City plans for crowds and media for Michael Dunn trial

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The city of Jacksonville may soon come under the national spotlight as the jury selection for the trial of Michael Dunn begins Feb. 3.

Dunn is accused of murdering 17-year-old Jordan Davis after an argument police say began over loud music on Black Friday of 2012.

At least 200 news organizations camped out at the Seminole County Courthouse in Sanford, FL during the George Zimmerman trial last year, a case many have compared Michael Dunn's case to.

The local trial seems likely to draw less of the national spotlight, but the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is preparing regardless.

"We take this stuff seriously we're going to be in the national spotlight the city of Jacksonville spotlight and we've done a lot of planning," Chief Michelle Cook, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Several agencies in Jacksonville have come together for planning for this high-profile case; Duval County Court Administration, Clerk of Courts, city Emergency Management, and the Sheriff's Office.

About 180 reporters from two dozen local and national media organizations were approved for credentials in covering the Dunn trial.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is not revealing any specific plans of security in relation to the trial, but say crowds will not be able to gather at any public place where they may block an entryway or exit. A Media Committee has set up a reserved lot for media parking near the Duval County Courthouse.

Anyone from the public interested in attending the trial will have to fill out an application and enter a daily lottery. Applicants will be drawn daily to fill seating reserved for the public. The Prime Osborn Convention Center will be the location for dropping off an application and will be operational Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Individuals selected will receive wristbands color-coded by day.

The public will not be allowed to attend jury selection.1500 jury summons were mailed out and only 12 will serve. There will be four alternates.


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