Michael Dunn shot and killed Jordan Davis, an unarmed teenager listening to music in his car with three friends, and was charged with first degree murder. Although Dunn was convicted of the attempted murder of three other teens, the jury deadlocked on the murder count and the judge declared a mistrial.
Dunn claimed that, before the shooting, Davis brandished a gun and, therefore, he acted in self-defense when he fired multiple times into the car. (Dunn also claimed immunity under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.) No gun was found in the car. But in covering the verdict, rather than focusing on Dunn’s conduct or the deceased teen, many prominent media outlets referred to it as the “loud music trial.”
The confrontation allegedly began when Dunn asked Davis to turn down his music. Many media outlets dubbed it the “loud music trial,” putting a disturbing focus on the victim’s conduct and dehumanizing the killing of a 17-year-old boy. Here are a few examples:
UPDATE: Explanation of full verdict in Florida loud music murder trial: http://t.co/Bq0KDtslxk
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 16, 2014
BREAKING: Fla. man convicted of lesser counts in loud-music killing trial; mistrial on murder charge .
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 16, 2014
BREAKING: Fla. man guilty of lesser counts in ‘loud music’ shooting
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 16, 2014
"Loud-music" murder trial: Guilty of 3 counts of attempted 2nd-degree murder. Mistrial on the count of murder. http://t.co/Q1R5P4EqAl
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) February 16, 2014
Judge says jury has reached verdict on all counts in Florida loud music murder trial.
— AJC (@ajc) February 15, 2014
BREAKING: Florida man found guilty of lesser charges in loud-music trial; mistrial declared on murder count http://t.co/vv9kdpaH5u
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) February 16, 2014