Lucia McBath was not among the 4,000 individuals that attended Michael Brown’s funeral, but she can identify with the pain of Brown’s mother more than most who were there.
For the mother of slain 17-year-old Jordan Davis, that pain was particularly sharp Monday morning as she stood outside the Duval County Courthouse.
“It’s just kind of heart-breaking today and very sad that the very day that we’re here again and trying to more toward justice for our own son, that Michael Brown’s family are burying him,” she said. “It’s just a very sad coincidence.”
McBath was at the courthouse for the pre-trial hearing of her son’s accused killer, 47-year-old Michael Dunn.
In a few short weeks, Dunn will face his second trial in the death of Davis, who was shot dead in a Jacksonville gas station in November 2012.
Dunn stood trial for the shooting death of Davis in February, arguing that he acted in self-defense after Davis threatened him during an argument over loud music. A jury subsequently deadlocked on whether or not to convict him of murder.
Monday, Circuit Judge Russell Healey set Dunn’s last hearing before the retrial for September 8. Attorneys on both sides will have until September 2 to file any new evidentiary motions.
Meanwhile, thousands of people from around the country were in Ferguson, Missouri Monday for the funeral of 18-year-old teen Michael Brown, including Ron Davis, the father of Jordan Davis. Brown was shot dead by a Ferguson police officer on Aug. 9. He was unarmed at the time.
McBath said she wanted to go to Ferguson to be with the Brown family as well, but decided she should be in court for the hearing.
“One of us needed to be here today, so that is the reason why I’ve stayed,” she said. “I did send the family flowers and a personal letter.”
Since the death of her son, she has become a criminal justice and gun control advocate. She is currently the national spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America.
She said she believes it will take some retooling of the country’s justice and legislative systems to keep more mothers from sharing similar stories.
“What we’re beginning to see is people crying out. I think it’s a matter of retooling, overhauling a lot of our major systems in the country
so that everyone believes and feels that they are being treated fairly,” she said.
Jury selection in the retrial is set to begin September 22.
You can follow Rhema Thompson on Twitter @RhemaThompson.