Jordan Davis' parents speaking out on national TV
Updated On: Feb 20 2014 07:49:46 PM EST
Days after a trial that convicted Michael Dunn for shooting into an SUV full or teenagers but ended with a mistrial on the murder count in the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, his parents are making the rounds of network news programs in New York City.
Ron Davis and Lucia McBath's son was shot and killed after he argued with the 47-year-old central Florida software developer after they argued over loud music in a Gate convenience store parking lot on Nov. 23, 2012.
Dunn was charged with first-degree murder in Jordan Davis' death. Dunn claimed he saw Davis with a shotgun and the teenager threatened to kill him, so he fired in self-defense. Last weekend, a Duval County jury deadlocked on the murder charge but convicted Dunn on four other felony counts that could send him to prison for up to 90 years.
"We are definitely happy that there has been vindication for the boys," McBath said. "The families have stood with us and they said that justice for Jordan is justice for their boys as well."
"We know that he's going to spend the rest of his life in jail, but we do want justice for Jordan," Davis said in an interview Thursday on The Morning Show. "We're going to have a retrial. We're going to be there every day, like we were the first time. And we know that the outcome is going to be what God wants it to be."
State Attorney Angela Corey told CNN on Thursday morning that she was grateful for four guilty verdicts, and she's ready to retry Dunn on the murder charge once she knows that the Davis family can "withstand another trial."
"How anybody could be unhappy with these verdicts knowing that we intend to retry count one (first-degree murder) is beyond me, but we're going to keep going into the courtroom and keep fighting for justice for our victims," Corey said.
Jordan Davis' parents know they’ll have to relive his death all over again, but they’re glad prosecutors are going to retry Dunn for murder.
"Right now he's a Jordan Davis movement, but before that, he was a kid that liked to have fun and liked to play around and lead his guys to fun, playing basketball and going to the mall and looking at girls and smiling and trying to be suave and debonair," Ron Davis said.
"Jordan was very, very humorous, always playing practical jokes, and I was very gullible," McBath said.
Ron Davis said he wants to visit his son's killer in prison and "make him understand" what he did was wrong.
"I would like Michael Dunn to put me on his visitor's list in prison. I would like to go see him and sit across the table," Davis said in an interview that aired Wednesday night on ABC's Nightline. "One thing that I know that we would talk about is, 'I have to try to make you understand what you've taken away from our family, some way, whether it be words or what, I have to make you understand.'"
The Davis family has received a lot of support from across the country and around the world.
"We have a lot of support around the nation. We'll continue to look forward. We'll continue to stand strong, because we believe there will be justice," McBath said.
One of the jurors in the Michael Dunn trial -- who asked to be identified simply as "Valerie" -- told ABC in an exclusive interview Tuesday night that three jurors determined Dunn was justified in shooting Davis. The deadlock prompted shouting matches, said Valerie, who wanted a murder conviction.
"A life was taken. There is no longer a Jordan Davis, and there is only one reason why that is. The boy was shot and killed for reasons that should not have happened," Valerie said on Nightline.
Jordan's parents said they took Valerie's speaking out as reassurance that the jurors took the case seriously.
"We believe they fought for justice with the tools they were given. We were very, very happy with the time and effort they placed into coming up with a just verdict," McBath said. "I really think those comments were designed to let us know, 'We fought. We didn't take it lightly.'"
Many people on the streets of New York knew a lot about the case and weren't shy about their opinions.
"I used to live in Florida, and I will never move back to that state because their laws are just crazy," said Rodney Walters, who was visiting New York from Maryland. "Their laws allow you to kill somebody and get away with it."
"Ultimately, it's in God's hands and we know that. But we still going to try and change the law," Davis said. "But we are going to change the 'stand your ground' law and have that rewritten."
The Rev. Al Sharpton, who has followed the case from the beginning, agrees that self-defense laws need to change.
"As a matter of principle and matter of law, by law you can't have unarmed person killed, and the law says, well we just couldn't come to terms with it," Sharpton said of the split jury verdict. "This is a national concern. Florida is a big problem -- ground zero for fighting issue of this year the stand your ground law."
McBath and Davis said Wednesday they have drawn support from Trayvon Martin's parents, who went through a similar ordeal after George Zimmerman was found not guilty last year in the shooting death of their 17-year-old son.
"I'm in constant contact with Tracy Martin, Trayvon's father, and I text Sabrina [Trayvon's mother] all the time and I just want to let them know, every time I get justice for Jordan, it's going to be justice for Trayvon, for us," Davis said.
Corey, whose office also came under fire for failing to get a murder conviction against George Zimmerman in Martin's killing, said the race of the victim and the race of the perpetrator doesn't make any difference in prosecution.
"Trayvon, Jordan -- all tragedies -- we need to put focus on all of them, not just certain cases," Corey said. "The focus needs to be on all violence against all races, all ages. It doesn't matter what race is on either side of that gun -- it's all a violation of the law if it's supported by the facts."