The Wrongful Conviction of Michael Dunn

In Columns

The wrongful conviction of Michael Dunn of the Loud Music Trial is one of those injustices that is just too hard to swallow. If you are to believe the current narrative, that seems to be set in stone, you have to accept so many things that seem off-kilter. We are told to believe that a computer programmer, a business owner, a pilot and a man who carried a gun legally for over twenty years, just happens to be angry at the sound of rap music one day and shots a guy dead in a gas station parking lot over it.

Just think about the absurdity of that for a minute. A man who has never been convicted of a crime and who carries a gun on him with a concealed weapons permit goes twenty years without ever harming a soul and then one day hears a rap song being played too loudly and he decides this is where he makes his stand and kills someone over it. Now right away, any normal person would ask how could this be. But nothing is normal about this case.

If you do not know anything about The Loud Music Trial then I’m not here to explain all of that to you. You’ll have to go look it up. My article is for the people who already know the facts surrounding this case and have seen the Sundance Film Festival film picked up by HBO called, 3½ Minutes, Ten Bullets and the film The Armor of Light by the Disney heir, Abigail Disney, with her directorial debut. As far as I can tell, there is not one single alternative voice out there that challenges the narrative the fake news has poured down our throat about this case. It is my intention to be that voice.

To understand how a second amendment, right-wing and law-abiding citizen lands up doing life in prison, one has to shed the entire template built by the nation’s left-wing media. To apperceive why Michael Dunn is doing a life sentence in prison, we will have to look at what happened before Michael Dunn ever met the angry black male named Jordan Davis. We will have to look way before the shooting at the Gate Gas Station in Jacksonville, Florida and we have to look at the dirty world of Florida politics.

Follow along as I connect the dots and show you how the actions of the Press surrounding George Zimmerman and the Trayvon Martin shooting led directly to the wrongful conviction of Michael Dunn and the death of Alison Parker and Adam Ward. In case you do not remember, they were the two members of the Press that were shot dead on the air while conducting a live television interview on August 26, 2015.

Florida is famous for many things from Disney World to the Florida Everglades and so much more. However, as of late, it has become the epicenter of the battle over the Stand Your Ground Law. Lately, Florida has just become known as the place you can shoot young black males with impunity. The State of Florida has been painted to be something like the killing fields of Cambodia or maybe like The Hunger Games. Here, if you believe the press, overzealous gun owners run around with concealed weapon permits hunting down young virulent black males to slay as trophy pieces for right-wing causes and second amendment nuts.

I can tell you the press has never had such a strong hold on alternate realities and propagating falsehoods as it does today. The George Zimmerman’s and Michael Dunn’s of the world will feel safe to act out inner fantasies of the Wild West with their carry permits and kill all the black people if we don’t repeal the Stand Your Ground law. If you believe the growing narrative put out by the media, you would think that. The press has painted a picture nationally that men in Florida, when confronted with a situation where they know they can’t win a fistfight, just pull out their legally owned handgun and kill the dude and it is all just fine according to the law.

If you are outside looking in at our state, I can tell you that you have no idea how screwed up it is to watch the news some days. There are nearly twenty million people who live in Florida from every ethnic background under the sun, but when you gaze upon the state government in Tallahassee, it looks more like a NASCAR race and that angers people with a left-wing agenda. When people outside Florida look at our state, do they throw their hands up publicly musing why this or how can they do that? To the rest of the nation, Florida seems like a dangerous place for black people, thanks to the press. Black people who live or visit here are in grave danger if you were to believe what you see on the television. The shooting death of Trayvon Martin and the George Zimmerman trial was how this current black-white divide first got started here.

The alternate reality that the press created in the Zimmerman case should be a case study taught in colleges across the nation in what George Orwell called Newspeak. Almost everything the public believes about the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis is completely false. The press put forth false narratives and created a template about race that became very poisonous. The question is, why?

