As the George Zimmerman trial for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin has finally begun, another Florida family awaits the start of their own legal battle after their son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed by Michael Dunn in a gas station last November. In the July 1 issue of JET, featuring star of TV Land’s The Soul Man Niecy Nash which is on stands now, we catch up with Jordan’s parents—Ron Davis and Lucia McBath—who share their thoughts on Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law and the September start of the trial. Below are excerpts from Davis and McBath’s exclusive JET interview
How have you been preparing for the trial in September?
Ron Davis: We show up and listen to the information presented by the prosecutor and the defendant. We’re there to support the prosecutor. We’ll start a civil action after the trial.
Lucia McBath: Ron and I continue to attend all the pre-trial motions each month. The two most important motions, which were denied by the judge, were Michael Dunn’s request for bond as well as a denial to claim indigence for his attorney’s fees. His attorney continues to stall and drag out discovery and disclosure materials in hopes it will weaken our case. Evidence against Michael Dunn is overwhelming according to our attorneys so, we are hoping that once we go to trial September 23, justice for Jordan and the boys will be swift.
You set up a website to get 25,000 signatures on your petition. Were you successful in reaching that goal?
Ron Davis: It started too late. There was no way we could get that number of signatures by the deadline. The main goal was that we wanted people to know that their voice could make a difference.
Can you tell us about the new site, walkwithjordan.org, and what supporters will find there?
Ron Davis: We launched a new walkwithjordan.org on May 19. People visiting the site can be updated weekly, add their own stories, look through the photo gallery or donate to the Jordan Davis Memorial Fund. The memorial fund goes toward families of victims to bring attention to their cause. We need people to come forward who think they don’t have a voice. If we know that a situation is happening, we can contact local politicians.
Because of the vote on gun control, it seems like it’s a dead issue. It’s a state-by-state case. You have to be proactive to continue the fight. We’re not going to stop in helping to change the gun laws.
Have you met with politicians to discuss the Stand Your Ground law?
Lucia McBath: We have been extremely successful in discussions with members of the Congressional Black Caucus. I have spent considerable time in Washington, DC, speaking with legislators for, as well as against, common sense gun control legislation. We have made appearances on HLN, CNN, MSNBC, and TV One and continue to give interviews on various radio shows. I have now begun to work on gun control legislation in Georgia. I have been a supporter of State Senator Vincent Fort and now am a member of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America. I am actively working with them to place pressure on Georgia senators Chambliss and Isaacson to vote for measures that would amend the current gun laws for national background checks.
How have you connected with Trayvon Martin’s family?
Ron Davis: We were down in Miami to help celebrate Trayvon’s 18th birthday. We are in touch about what we’re doing. We’re trying to support them as much as we can. We do have bad days. The last thing you want to do is assume how someone feels. It’s hard to be strong when you are the one who lost a son or daughter. You do the best that you can, and that’s all you can do. I have told Trayvon’s father Tracy that anytime you want to call or text me, you can do that. It’s all a story until it’s not a story. He’s not going to be left by himself. It’s not about the 15 minutes.
Do you have any rallies planned for this summer?
Lucia McBath: We’re planning to join the Southern Christian Leadership Conference this summer for their upcoming event in Washington, DC. Both Ron and I will be speaking on June 28 in Jacksonville, FL, at a conference called Teen Bash 2k13. At this time we have other tentative events that are being put together but we do not have specifics yet.
We will continue to work to influence those that have the power to make change with gun control legislation. We owe this to our son and others that have been affected by gun violence. If we don’t, Jordan and all the others will have died in vain.
Thank you for supporting our efforts to keep Jordan’s story alive. It is the only way to really bring to light what is happening in our communities and nation concerning gun violence.
For updates on Jordan’s case go to walkwithjordan.org