By Peter Goonan, The Republican
on February 17, 2014
SPRINGFIELD — A partial mistrial in a Florida murder case for the shooting death of teenager Jordan Davis marks another example of failed justice involving a young black victim, according to the Rev. Talbert W. Swan II, president of the Greater Springfield chapter of the NAACP.
In a prepared statement released this week, Swan wrote that news of a mistrial on a first-degree murder charge against Michael Dunn left him saddened by the loss of life and angry at the justice system.
“The failure to convict Michael Dunn of murder only highlights the perceived value of black life and reinforces the stereotypes, which justify racial animus against Black males, their disenfranchisement, abuse, brutalization and mass incarceration,” Swan wrote. “It further sends a clear message that murdering a black male can be justified simply on the basis of him being a black male.”
The judge declared the mistrial after jurors reported they were deadlocked on the first-degree murder charge. However, Dunn was convicted on four charges, including three counts of attempted second-degree murder that could bring a long jail sentence. State prosecutors said they will again pursue the murder charge at a second trial.