The Casey Anthony trial, the George Zimmerman trial, and the Michael Dunn trial or what was called The Loud Music Trial have put Florida in the spotlight in every unscrupulous way conceivable. The Stand Your Ground Law was signed into law by former Governor Jeb Bush and was part of Jeb’s state agenda to free the people up to do many things. He made it legal to drive your motorcycle without a helmet and made some moves to create more of an individual-rights-based approach to governing. It was a freedom agenda and an attempt to return personal freedom to the individual and scale back government.

Part of this agenda included the notion that we as citizens had the right to defend ourselves from threats outside of our homes. Until the Stand Your Ground Law, only in your home could you meet a threat with deadly force with very little questions asked in Florida. Jeb expanded that notion beyond the home and into the public sphere whether it be at work or anywhere you were legally allowed to be. With all that in mind, the law became the focus of the nation in the George Zimmerman trial. Despite the fact that two dozen other states have similar laws, thanks to the Zimmerman trial, the country laser-focused on Florida.

One of the disturbing false narratives that the press created is that the Stand Your Ground Law had something to do with either the Zimmerman or the Loud Music Trial when it did not. Neither men invoked that law or even had a Stand Your Ground Hearing before their trial, yet somehow those two men became the national face of the law. It is an incredible falsehood that was created by the press and people with a political agenda to connect these trials to that law. The Stand Your Ground Law had nothing whatsoever to do with the so-called Loud Music Trial of Michael Dunn or the Zimmerman Trial, but most people would never know that following the press reports.

Key aspects of the character of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis were either hidden from the public, intentionally left out or mischaracterized, to such a level as to create an entirely new person for the public to absorb. The press created and pushed the narrative that Trayvon Martin was just buying candy at the store and was profiled, then was shot down for no reason. The violent or angry personality of Trayvon and Jordan Davis was ignored or hidden from view. In place of the angry young black male, we got served up a Skittles, Arizona Ice Tea and the rap music narrative. The true behavior or nature of Martin and Davis was buried in a mountain of political correctness, national liberal agendas, and white guilt. Never once did we come close to examining the acts of Trayvon Martin or Jordan Davis that brought them to their fate. The truth was in the way of creating a national movement giving birth to the next generation of race profiteers.

It all started with the Zimmerman trial and then the movement changed and attached itself to excessive force with policing in our nation. Now they had their national movement. Now they had people in the streets and a 21st-century black and white divide to plunder. The match was lit in Ferguson, Missouri and cities started to burn. We had our mantras like “hands up” but we did not have the truth. It was an incredible sequence of events that created a 21st-century tear in race relations in America and fed an industry of decades-old race racketeering for profit. Everybody started to cash in. People started selling t-shirts, TV stations started to sell ad space on the news, movies were made and lawyers started suing anyone they could, like a homeowner association where George Zimmerman lived. The so-called movement was off in running. Only the truth was left behind.

In the bigger view, what stokes the race fire in America more than anything is the misleading press on TV. A recent and good example of anemic intellectual dishonesty is that Trayvon Martin was painted to be just a kid buying candy who was profiled. A second example is Jordan Davis was just listening to rap music and he got killed because the radio was too loud. If someone points the finger at you when you challenge these notions and says that you are a racist for pointing this out, beware of the messenger pointing that finger. It is a mistake on the shoulders of white people to take a defensive stance about the truth.

So, let’s take the offensive and debunk these misnomers. Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis were no angels. If we don’t agree with that and who they were, then all it means is that we don’t agree, but the black community is not allowed their own set of facts on Trayvon Martin or Jordan Davis. The black community was wrong about O.J. Simpson and they are wrong about Trayvon and Jordan. For a lot of us, we simply don’t trust the press to bring light to the truth of these falsehoods. We just don’t believe a word the press says anymore.

The press never once spent a minute entertaining the alternative point of view. Over and over again the press reigns untruths down on the American landscape about what happened between George and Trayvon that night or Michael Dunn and Jordan Davis at the gas station. Now you tell me, how on Earth does any of these falsehoods have anything to do with justice? It does not.

The state of civil unrest that took hold in America as of late all started with the George Zimmerman trial. On the night of February 26th, 2012, George Zimmerman was driving home from the store when he saw a black male wearing a hoodie go behind the townhomes of his subdivision in the rain and darkness. George being an off-duty neighborhood watchman and knowing that his subdivision had been under assault from young black males doing home invasions and robberies, got on his phone, and called the cops and started to follow the guy who was walking behind people’s homes in the rain.

