Jordan Davis was impatient, but he still enjoyed fishing with his father anyway. He also loved to cook in the kitchen with his dad, a skill he conveniently hid from his mother. For Jordan, life was about family. So every Monday night, he'd go roller skating with his mom, Lucy. He made friends easily, often befriending the boys at school nobody else wanted to hang with. Like most teenage boy, he liked to show off in front of girls. He was a well-behaved teenager with a bright smile and an even brighter future.
Jordan Davis was 17 when he was shot and killed in a gas station parking lot in Jacksonville, Florida.
"When they told me Jordan was dead at the hospital, I couldn't stop screaming," Jordan's father, Ron Davis, told MTV News in an interview. "You scream and scream, you don’t even hear. Everybody around you has this face, like wow, but you don’t even hear yourself. It’s something that comes out of you. It's primal."
In 2012, Michael Dunn fired 10 shots into a car containing four young black men after a dispute over the rap music (or what Dunn referred to as "rap crap"). Dunn, a middle-aged white software developer in town for a wedding, requested that they turn it down. They did for an instant, and then they turned it back up, which lead to the horrific events that resulted in Jordan's death.
The gripping new documentary, "3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets" tells the story of Jordan's tragic final minutes and the grueling court case that followed. Directed by Marc Silver, the film brilliantly weaves Dunn's account of the events, in which he believes he's done nothing wrong, with testimonies from Jordan's friends and relatives, who see their loss as one in a string of injustices that have victimized young black men in the media.
"Everybody said wherever you see Lucy, you see Jordan," Lucia Davis, Jordan's mother, told MTV News. "I took him everywhere with me. He was always the kind of kid who would go, 'Where are we gonna go today mom, what are we gonna do today?' There was always that excitement that he had for life, that excitement for living. He was very, very curious. He was always asking so many questions."
According to Dunn, Jordan was the aggressor in their argument; he threatened to kill him and even brandished a weapon. No weapon was ever found at the scene of the crime.
"According to Michael Dunn, they were gangsters, gangster rappers," Ron said. "That’s what you see on television. Every person of color that's a teenager to him is a gangster rapper, because they play their music loud. Jordan didn’t have any tattoos, Jordan didn’t have gold teeth in his mouth. How did he become a gangster rapper?"
"He’d never been arrested," Lucia added. "He was just a typical teenage kid. All the boys were typical teenagers. And unbeknownst to Michael Dunn, when he made that statement that where are their fathers, that just fed right into the stereotype that people have about black families in this country and young black males. He didn’t know anything about the fact that even though we were divorced, Jordan and his father had an excellent relationship and that his father was very much involved in his life. He didn’t know about Tevin [Thompson] and his family, family members intact, father in the house. Didn’t know anything about Leland [Brunson]’s mom and dad, family intact, father in the household. Didn’t know anything about Tommie [Stornes]. All he saw was four black kids and he fed right to that stereotype that’s been fed to the nation through the media about people of color."
Dunn later invoked Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law, and avoided first-degree murder charges in his first trial after it ended in a hung jury. Dunn was ultimately convicted on lesser charges involving the other young men. Lucia and Ron were devastated.
"There were two jurors from the very beginning that staunchly believed that Michael Dunn was right and justified in having done what he did, and that was their stance throughout the entire trial," Lucia said. "So it didn’t matter to them that truth was staring them in the face. That didn’t matter because they had already preconceived ideas about who Jordan was, about who the boys were. Simply because they were black."
A second trial ultimately resulted in a conviction for the murder of Jordan Davis in 2014. Dunn is now serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
"He never once apologized to us," Ron recalled. "He never seemed remorseful. His parents saw us over 30 times during the course of a year-and-a-half, never once said I’m sorry for your loss."
"He grew up around people that did not have interaction with people of color," he added. "They admitted that. So all he knows about people of color is what he sees on television on shows like 'Cops' and some of these other shows that show people of color in handcuffs. So, Jordan was less than a human being as far as he was concerned and he was doing the world a favor because he said if he hadn't done that, then Jordan may have gone out and killed somebody else. He dehumanized our son, and the other sons out there. If it wasn’t Jordan, he probably would have killed somebody else's son."
Since the conviction, Lucia and Ron have sought to give their son's death meaning. Ron talks regularly to other fathers in similar circumstance; they call themselves the circle of fathers.
"Recently I got a call from Walter Scott's father, and I had to welcome him into the circle of fathers," Ron said. "I recently got a call from Trayvon Martin's father, Tracy Martin, a couple of days ago. We’re going to have the circle of fathers meet again this year and invite fathers from these tragedies. It really is important. People don’t realize that we cry. We sit at home... the time Jordan is supposed to be home, 10:30 at night and he doesn’t come home, and I don’t’ hear the keys in the door, I start crying.
"If I see somebody losing their son on television, I can’t stand it anymore. I start crying. I can’t stand seeing somebody losing their son because I know I lost my son."