Jordan Davis would have been celebrating his 19th birthday today.
Instead, at 17, he was gunned down after a random white guy at a Florida gas station flipped his privileged lid when Davis and his friends refused to turn down their loud music. Dunn claims Davis brandished a shotgun, so Dunn grabbed his pistol and fired 10 rounds into the car, killing Davis.
Police never found a shotgun, or any other weapon, in the boys’ car.
On Saturday night, Michael Dunn was found guilty of three counts of second-degree attempted murder, but not of first-degree premeditated murder, in the killing of Davis. Dunn faces more than 60 years in prison.
RIP Jordan Davis.
At 19 years old, I was a junior in college, studying for the GREs and begging my parents to either let me move off campus with my friends or study abroad in London. They said “no” to the move. “Yes” to London (which I wasn’t expecting) so I was contemplating if that’s what I actually wanted to do. All I really wanted was to get out of the dorms.
I’d decided I wanted to be “a writer” because at 19 I thought I could speak things into existence and that’s all it really took. Poof! As a second semester junior, I took my first journalism class.
Everyone older kept telling me “these are the best days of your life” and I couldn’t wait to graduate and get my life started. “Start” meant moving to NYC and attending NYU. I wanted to be grown. I had no idea how to make my dreams happen in the “real world” that loomed ahead.
I went to the club (a lot) on Thursday and Sunday nights (aka college night) and walked to the car sweaty– and piled in with 5 other women– because I was trying to keep up with the B-more girls dancing to house music. I had the moves, not the stamina. Then maybe I’d go home and write a 5 page essay with minimal typos.
I studied hard, I ki-ki’d with my roommates until the wee hours of the morning, nearly every night. I argued with my parents. I played my music loud, I drove my car too fast. I couldn’t hold my liquor, which I was too young (and illegal) to be drinking anyway.
I didn’t know it, but I was laying the foundation for everything I would accomplish professionally.
In my downtime, I daydreamed a lot– about the next boy, the next party, the next exam/paper, the next Spring Break…. because I took it for granted there would always be a … “next.” The world was laid out as a canvas before me, I just had to figure out what I wanted to add to it.
Jordan Davis deserved to have afternoons of day dreams, nights of parties, an opportunity to leave his mark and a lifetime of “nexts” too.
It feels horrible to see RIP before a 19 year old’s name. Geez.
What did you do at 19?