The person was wearing a hoodie and was a guy visiting his father from Miami that went by the name Trayvon Martin. Trayvon realized he was being followed behind the homes and he circled around the buildings and attacked George in the dark according to a friend Trayvon was speaking to on the phone at the time. Trayvon repeatedly smashed George’s head on the corner of a cement sidewalk according to a witness. Before George blacked out from the blows or lost his life, his legally owned pistol went off in the struggle and Trayvon Martin was killed. Bleeding from all over his head and face, he stood up and called the police back and told them what happened. The policed interviewed George for hours, treated his wounds medically and sent him home, no arrest was made. The police chief said at the time that Zimmerman had a right to defend himself. Then Al Sharpton got involved.

I’m sure you as the reader do not have to guess what happened next. Al Sharpton and the usual suspects stirred the race pot and along with six weeks of misleading press coverage including edited 911 calls attempting to make George look like a racist and the constant airing of very young pictures of Trayvon; Sharpton got his arrest. Under orchestrated and fallacious race related pressure, Governor Rick Scott sent a prosecutor named Angela Corey down to Sanford from Jacksonville, and in my opinion, violated George Zimmerman’s civil rights, and charged him with second-degree murder and manslaughter. The press pushed a successful fraudulent narrative that Trayvon was just some young kid who was coming home from the convenience store with Skittles and iced tea. Even President Barrack Obama said if he had a boy he would look like Trayvon. They pushed a storyline in where Trayvon was minding his own business when he was profiled and then stalked by George Zimmerman.

It was one of the most successful lies I have ever seen. To this day people believe that untruth. To this day the press still shows pictures of Trayvon as a young kid and not what he looked like at age of seventeen on the night of the shooting. It is a pattern with other similar shootings. This method of misleading people in this kind of situation with using childhood pictures of the black person involved still goes on today and is quite disturbing.

During the trial, the true nature of how violent Trayvon Martin really was, would not be allowed to be seen in court in front of the jury. The fact that Trayvon was picking fights with other people so he could perfect his fighting skills and bragged about it on texts to a friend of his was kept from the jury. And that he, at the time, was suspended from school because of some similar bad behavior was ignored by the mainstream press. That was also kept from the jury. Sadly, if a boxing trainer could have gotten a hold of Trayvon and got him into that sport, he might still be alive today.

On July 13th, 2013, a jury acquitted Zimmerman of second-degree murder and manslaughter despite every single misleading force that tried to pull justice another way. That was a miracle, notwithstanding George Zimmerman’s odd behavior since the trial. However, the false narrative of Skittles, Iced Tea, profiling and hoodies still exists today in place of reality. This entire situation became the first building block in the house of lies about race and became the impetus for an ongoing movement based on falsehoods. I covered much of this in my book Bloody Newsroom.

On November 23, 2012, at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida Michael Dunn was returning to his hotel room after attending his son’s wedding. He was driving in his car with his then-girlfriend who asked him to pull into the gas station so she could get a bottle of wine to bring back to the hotel room. While she was inside the store an SUV pulled up full of young black males blaring loud rap music. According to the young men in that SUV, Michael politely asked them to turn down the music. The driver turned off the radio which sent Jordan Davis who was in the backseat into a rage. Jordan screamed at his friend to turn the radio back on and started threatening Michael Dunn and using racial epithets. Michael saw a flash of what looked like a barrel of a rifle or something and saw Davis getting out of the car yelling. Michael reached into his glove box for his legally owned handgun and defended himself from the threat that was coming at him.

Michael’s girlfriend then got back in the car and they sped off to the hotel room. The SUV drove to the parking lot next to the gas station. A bystander who called 911 told the operator in real time that the men were getting out of the SUV and it looked like they were stashing something. The cops showed up but never searched the area for what they were stashing until days later. Michael and his girlfriend never called the cops that night. Michael wanted to get out of Jacksonville and report what happened to his local sheriff. They just went back to their hotel and left Jacksonville the next morning to return to the Space Coast where they lived three hours south of Jacksonville. When they arrived at home the cops were waiting for them and Michael was arrested. He has been locked up ever since.

