December 1, 2012

Noise Free America
For immediate release

Ted Rueter
[email protected]

Chapel Hill: Michael David Dunn has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for fatally shooting Jordan Davis, an unarmed 17 year-old in Jacksonville, Florida. Dunn was upset over the loud music coming from the SUV Davis was riding in with a group of friends.

Loud car stereos are a constant problem for millions of Americans. Noise Free America has received thousands of complaints and pleas for help because of the relentless pounding of boom car noise. Over the years we have issued numerous press releases regarding the problem. Sadly, as legislators and law enforcement have failed to act, the problem has grown worse.

Ted Rueter, Noise Free America’s director, stated that “Noise Free America deeply regrets this deadly incident. There was no justification whatsoever for this murder. Dunn states that he felt ‘threatened.’ There was no basis for this fear as Dunn himself was the aggressor. Dunn could and should have taken any number of steps to prevent this murder. He could have driven away. He could have spoken to the store manager. He could have called the police to complain about the excessive noise. Dunn chose to confront the teenagers. When his demand for them to lower the noise was ignored he resorted to violence. Firing shots into a car of unarmed teenagers is reprehensible. The sentence for annoying others with boom car noise is not death.

Noise Free America does not endorse the actions of Michael Dunn and discourages anyone from violent confrontations with noise makers. When confronted with unwanted noise, contact the police. If you are at a business, speak to the manager or simply remove yourself from the situation. We encourage people to write businesses a letter (Noise Free America has sample complaint letters in the Resource Room of our website) complaining about the noise you have experienced at their establishment. It is never advisable to argue with someone causing a noise disturbance.

Sadly, some have expressed that the murder was justified based upon Dunn’s statement that he felt threatened and because of their own dislike of boom cars. However, investigators have found Dunn’s claims of being threatened unfounded.

Dunn, a 45 year-old “gun enthusiast,” stopped at a convenience store at 7:40 pm on November 23. 2012 so that his girlfriend could purchase a bottle of wine. Dunn parked next to an SUV with four teenagers inside. He complained about their loud music, which prompted a verbal response from the teens. Dunn then pulled out his gun, firing eight or nine shots into the vehicle. Jordan Davis was struck several times and died.

Dunn and his girlfriend immediately fled the scene and spent the night at a hotel. When she came out of the convenience store, Dunn’s girlfriend said, “What’s going on?” Dunn responded, “I just fired at those kids.” Dunn was arrested the next day at his home in Satellite Beach, about 160 miles away, after police were able to track his license plate.

When he was arrested, Dunn claimed that he was going to turn himself in. However, that does not explain why he fled the scene, or why he and his girlfriend failed to notify law enforcement about the shooting. After his arrest, Dunn told detectives he felt “threatened.” However, Jacksonville police reported that the teens were unarmed and it was simply a verbal confrontation.

Dunn pleaded not guilty in Brevard County court. His attorney claimed, “It will be very clear that Mr. Dunn acted very responsibly and as any responsible firearms owner would have acted under these circumstances.” The next day, Dunn’s lawyer told a different story, claiming that “he acted the way any responsible firearms owner would act in a similar situation because a shotgun was aimed at him” and that his client “was devastated that anyone was harmed in this instance.”

Dunn did not tell police about any shotgun being aimed at him. Also, it is unbelievable that he fired eight or nine shots into an occupied parked car and was “devastated” that anyone was harmed. Police state that the teens were unarmed. The teens admit that their music was loud, but they did not have a gun and did not leave their vehicle.

Rob Schoonover, a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Lt., stated that “it was loud. They admitted that. But that’s not a reason for someone to open fire at them and take action.

We agree. Michael Dunn’s killing of an unarmed teenager has done nothing to raise the issue of boom car noise. Rather, Dunn’s actions have unfairly maligned other noise opponents with the stigma of violence. A teenager is dead and his killer has been arrested and will stand trial for murder. And still, millions of teenagers (and adults) will continue their use of recreational boom car noise, annoying those around them. Those of us who condemn boom car noise in hopes of peace and quiet must also condemn the actions of Michael Dunn in the name of peace.

Noise Free America is a national 501c3 organization opposed to noise pollution. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Lakeland, Florida; the Sarasota, Florida ACLU ; and the Florida Marlins.