JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis are all names of young black men who were unarmed, innocent and are now dead at the hands of vigilantes.
Jordan Davis' father, believes Ahmaud Arbery belongs on that list. Ron Davis did eventually get justice for his son's murder, and he’s now watching closely as the Arbery family yearn for the same.
"These steps remind me of what happened in October, what happened in February, and I don't think I'll ever get this courthouse out of my mind," Ron Davis said while reflecting on the trials of 2014 as he stood before the steps of the Duval County Courthouse in Downtown Jacksonville.
He vividly recalls both trials of the man who shot and killed his son on November 23, 2012, Michael Dunn. Ron Davis says he can still smell the courtroom where Dunn sat in a suit and tie waiting for judgment.
"The courtroom, we came in and it was the first time that they used the big courtroom," Ron Davis said. "I remember the dust was all around."
As the dust settled in February 2014, a jury would convict Dunn of attempted murder but end up hung on a first-degree murder charge.
“Me and his mother we looked at each other, me and Lucy McBath we looked at each other, and we said yes, but they didn't convict him for killing our son,” Ron Davis said.
A second trial in October 2014 ended with a jury finding Dunn guilty of murdering Jordan Davis following an argument over loud music, and sentenced to life without parole.
"When they came back with guilty I was stunned, I was absolutely elated," Ron Davis said. "I could barely walk. My legs almost gave way when they said guilty."
That feeling of fair play is one Marcus Arbery yearns for 71 miles away from Jacksonville in Brunswick, Georgia, as he too walks into a courthouse lit up by a national spotlight.
"I truly with all my heart believe that this family will get justice because of the outcry, because of what happened in the George Floyd case I think that they will also get justice," Ron Davis said.
Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed while running through a Glynn County neighborhood on Feb. 23, 2020. He was unarmed and suspected of being a thief. A father and son, Gregory and Travis McMichael are seen on video taking matters into their own hands, ultimately shooting the 25-year-old.
A third defendant, William Bryan who recorded cell phone video of the deadly encounter, testified to an investigator that Travis McMichael stood over Ahmaud's body and used a racial slur as Arbery lay dying.
“You had the shotgun, you pointed the shotgun at him but you're mad and you call him an epithet, an N-word while he's lying there dying," Ron Davis said. "You're not rendering any aid to him."
The reaction of one father hurting for another. Jordan would be 26 this year, Ahmaud as well.
"Jordan got justice here in Jacksonville, Florida," Ron Davis said. "I believe Ahmaud will get justice an hour and a half away."
Both Ron Davis and Jordan’s mother, Georgia Congresswoman Lucy McBath, have dedicated their lives to helping prevent other families from experiencing the same pain they did after losing their son.
All three defendants accused of murder in Arbery’s death have pleaded not guilty.
George Zimmerman was acquitted in Trayvon’s case, as were the two men in the Emmett Till case.