According to Dunn’s girlfriend, Rhonda Rouer, Dunn had three rum and cokes at a wedding reception. On the drive back to the hotel they were residing at, they made a pit stop at the convenience store where the shooting occurred. At the Gate Station, Rouer said Dunn told her that he hated “thug music.” Rouer then went inside the store to make purchases and heard several gunshots while she was still within the building.
Upon returning and seeing Dunn put his gun back into the glove compartment, Rouer asked why he had shot at the car playing music and Dunn claimed that he feared for his life and that “they threatened to kill me.” The couple drove back to their hotel, and claim they did not realize anyone had died until the story appeared on the news the next day.
Dunn is being charged with first-degree murder, as well as three counts of attempted murder. Rouer described Dunn as “easy-going” but passionate about politics. The latest news on the case concerns the decision of Circuit Judge Mallory Cooper removing herself from presiding over the case. She is the second judge to leave, after the first judge, Suzanne Bass, was asked to step down in order to ensure a fair trial. Judge Russell Healey is now the third judge to be appointed to the case. The state will not be paying for Dunn’s defense fees.
Without solid evidence from both sides and one surveillance video that only shows the story from the inside of the convenience store it’s more or less the same story all over again as the Zimmerman case: an African American teenager is shot dead by a Caucasian armed with a firearm in Florida. In both cases, the tragic dispute that perhaps could have been avoided. Yet, the Jacksonville trial of Michael Dunn and Jordan Davis is not receiving the same amount of media attention or criticism as the George Zimmerman vs. Trayvon Martin case. Why?
Do the airwaves, newspapers and Twitter feeds have enough room for the prominence of one type of vaguely race-charged crime? Whatever the reason, there is no one to blame but the national media for more or less skipping this one over. While it’s true that there was an element of outrage with the Zimmerman case, because there was no initial arrest, it is also true that the notion that Zimmerman would not be arrested was more of the impression that the media itself was leaving us with than what was going on behind the scenes. Now that the trial has been in effect, we find that the police were in fact very skeptical of Zimmerman from the start and were actively investigating him, but trying to compile more evidence before the arrest. This was due to the legal ambiguity since Zimmerman seemed to know the right things to say, being close friends with police officers who had undoubtedly advised him on what to say if he was in such a situation. The delay in arrest is probably the reason for the difference in treatment by the media, but nevertheless, the media seems to sense more traction with with Zimmerman-Martin case, and has thus overlooked this important story, aside from local reports.