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Local leaders looking to avoid racial divide in Michael Dunn trial

Michael Dunn, 45, is accused of killing Jordan Davis, 17, at a Southside gas station.
Michael Dunn, 45, is accused of killing Jordan Davis, 17, at a Southside gas station.
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Updated: 2/03 11:59 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Death over loud music has cranked up the intensity surrounding racial issues in Jacksonville.

Jury selection in the Michael Dunn trial has just begun and already local activists are sounding the alarm on a case that many said could cause a racial divide. Local leaders said there are similarities with the George Zimmerman trial, but expect different results this time.

"You're talking about again, a young black male being the victim. But we don't think it's going to be the same as last time because there are witnesses that saw the entire deal with Michael Dunn," said Opio Sokoni, local president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Michael Dunn reportedly asked 17-year-old Jordan Davis and his friends to turn down their music at a Gate Gas station on Black Friday, in 2012. Dunn claims he saw Davis reach for an object he thought was a gun, and fired in self defense. However, investigators found that the teens were unarmed.

Action News obtained jail house letters that Dunn wrote saying he hopes more people kill African Americans when someone is threatened.

"Those letters had racist thoughts that were in it," said Sokoni.

Sokoni tells us his organization is preparing for whats to come, and will be holding a peaceful protest outside the courthouse Tuesday afternoon.

"We salute those people who get out there and say things but we want to make sure when they say things they're doing it, coming from a spirit thats decent, coming from a spirit that's about love," he said.

Jury selection will continue Tuesday morning. The judge needs 60 potential jurors to move forward.
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