Rice and the Taboo: KTB Tackles Whether This Is Ever Ok?
Ray Rice: Is This Ok?
On this episode, KTB is trying to figure out what’s ok with the public at large. Can white people shoot black kids with impunity? Can Ray Rice or any man EVER hit a woman? Can a gay man play in the NFL? If you sleep with your twin brother’s wife, is that rape? Can a white guy win a hip hop Grammy? Is this ok?
The incident occurred November 23, 2012, when Dunn pulled into a gas station in Jacksonville, parking next to a red Dodge Durango with four teenagers inside. Four black teens had gone there for gum and cigarettes; Dunn, had just left his son’s wedding with his fiancee, who’d gone inside the convenience store for wine and chips.
Dunn didn’t like the loud music — “rap crap,” he called it — coming from the teens’ SUV. So he asked them to turn it down.
What followed next is a matter of debate. Dunn testified that Davis threatened him, and he decided to take matters into his own hands upon seeing what he thought was the barrel of a gun sticking out of the Durango.
But prosecutors say Dunn lost control, firing 10 bullets, nine of which struck the SUV, over music he didn’t like. “My intent was to stop the attack, not necessarily end a life,” he testified. “It just worked out that way.” Police found a basketball, basketball shoes, clothing, a camera tripod and cups inside the Durango, but no gun.
Michael Dunn was convicted on three charges of attempted second-degree murder, but was acquitted of first degree murder. Jurors said they would have convicted of second degree murder.
In his testimony, Dunn insisted that Davis threatened him and that he saw a gun. Police never recovered a weapon. Dunn’s fiancee, witness Rhonda Rouer, made the biggest impact in her testimony. Rouer testified that in the weeks after the shooting, Dunn had never mentioned to her that he had seen a weapon of any kind.
Florida law says the use of deadly force is justifiable if someone reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm. Its law also says people have no “duty” to retreat from a would-be attacker, as do laws in 21 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.