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Statement By Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.

Founder & President of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition

The Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. today issued the following statement regarding the verdict in the alleged “loud thug music” killing of 17-year-old Jordan Davis in 2012.

Jackson said, “Even as our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Jordan Davis in the loss of their son, we must continue to demand that justice be done for that family on behalf of their son. How a jury could reach the verdict of ‘guilty’ for three counts of attempted murder and then be unable to reach a verdict for actual murder when considering the same facts is puzzling and defies logic.

“Michael Dunn, the 47-year-old white perpetrator, will probably spend the rest of his life in prison because he was convicted on 4 of 5 counts, but justice was denied Jordan Davis and so a new trial is called for. The new trial should possibly try him for manslaughter instead of first-degree premeditated murder. There is also a question about the competence of State Attorney Angela Corey who has refused to address one of the central issues in both the Jordan Davis and the Trayvon Martin trials – the issue of race.

“This is the third recent case in Florida where the ‘stand your ground’ law has apparently complicated rather simple cases of murdering young black teenagers – Trayvon Martin being the other young African American murdered. By contrast, Marissa Alexander, an African American female whose husband had a history of domestic violence, fired a warning shot into the ceiling after her husband threatened her life and she could not use the ‘stand your ground’ law, was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Thankfully, because of public pressure, she will get a new trial. Race was central to all three trials yet Ms. Corey has been reluctant and has refused to bring the relevant issue of race into the two trials of Davis and Martin. It may be necessary to seek help from the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Civil Rights Commission should investigate the ‘stand your ground’ law and the surrounding circumstances all three of these trials.

“These instances of different standards of justice must not be allowed to stand. We seek equal protection under the law for all Americans. It is difficult to understand why Michael Dunn’s words and actions were not used in the trail. He had regularly used the “N” word at a neighbor’s house and had written racially incendiary letters from the jail. The States Attorney seems to be incompetent and should not be allowed to conduct the retrial,” Jackson concluded.

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