FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2014
Contact: Cynthia Gordy, 718-755-4340
- Statement from Advancement Project-
Eyes Of A Nation Should Steadfastly Focus On Jordan Davis Murder Trial
Washington – Advancement Project, a national racial justice and civil rights organization, today expressed strong hopes and expectations that justice be served in the fatal shooting of Florida teen Jordan Davis. Davis was killed by Michael Dunn in November 2012, after a verbal dispute over loud music. As Dunn’s trial enters its second week, Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis issued the following statement:
“There is no more fundamental a right than the right to live. Yet increasingly children of color, especially Black males, are denied their basic right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Jordan Davis, who shared the same senseless fate as another Florida youth, Trayvon Martin, is no exception. Now, rather than celebrating what would have been their son’s 19th birthday on February 16, Jordan Davis’ parents will sit through a murder trial.
“While many of us are tempted to believe the dark days of racial intolerance and hatred have passed, this case suggests otherwise. Jordan Davis may have been viewed as a threat not because he posed a threat, but because of his race.
“As with the fatal shooting of Jonathan Ferrell, who was killed by a North Carolina police officer as he sought help following a horrific car accident; the shooting of Renisha McBride, who was killed by a gunshot blast to the face when she knocked on a White homeowner’s door; or the seldom talked about Howard Morgan, who, as a Chicago police officer, was shot more than 28 times by fellow officers from his own department – then sentenced to 40 years in prison for so-called attempted murder – there is an unrelenting cry for justice.
“Through racially discriminatory Stand Your Ground laws, often used to legitimize the killing of African Americans and Latinos, as well as racial profiling on the streets, and in our schools through overly harsh school disciplinary policies that push children of color out of school and into the criminal justice system, communities of color are being told: ‘Your lives don’t matter, and police or other citizens can take your life without serious repercussions.’
“To signal that all children, regardless of race, deserve the opportunity to grow up and reach their potential, the justice system must work effectively, and senseless killings must stop. The State of Florida must repeal not only Stand Your Ground, but also unforgiving school disciplinary policies and practices such as ‘zero-tolerance.’ And each of us must work to stamp out bias and hatred. America can accept no less.”
For more information, please contact Cynthia Gordy at 718-755-4340, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.