Michael went through two trials with some of the worst attorneys I had ever seen and was convicted of first-degree murder. Dunn was unjustly found guilty on October 1, 2014, at the conclusion of the retrial. Michael Dunn was given the maximum possible sentence of life in prison without parole plus 60 years. Following the trial, Dunn’s attorney filed an appeal with the First District Court of Appeals in the State of Florida. On November 17, 2016, his appeal was turned down. With all of these events unfolding never once did justice raises its head. Not once was Dunn ever given deference to the fact that he had a right to defend himself from Jordan Davis’ rage. It was all about politics. The press ran with a spurious narrative of rap music and painted Michael as the one with rage and not Jordan who was the only one going crazy that night. And the only racist on the scene was Jordan Davis as he yelled “cracker” at Dunn as testified by his friends in the SUV.

The same prosecutor that lost the George Zimmerman trial was the one to handle the so-called Loud Music Trial. The same team, Angela Corey team, that Zimmerman’s lawyers were screaming from the mountain tops that they were complicit in never before seen chicanery during the trial, was the same bunch charging Michael Dunn with first-degree murder. The charge alone is an injustice and was inherently political. One would think you have to plan a murder to be convicted of first-degree murder. Michael Dunn never met Jordan Davis before the incident at the gas station; how on Earth he gets convicted of a planned murder says more about the crooked justice system in Florida than it does about Dunn.

According to Wikipedia two films were made surrounding all of this: “In January 2015, the documentary 3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets (then titled 3 ½ Minutes) premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival on January 24. The documentary is about the shooting, the trial and Florida’s Stand Your Ground laws and was directed by Marc Silver. The documentary won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.The film distribution was sold to HBO.

The documentary film The Armor of Light features the story of Jordan Davis. Disney heir Abigail Disney made her directorial debut with The Armor of Light, which follows pro-life Evangelical minister Rev. Rob Schenck, Lucy McBath, the mother of teenager Jordan Davis, and attorney John Michael Phillips as they interact in the years post shooting. The film follows Rev. Schenck as he meets McBath, a pro-choice Christian, and her attorney John Phillips. It leads to the question: is it possible to be both pro-gun and pro-life? The Armor of Light premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2015 before opening theatrically on October 30, 2015.
In 2017, it was nominated for an Emmy Award.”

The narrative that Michael Dunn was a racist who killed somebody over loud rap music took on a life of its own. The press had a huge role in this alternate reality. The press kept rolling with these false narratives of all these cases to the point that they now they have blood on their hands.

On the evening of June 17th, 2015 an evil, insane southern pride racist walked into the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, sat and prayed with strangers and then opened fire on everyone killing nine people. A young millennial from an affluent town called Lexington, South Carolina was disturbed about the events surrounding the Trayvon Martin trial when he was doing research on it. Now there is no excuse under the sun to pull a pernicious stunt like that mass slaughter, but what role does the press have in this? I say a big role.

On August 26, 2015, Alison Parker and Adam Ward were shot to death while conducting a live television interview. The news team was interviewing Vicki Gardner of the Chamber of Commerce when all three were shot by 41-year-old Vester Lee Flanagan II also known as Bryce Williams, a former reporter at the same WDBJ news station. The station fired Flanagan for disruptive conduct in 2013. Flanagan shot himself during a chase with police officers after the live TV shooting and died later at a hospital. Both Alison and Adam died as well, Vicki survived.

Now it is time to connect the dots. I was very disturbed to see the falsehoods put out around that Trayvon Martin Trial and Loud Music Trial in real time personally. Imagine an unstable monster like Dylann Storm Roof and the effects on his twisted mind, when he combs through the results of the dishonest press coverage afterward in his research of the Trayvon Martin shooting. WDBJ reporter Jeff Burnside was fired by NBC for doctoring the tape of the 911 call from George Zimmerman. The doctored recordings included multiple deletions. Burnside removed intervening dialogue between Zimmerman and the dispatcher. He then juxtaposed unrelated content to make it appear that Zimmerman was a racist. It made it look like Zimmerman was racially profiling Trayvon Martin according to Michael Martinez at CNN and other reports and a lawsuit filed by Zimmerman.

