JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The parents of a slain Jacksonville teen traveled to New York City on Friday morning to see their son's photo displayed on a Jumbotron in Times Square.
Seventeen-year-old Jordan Davis was featured in Jet Magazine's January edition. The magazine cover went on display on the Times Square electronic billboard at 44th Street and Broadway on New Year's Eve and will remain there for two weeks.
The victim's father, Ron Davis, hopes his trip to the Northeast will raise awareness about violence. He wants people to look at his story and understand it's a societal issue.
"Everybody's kid, everybody's nephew, everybody's brother and sister ... it could have been anybody," Davis said. "I want people to really understand about community, and that's what we're fighting for, that people come together and not tear each other apart and tear each other's neighborhoods apart."
Davis adds that if Jordan stands for anything, he would want him to stand up for the community staying together.
"You have to be together as a community," Davis said. "We saw the '60s, how it took the country apart, and I really don't want to go back to the '60s."
While in New York, Davis met with the parents of another teen, Ramarley Graham, who was killed by a police officer in the Bronx last year.
"People that have these kind of situations, tragic, kids being killed for different reasons, I've been getting a lot of calls about that," Davis said. "You want to give them a platform to speak about their children. It's kind of like an honor."
In November, police said Michael Dunn fired into an SUV full of teenagers at a Gate gas station off Southside Boulevard and Baymeadows Road in a dispute over loud music. Jordan Davis was struck by the gunfire and killed. Dunn is charged with murder, but claims he acted in self-defense.
Mitzi Miller, the editor-in-chief of Jet Magazine, spoke Friday in a phone interview about why she chose to put Jordan Davis' picture on the cover.
"This is a good kid and this is ridiculous. It just reached a level that I felt like could no longer be ignored and we could not push under the rug," Miller said. "These are the kind of stories that will hopefully change policy in the long term and change people's hearts, and I'm just happy to help Mr. Davis get the message about his son out and help people to know that it's not OK to stand by and let things slide anymore."
The next trip for the Davises is to Washington D.C. to talk to lawmakers and spend time at the Brady Center, an organization aimed at preventing gun violence.