It's been more than two years since they lost their son, and the parents of Jordan Davis say the only thing that keeps them moving is knowing their loss has contributed to the national conversation about the peril of young black men in America.
Davis, 17, was shot to death in a parking lot in September 2012 after an argument with Michael Dunn about loud music. The new documentary "3½ Minutes" chronicles his killing and the subsequent trial that ultimately found Dunn convicted of first-degree murder.
Jordan's parents, Ron Davis and Lucia McBath, and "3½ Minutes" director Marc Silver spoke with HuffPost Live's Ricky Camilleri from the Sundance Film Festival about the documentary and their journey since losing their child. McBath explained:
We don't really know what we would've done had we not been given the opportunity to advocate for change. ... That has been such a means of healing and mending for our very souls. ... It stays with you constantly. There isn't a day that goes by that we don't mourn and think about Jordan. But we have a means by which we can walk through the process, and a lot of people in this country don't ever get that opportunity. So this has been a healing, a mending for us, and it'll continue to be so as we walk this journey out. Because this journey for us will never end. This is what we will always do and be.
During the interview, Jordan's parents detailed their frustration when the judge forbid discussion of race during the trial, with the reasoning that because Dunn did not use a racial slur during the shooting, the incident did not constitute a hate crime. The judge's decision meant the jury could not review a series of letters Dunn sent from prison, which he wrote was "full of blacks" who "act like thugs" and suggested people should "arm themselves and kill these (expletive) idiots."
As he struggled to cope with his son's death, Ron Davis had an emotional call with Trayvon Martin's father, who welcomed him to "a club that nobody wants to be a part of." That conversation hit home for Davis, who had spoken with his own son about Martin's death.
"We had tears in our eyes and we were really upset about it, and Jordan went in the bedroom and put on a brown hoodie and said, 'Look, Dad, I look just like Trayvon. Look how close -- we're both 17 years old,'" Davis said. "Little did he know and little did I know that within a few months from doing that, he would be dead also at the hands of a shooter."
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