CNN, Jacksonville, FL – On November 23, 2012, at a gas station in Jacksonville, Jordan Russell Davis, a 17-year-old African American high school student, was shot and killed by Michael David Dunn, a 45-year-old white man. The incident began when Dunn asked Davis and his companions to turn down the loud music that was being played in the vehicle in which Davis was a passenger.
After the jury was unable to return a unanimous verdict on a charge of first-degree murder, the judge declared a mistrial on that count. Dunn was convicted, however, on three counts of attempted second-degree murder. Dunn’s retrial for first-degree murder began last month and wrapped up on October 1. He was found guilty and faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole.
After the verdict, Davis’ mother, Lucia McBath, left many people in awe with her grace and capacity to forgive:
I am praying for him [Dunn] and my church is praying for him. I forgave him a long time ago. I had to. It’s not just about Jordan. And I would not stand and wait for him to apologize. I don’t need his apology. I had forgiven him pretty much in the first 30 days. I just knew that was what I was supposed to do.
I was walking past St. Patrick’s Cathedral with my friend Lisa and I said, “Lisa, I have to go in there.” And I went in and I was just sobbing for two hours. And the Lord helped me forgive [Dunn] right there. In those two hours. I came out and felt like, “Okay, I am done.”
McBath is now the spokesperson for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, an organization that works with legislators, companies, and educational institutions to establish gun reforms.
Read the full story: “Michael Dunn found guilty of 1st-degree murder in loud-music trial” and “Forgiven to Forgive.”