One of the last memories that Jordan Davis' family will always cherish is the grateful Thanksgiving prayer the teen delivered the day before he was murdered by a man who quarreled with him over the volume of his car stereo.
Jordan Russell Davis, a happy 17-year-old African American teen, expressed just how appreciative he was for his family, friends and life as he lead the family prayer.
“He was thanking God for his family in Mexico and thanking God for his mom and dad in Georgia and thankful for his father and all his friends and everybody that loved him. ... and he was just so excited and happy, thanking God he had gotten a brand new job at McDonald's," said Jordan’s mom, Lucia McBath.
Before the moment Jordan was shot in a gas station parking lot by Michael Dunn, a 45-year-old software developer, he lived a normal teenage life. He was raised by his mother in Atlanta where he was homeschooled from 4th grade until high school.
Two years ago, Jordan moved to Jacksonville, Florida to live with his father Ron Davis. He attended Jacksonville’s Samuel W. Wolfson High School where he was described as a very bright student by his teacher Carolyn Aponte, who moved him into an advanced reading class when he was in 10th grade. His music appreciation teacher Cristina Ledford said that he would use his intelligence to "speak from the heart" during discussions.
Jordan worked at a local supermarket chain named Winn-Dixie, but he looked forward to starting his new job at McDonalds. He aspired to join the military and he liked to listen to music, loudly. His friends and his music were two of the last things he heard before his life slipped away in the backseat of a red SUV on Black Friday.
It was around 7:30 pm when Jordan and his three friends pulled up to a Southside gas station in Jacksonville after doing Black Friday shopping at the mall. That’s when they ran into Michael Dunn, who just left his son’s wedding. He rolled up to Jordan’s car because he thought that he and his friends were playing their music too loudly. Soon after words were exchanged, shots were fired. Michael used the gun that he legally concealed in his glove compartment to fire eight to nine shots at Jordan’s car, fatally stealing the last moments of his life away from him.
Many people are comparing the circumstances surrounding Jordan’s murder to the death of Trayvon Martin, another 17-year-old African American unarmed teen who was gunned down by an older white (looking) man who felt "threatened." Other people will call this another unjust tale of a young black mn in America who don’t live to see 21 years old. While others will say this tragedy is the result of lax gun laws that give licensed gun owners like Michael Dunn permission to roll around with a concealed weapon.
But the bottom line is that Jordan is dead. His mother’s only son is gone. His father’s pride and joy has departed. His friends and family won’t see him anymore. And the world will never witness the greatness and potential that he possessed.
Jordan, Trayvon and the thousands of other Black men who don’t get media coverage or high-profile cases aren’t coming back, but their deaths should not be in vain. Let’s stand up to fight for, protect and ensure that all the teens who like loud music or wear hoodies are entitled to live out their days in peace and happiness.