In an exclusive email to First Coast News, Michael Dunn's daughter, 21-year-old Rebecca Dunn, opens up about her father and the impact his arrest has had. Dunn has been in jail since November 2012. He is charged with first degree murder for the shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis at a Southside gas station.
How has your father's arrest impacted your life?
Well, it has obviously been quite miserable. This whole year has been emotionally draining and I have to constantly remind myself that everything will be okay and I have to find different ways to calm myself down. I also have to see my family in pain, that's been really hard. I feel like I haven't really been in touch with my family and it's because as soon as I hear the pain and sobs in their voices, I completely lose it too. That's why I love keeping in touch with my dad through letters. It's a lot easier than being on the phone; I can't hold back the tears when I'm on the phone with him.
We have heard a lot about Jordan Davis from his family and friends but little about your father. Tell me about your dad. What kind of person is he and how he is handling being behind bars?
He is such a wonderful father. I honestly don't know where I would be right now if it weren't for my father. I have this one memory as a small child that is very precious to me. One night, my sister and I were sleeping and there was a terrible storm brewing outside complete with house-quaking thunder and bright flashes of lightening. I was on my way to my parents room and at the same time, my dad was making his way to our room to make sure that we were okay and we both got to the kitchen at the same time when a huge crash of thunder came down on our home and there was a bright flash of lightning and we both jumped in the air and at the same time realized that we were both standing in the kitchen at 2 a.m. It was quite funny and safe to say I snuck into my mom and dad's bed that night.
I am blessed to have a father who challenges me, who knows I can do better, who sees the potential in me, who tells me how beautiful and smart I am and that he is very proud of me, a father who doesn't get my love of—no—obsession with ballet and yet sits through all of my dance shows and takes me to see professional ballets all of the time and pays for my dance lessons. I am so blessed to have him and no one (with the exception of a few people) knows how much this whole situation is killing me.
Have you been able to talk to your dad and visit him since his arrest? What has that been like, and what do talk about?
We always write to each other. We talk mainly about my life, what I'm doing, who I'm seeing, what the Kardashians are up to. I like to send him letters full of funny things I read on the internet, books or heard on my favorite show. I sent him almost a full episode of "The Mindy Project" which is my favorite show at the moment. He talks to me about my future and about his. He assures me that everything will be okay and that he loves me and I do the same. I am constantly reminding him of how much I love him and how I'm always there for him even if he doesn't see me.
What are your feelings with the trial now less than a month away?
I'm nervous, yet confident, anxious and excited to see him and my family. I cannot wait for it to be over. I feel like I've been holding my breath for a year.
Will you be at the trial? Who will be there on his behalf?
Of course I will be there. I am driving down with someone close to me. Nothing could keep me away from being there for him.
The letters your father wrote you and other from jail have garnered a lot of attention with many people thinking they were racially charged. What do you want the public to know about that?
It's crazy how racist this world really is, but not my dad. It boggles my mind and frustrates me to no end!! Honestly, the people who are saying he's racist are most likely racists themselves! I guarantee that! I don't care what anyone has to say about this whole thing, but THIS CASE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE. If people want to make it about race (like they do everything!) that is just fine and dandy, but I'm sick of all these ignorant people.
Do you stand by your father's side?
Yes, yes, yes, absolutely, always.
Are you confident he will be acquitted and set free?
Yes, absolutely. The thing that frightens me the most is that I see all the corruption that has come with this case. I know the truth, I know what my father says happened is the truth, but it's all these crazy, lying, corrupt people working on this case that scares me. Like Angela Corey. I don't trust her. Not one bit.
Anything else you want the public to know about your dad?
Nothing I say will change your mind once you've made up your mind about it and like I said before, it doesn't matter what the public thinks. I am going to stand by my father, always. We're not going down without a fight, not until the jury sees the truth and I promise, they will. I am blessed to have such a strong family, to have all these wonderful people in my life and I wouldn't change a thing. I have realized that I will be okay as long as I have these people. That is something my father showed me at a very young age. Always persevere, always question authority and always do what is right. And that is exactly what he did.