Stand Your Ground: The shooting of David James
A father was shot down in front of his daugher
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David James was at the basketball courts in his Twin Lakes community with his eight-year-old daughter when 14-year-old Spencer Howard, who was visiting the community, asked if he could practice on his skateboard. James said yes, but neighbor, Trevor Dooley yelled across the street that the kid should leave because there was a sign prohibiting skating on the court.
James asked Dooley to show him the sign. Witnesses say that Dooley went into his garage and came out with something dark tucked in his waistband. He walked across the street and the two men argued about whether to let Howard continue to skate. At some point, Dooley lifted up his shirt, showed James the gun, and said F**ck you. Witnesses said that James told Dooley not to flash a pistol at him. Dooley then pulled out the pistol. The two men wrestled for the gun and James was shot in the heart and died instantly, according to the medical examiner.
James 8-year-old daughter Danielle and the Howard watched in horror. James final words were, call and ambulance, I have been shot. Trevor Dooley was arrested for manslaughter and is now in court standing trial. David James is dead and can never take his daughter to park to play basketball again.
James was an Iraqi war veteran who served in combat. His wife, Kanina, worried about him everyday while he was away. She never thought that he would be gunned down in broad daylight on American soil.
Since 2005 in Florida, there have been over 100 cases involving Stand Your Ground and over 70% of them have ended in fatality and most of those people were either never charged or had their cases dismissed. Kanina James believes that the law gives ordinary citizens a license to kill.
This case would have been simpler if Dooley had just called the police or the homeowner’s association to ask them to enforce the rules. However, Stand Your Ground makes anyone with a firearm an enforcer and gives them to right and the courage to confront people.
David James was bigger, younger, and stronger than Trevor Dooley, but if there had never been a gun that day, James would be alive. Dooley would not be on trial and two children would not have had to experience real adult trauma. Danielle watched her father die that day and now she has to live with that image for the rest of her life. Justice for David James.