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Local leaders looking to avoid racial divide in Michael Dunn trial

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Updated: 2/03 11:59 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Death over loud music has cranked up the intensity surrounding racial issues in Jacksonville.

Jury selection in the Michael Dunn trial has just begun and already local activists are sounding the alarm on a case that many said could cause a racial divide. Local leaders said there are similarities with the George Zimmerman trial, but expect different results this time.

"You're talking about again, a young black male being the victim. But we don't think it's going to be the same as last time because there are witnesses that saw the entire deal with Michael Dunn," said Opio Sokoni, local president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Michael Dunn reportedly asked 17-year-old Jordan Davis and his friends to turn down their music at a Gate Gas station on Black Friday, in 2012. Dunn claims he saw Davis reach for an object he thought was a gun, and fired in self defense. However, investigators found that the teens were unarmed.

Action News obtained jail house letters that Dunn wrote saying he hopes more people kill African Americans when someone is threatened.

"Those letters had racist thoughts that were in it," said Sokoni.

Sokoni tells us his organization is preparing for whats to come, and will be holding a peaceful protest outside the courthouse Tuesday afternoon.

"We salute those people who get out there and say things but we want to make sure when they say things they're doing it, coming from a spirit thats decent, coming from a spirit that's about love," he said.

Jury selection will continue Tuesday morning. The judge needs 60 potential jurors to move forward.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

MadameX - 2/5/2014 1:21 PM
0 Votes
I, for one get totally turned off by the people who walk around carrying signs and banners outside of a courthouse, no matter where it's happening. All of them must be on welfare on either independently wealthy to be able to parade around in everybody's way who is trying to go into the courthouse to conduct business. If these people would get a job and study something else besides carrying signs that are ridiculolus in content then people woluldn't have to be stepping out of the way to get around them. -- Totally disgusting behavior.

nativejax - 2/4/2014 2:37 PM
0 Votes
The only people wanting a 'racial divide' is the thugs and thug loving people and News, that want to portray these thugs as 'victims'. I will not feel sorry for PARENTS who DON'T and WON'T take responsibility for WHERE their kids are or WHO they are with. The rest of the 'civilized population' have already agreed this idiot should have know better to confront a car full of thugs over stupid loud music and he should be held accountable for his actions. I am also sad a young life(thug or not) was taken over the choice he took to get in a car with a combative thug driver. Had this been a black man shooting at a car load of young white thugs, 'claiming self defense', I would expect the SAME VERDICT.
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