On Saturday, a jury found Michael Dunn — a white man who admitted to shooting into a vehicle full of African-American teens parked at a gas station — guilty of second-degree attempted murder. Dunn shot and killed Jordan Davis, 17. While Dunn seemed flabbergasted that he was found guilty of anything (according to one report, the 47-year-old asked, "How is this happening?" when the verdict was handed down), many are questioning what this second high-profile "stand your ground" case says about racial progress in America.
VOICE YOUR VIEW: What does the Michael Dunn verdict say about race in America?
A Jan. 28 Gallup Poll shows that many Americans think race relations are a relatively low priority no matter what their political affiliation. Only 48% of Democrats consider it a top priority for the president or Congress to tackle. An even lower percentage of Republicans, 29%, want the issue addressed.
Other polls (see below) seem to indicate that diversity is becoming more valued in the U.S.
But after the Dunn trial, many African-American leaders were left shaking their heads and asking why Dunn was not found guilty of murder. On that charge, the jury was deadlocked. Others wondered, just as they did after the high-profile George Zimmerman trial, what would have happened if the race roles were reversed.
We asked what you thought about the incident. Does it indicate a lack of racial progress, or is this just a single moment, one man's response, free of any racial implications? Below are the best of your comments.
Take a look, participate in the informal surveys, and read some of the latest polls on race relations in America:
The Dunn verdict suggests that playing the race card is an affirmative defense for first-degree murder of unarmed black teens.
The verdict makes no sense. If murder is "attempted" only, then there should be no one killed. Since the young man died, it can hardly be only "attempted" murder, as far as shooting at him is concerned.
He needs to be retried. It's open season on black people in the "good ol' South." "Stand your ground" laws just encourage murder.
Well let's look at it from the reverse. If a black man shot at four white kids in a van, not only would he have been convicted, they would try to give him the death penalty. And they would have tried to get rid of this "stand you ground" law.
Race has nothing to do with it. It's the laws of the state that are letting killers go.
The Dunn trial shows that "stand your ground" laws codify racist fear of "the other" and must be repealed.
Any time a crime is committed by a white person toward a black person, we cannot hear the end of it. We do not always need to put race into the conversation. A crime is a crime; the same as black individuals killing black individuals. Let our courts decide the verdict and not demonstrators, broadcasters or politicians.
I think the bigger issue is looking at the "stand your ground" law in general.
As a foreigner in the US, it shocks me that discrimination based on the "color of skin" is still a big reality.
What this Dunn verdict should say is this is a guy who shouldn't have had a gun of any sort, but that won't be the message!