Jordan Davis’ Mother Speaks Out
Following a U.S. Senate committee hearing in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Jordan Davis’ mother Lucy McBath spoke out against Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law along with Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton.
“Basically what I wanted to get across to Congress was that they have a responsibility to make sure we begin to make changes,” McBath says during a phone interview with JET on Wednesday. “I’m talking about our case, of course, with Jordan and just the propensity of the law, which can really be an open door for a lot of senseless violence.”
Both mothers experienced the tragic and high-profile loss of their teenage sons last year and, in both instances, the men accused of killing them have at least initially claimed self-defense with Stand Your Ground. George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer charged with killing Trayvon, walked free this summer, while Michael Dunn, the man charged with killing Jordan, awaits trial. Dunn recently made headlines for reported racist letters he sent from jail.
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican, led the Congressional hearing on “‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws: Civil Rights and Public Safety Implications of the Expanded Use of Deadly Force.”
“I applaud Senator Durbin for taking a chance and really being the initiator to make changes to the law,” McBath tells us. “I think [Congress] was very responsive. The testimonies yesterday really began the conversation, which up until this point, had been a lot of rhetoric.”
While the protest again Stand Your Ground has appeared to lose some steam since the Zimmerman verdict, McBath is optimistic that justice will prevail.
“Of course, immediately after a tragedy, everyone is up in arms and all excited,” she says. “Then it kind of dies down and people go about their business and lives until it happens all over again. Because the violence is so rampant, people become desensitized. A lot of people feel powerless, like there’s nothing they can do.”
But McBath and Jordan’s father, Ron Davis, are working tirelessly to keep the issue in the news.
“We’re trying to garner as much support as we can to build a coalition,” she insists. “We have to stand for what is right, because if we don’t, history will repeat itself … I think it’s important that we as minorities do whatever we can to protect the sanctity of life.”
If you’d like to become involved with efforts, McBath, who is the national spokesperson for Moms Demand Action, suggests visiting two websites: walkwithjordan.org and jordandavis.org. The first is home to a scholarship and cultural foundation in Jordan’s name, while the latter is the hub of the family’s advocacy efforts. There’s also a petition to protest Stand Your Ground at momsdemandaction.org.
“That’s how grassroots advocacy is done,” she urges. “That’s how you have to do it. You’ve got to build momentum.”
In the meantime, the family anticipates a hearing for Dunn will be held on November 7, at which time a trial date is expected to be set. That same day, in Tallahassee, Florida, a bipartisan bill making amendments to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, are scheduled to take place as well.
“We’re planning to travel to Tallahassee that day to watch the progress that happens,” says McBath.
A memorial service will be held at Kennesaw Memorial Cemetery in Marrietta, Georgia where Jordan is buried on November 22 at 4 p.m. and a candlelight vigil at Jacksonville Beach, Florida on November 23 will mark the one-year remembrance of Jordan’s death.