Demonstrators outside Michael Dunn trial hopeful for verdict


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – People standing in front of the Duval County Courthouse holding signs has been a fixture for most if the Michael Dunn trial. Friday was no different.

Demonstrators were back as the jury continued to deliberate.

Many of the demonstrators were expecting a verdict Thursday but now are hoping it comes Friday.

Their message is justice for Jordan Davis. For them, that means a guilty verdict. They're not discouraged by how long the jury has been deliberating.

Many of the demonstrators have been making their voices heard since the trial began, lining the sidewalk leading to the courthouse. They say they want to keep attention on this story locally and nationally and represent people who may not be able to come out.

It's important, demonstrators say, for people to feel hopeful and know that someone out there cares about justice.

There were people from several groups there Friday. One woman brought her daughters out with her to be part of the demonstrations.

"Loud music. Do they deserve to die because of loud music? Skittles and hoodies? No," Jacqueline Black said. "That's what they are taking away from this. They can stand up. They need to be heard."

Another group was there just wanting to support Davis' family.

"They lost a son," Mary Dennis said. "And we all look a it, everybody that has children right now, they really put themselves in their places like, 'OK, this could have been my child."

And the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Jacksonville was back out there. Throughout the trial, they have been nonviolent and non-confrontational.

"We stand in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," said Opio Sokoni, of the SCLC. "He was about love. He was about bringing people together. But what we found in this trial is that blacks and whites do believe that this man is guilty, and so it doesn't take a lot of inflammatory language when you're on the side of right."

The demonstrators say they plan to keep that same theme of nonviolence, even if the jury delivers a verdict they don't agree with.

They'll be out there until the verdict comes down.