There is a direct line from what happened in the George Zimmerman case to what happened at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. Dylann Roof was acting on the false information about George Zimmerman put out by Jeffrey Burnside of Dade County, who was reporting from Sanford to his station, NBC-owned WTVJ in Miami. That, in turn, triggered the shooting deaths at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The mass shooting at the church then triggered another man to shoot Alison Parker and photojournalist Adam Ward, employees of CBS affiliate WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia live on TV.

The dots are in fact connected to and from Trayvon Martin and Dylann Roof to the double murder of news reporter Alison Parker and photojournalist Adam Ward. Indirectly, one news station’s actions in editing Zimmerman’s call to the police had a role in another newsroom employees getting murdered live on the air. However, you will never hear this connection spoken in the media, yet there it is as bright as the sun shining in a blue sky. The level of dishonesty and manipulation in the mainstream press was beyond misleading, it was deadly.

In the investigation that followed, it was revealed that the shooter, 41-year-old Vester Lee Flanagan II, also known as Bryce Williams, put down the deposit on the gun he used to kill the news people during a live broadcast, two days after the Emanuel Church shooting in South Carolina. There were reports of written statements made by Flanagan that stated he was motivated by, among other things, the Dylann Roof mass murder at the Emanuel Church.

Dylann Roof was disturbed by the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida when he researched misleading press reports about it and then shot up the church in South Carolina. Flanagan was disturbed by Roof shooting up the church in South Carolina and killed the news people live on TV in Virginia. The dots kept connecting.

The rippling effect of the press and the death that lays in its wake is crystal clear, yet not a single news source has reported this direct connection. No one is connecting the dots. Why? There is a direct line from the newsroom and person that was fired at NBC for editing the 911 call of George Zimmerman, falsely painting him as a racist, to the newsroom and news crew that got killed live on TV.

The blame for those mass murders lies with the gunmen and their behavior for those deaths, but that does not erase the correlation or the cause and effect from the media to these killings. When the press backed by the corporations abandons its role as a journalist and becomes a propagandist, then we are all screwed. If it can happen to Michael Dunn, it came happen to any of us.

Michael Dunn was sent to a prison in Oregon for his own safety. He was placed in a prison that is only three percent black because of all of the press coverage of the Loud Music Trial. Michael is still fighting for his release and to get out from under the yoke of politics that put him in prison in the first place.

Michael reached out in 2017 to a Jacksonville reporter Bridgette Matter and wrote this letter. In a letter to Action News Jax reporter Bridgette Matter, he talks a lot about the evidence, claiming “Math, science, and self-defense law” and “simple geometry” should exonerate him. Dunn wrote, “The public and therefore the jury were not interested in facts, they were only interested in emotion, blame, anger and fear, not facts. Apparently, in a battle between science and spectacle, spectacle wins.”

Dunn’s Letter Page 1 & Page 2

I have had correspondence with Michael Dunn through the entire process going back to when he was in Jacksonville at the local jail to his transfer to Oregon. Michael has never once wavered from his claim of self-defense. He told me, “I’m confident that we’ll get to be heard again and that a life sentence plus 60 years is not my ultimate fate. I will be exonerated of all charges before this is over.”

Dunn said, “I want you to know that I would never resort to the use of deadly force unless my or another’s life was in jeopardy. I made a mistake by not calling 911 right away. In hindsight, seeing how the local cops botched the investigation, can you blame me for wanting to report the incident to my hometown sheriff?”

In the end, Michael Dunn was run over by a racially charged atmosphere, a willing press and a corrupt and flawed justice system in Florida. Collectively, we are all to blame for the ruination of a good man’s life. Because we did not speak out watching this snowball roll down our politically correct hill, a man’s life was shattered. Most of all I blame the press. Their propaganda ruins lives and contributes to the loss of life. If it continues to go unchecked, who is next?

C. Rich
Author, Blogger, Poet

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