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3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets: Talking With The Father Of Jordan Davis

3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets
Dogwoof Productions
Ron Davis, the father of Jordan Davis, pictured here as part of the documentary 3 1/2 Minutes, about his son's tragic death.

On November 23, 2012, 17-year-old Jordan Davis, a black high school student, and three friends were listening to loud music inside a car at a gas station in Jacksonville, FL.  Michael Dunn, a 47-year-old white male, confronted Davis and his friends about the music. An argument ensued between Dunn and the young men.  Dunn responded by retrieving a loaded handgun from his car and fired ten shots at Davis and his friends’ car until it was out of range.  The altercation resulted in the death of Jordan Davis. The other young men escaped injury.

The documentary “3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets” examines the shooting, subsequent trial, the impact of the effects on the Davis family.

A screening of the film will take place at Carnegie Mellon University, as part of the CMU Film Festival. 

“The drive to the hospital was the worst,” Davis recalled, after learning about the incident from Jordan’s mother while he was at work.

Davis learned of his son’s passing at the hospital. When shown his son’s body David disregarded police orders about disturbing the body by embracing his son one last time.

“When he came into this world by C-Section, I was the first one he saw, and I was the first person to kiss my son, so I wanted to be the last one to kiss my son,” Davis says.

During the subsequent trial, Michael Dunn cited Florida’s “Stand-Your-Ground” law, saying he felt threatened by Jordan. Initially Dunn’s attorney falsely claimed there was a shotgun in the car.

Michael Dunn was charged with first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

“He did not value Jordan’s life,” Davis says, “We have to start valuing each other’s lives no matter what their nationality. That’s what he didn’t do.”

Davis describes Jordan as a young man who valued learning and diversity in friendship, was a gifted baseball player, and dreamed of becoming a member of the Air Force or Marines.

The city of Jacksonville honors the life of Jordan Davis by declaring his birthday, February 16, as Jordan Davis Day.

Davis has been overwhelmed with the film’s reception.  It has won an award at the Sundance Film Festival and been shown around the world including a screening at the White House.

“For some of these families who do not get justice, we want them to see that there’s hope,” Davis says, “Don’t stop fighting.”

“3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets” will be shown tonight at 6pm in the McConomy Auditorium at Carnegie Mellon University, followed by a panel discussion featuring Ron Davis.  Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults. 

More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here.