chant

This trial was the latest Florida case to raise questions about self-defense and race, coming six months after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin -- a prosecution also handled by Corey.

"She failed down there in Sanford, and now she's failed here," said Carnell Oliver of Jacksonville Progressive Coalition. "Four (counts) is not good enough for me."

After the delivering their letter and speaking to the media, the crowd dispersed without incident.

Ricky Brown was one of dozens of demonstrators making noise outside the courthouse during the day Saturday. Most of them say they're there to support the family of Jordan Davis.

"I'm out here because I have grandchildren and I know if this doesn't stop somewhere, it's going to continue," Brown said.

Brown said what happened to the teen could happen to anyone, and fellow demonstrator Terrance Siplin said Davis' death serves as a reminder to walk away from situations involving conflict.

"I mind my business because I know if I say anything, I'm being aggressive towards starting a bad conversation," Siplin said. "I mind my business. I walk on."

"I just want the world to be a better place because he could be an innocent bystander that could have been caught by a stray bullet," Malik Amrullah said.

Jacksonville community reacts to long-lasting deliberations


As the nation waits for a verdict in the Michael Dunn case, there's a lot of speculation about possible outcomes. And as the hours wear on, people are passing the time, talking about Florida's self-defense laws and the clarity of the instructions jurors received.

"It definitely shows that there's some reasonable doubt in the jury's mind," Jacksonville resident Chris Lobianco said. "I definitely thought they would have a verdict by Friday and that they would be spending the weekend with their families. Obviously, they are asking the questions."

Lobianco said he doesn't know what to make of the length of deliberations, but as time wears on, he said talk of a hung jury sounds more and more like a reality.

"I think that a hung jury would not be good for us or the people of Jacksonville," Lobianco said.

"Honestly, if he's not found guilty, that just shows how bad our justice system is," 17-year-old Richard Zanford said. "This is one of the stupidest things I've ever seen."

Zanford said waiting for a verdict is worrisome to teenagers, especially minorities. Others are looking at a bigger policy picture.

"I'm here waiting just like the rest of the country," Rep. Corrine Brown said.

She said the questions jurors posed to the judge reveal that the jury may not have fully understood their instructions. She said Florida's controversial self-defense laws need new clarification.

"The instructions are very complicated and they are not lawyers in that room, they are lay persons," Brown said. "The key is, if you look at the instruction, in those instructions, you'll find the 'stand your ground' law. And to me, that is the problem."

Brown said even if the jury can't make a decision Saturday, she has faith in the justice system.

"Failure is not an option," she said. "If this jury doesn't do it, there are other juries, other opportunities."

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