The father of Jordan Davis, the unarmed 17-year-old who was gunned down by Michael Dunn in 2012 during a dispute about loud music, is hoping the new documentary about his son’s slaying will provoke more than outrage. Ron Davis told NewsOne in a recent interview he sees 3 and 1/2 Minutes, which HBO is set to air, as a “call to action, to make you leave the theater and say, ‘You know what, I’ve got to do something about this…. let’s get together and change what we’re seeing now.””
He also said, “I don’t want people to look at the film and just say, ‘That was a very good film, we saw the film and we understood what the family went through in the film and our hearts go out to them.’ We get that a lot.”
On November 23, 2012, 47-year-old Michael Dunn, who is White, fatally shot Jordan Davis, who is Black. Dunn claimed he feared for his life after an argument over loud music outside a Jacksonville, Fla. convenience store. In February 2014, a jury deadlocked on the first-degree murder charge relating to the teen’s death, but a second trial in October 2014 produced a conviction.
The title 3 and 1/2 Minutes refers to the amount of time that elapsed between when Jordan Davis and three friends pulled into the gas station and when shots rang out. As reported by Variety and confirmed by Davis, HBO has acquired the U.S. television rights to the Marc Silver-directed documentary. Covering the slaying of Jordan Davis, and the subsequent trials and convictions of Michael Dunn, the film is set for theatrical release this summer and slated to air in the fall on HBO.
Sadly, the themes it explores — among them, society’s tendency to demonize young Black men and how racial dynamics skew the pursuit of justice when they are slain — remain timely today. “What we see now is the narrative of, ‘We’re sorry this happened,’ and then we see the shooting of men of color, women of color,” observed Ron Davis. He cited, among other cases, the case of Walter Scott, who was unarmed and fleeing when South Carolina police officer Michael Slager shot him in the back earlier this month. Slager has been charged with murder.
Breaking the narrative requires Black people to act cooperatively in the economic arena, Davis told NewsOne. With economic empowerment — e.g. supporting Black business — will come clout and leverage to affect public policies, such as gun legislation, he explained.
Davis also lauded the efforts of the March2Justice, a Justice League NYC-led 250-plus mile march from New York City to Washington culminating in a rally for legislative reform in the nation’s capital. NewsOne is covering the march through April 23.
His advice for marchers:
“They have to along the way encourage people just like we’re talking today — take action, make sure that you’re trying to get everybody to focus on economic freedom so you have the ability to shape and to form what happens in our different communities.
“Without the funds, without the money, without the businesses in order to do that, then you’re not going to get anything done.”
See what else Ron Davis had to say in the video clip above, and see the trailer for 3 and 1/2 Minutes below.
VIDEO SOURCE: Vimeo