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Stand Your Ground: The shooting of David James

Updated on April 9, 2012

Street Justice

David James
David James
Trevor Dooley
Trevor Dooley

A father was shot down in front of his daugher

This blog is the property of Bruce Bean and is protected by copyright:

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.


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    • profile image

      lexicon10 4 years ago


      Not quite, as Trevor was convicted! I have no problem saying that I believe his 8 yr. sentence grossly devalues the life of the deceased but not so much so as to place on it a tag of worthless like the one the mob masquerading as a jury placed on the life of Trayvon Martin. And if we, all of us, do not open our eyes to look the gun issue, accompanying legislation, and their implications for propagating race ideology squarely, I fear the next stupid war will play out in the streets of America. No one want this...really, no matter how staunchly racist. I have no problem with fireams but you don't allow kids to play with matches because kids lack responsibility. With a gun in hand, sooner or later sombody gets shot, even in ideal environments! Widespread distribution of guns in a crab-in-the-barrel environment like the one we have here in the U.S. where people oppress and hate baselessly can only turn out catastrophic. SYG laws are attached to Conceal/carry permit ordinances because the gun toter's ultimate goal is to shoot! In the holster, the gun is a tease. He wants to use it and he will manufacture reasons, structure scenarios, and instigate situations to do so. We are addicted to killing; it is sport. We nearly sported away the African elephant. The DoDo is history , The tiger and North American buffalo hang on by a thread. Now we are once again aiming at each other. The NRA has only one interest, money!

    • profile image

      Garret 4 years ago

      George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin with the races reversed

    • profile image

      bob 4 years ago

      I guess it's ok for a black man to shoot a white man unprovked at a park, over a conversation, and go free on bond, huh.

      That doesn't sound right, maybe we sould rally over this one.

    • lexicon10 profile image

      lexicon10 6 years ago

      Well AR, do you need a referral for an armorer or decent gunsmith? I ask because the government has, for some time now, been out of control. Perhaps your firearms are in a state of disrepair. The unfortunate reality of the matter is people long ago forgot the meaning of Republic. The U.S. population of 300 million marches to a cadence called out by 3,007,000 government employees. And, I can't help wondering if I'm the only person who didn't receive a stock certificate after the past two administrations bailed out AIG, GM, and the banks. I thought the investment game worked like that.

    • lexicon10 profile image

      lexicon10 6 years ago

      The problem with Florida's Stand Your Ground Law is that the statute was ill-conceived, as the law articulates no criterion or benchmark for the fear of bodily harm or death that triggers a justifiable use of deadly force. In other jurisdictions, statutes dealing with the use of deadly force use language like "reasonable" to describe the presumption of eminent danger. This half thought statute has potential for ushering in a state of lawlessness reminiscent of the old west

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Johnson 6 years ago from Peoria, Arizona

      If I wasn't before, I am on board with reevaluating this Stand Your Ground thing because of what happened to my wife.

    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 6 years ago from home

      No fault kiling what the hell does that really mean??

      OOps I knew the gun was loaded but didnt know it could kill?

      It was just a warning shot- I really wanted to warn him...

      or as I have heard- warning shots are for those who cannot aim...



    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 6 years ago from America

      I can't talk right now! Cheaptricks got me all teary eyed! LOL! look away! look away!

    • junko profile image

      junko 6 years ago

      It's not band the gun, it's band the Law that allows no fault citizen killing.

    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 6 years ago from home


      i dont think I would be able to get a permit- *places index finger to head at ear and twirls* but i am all for legal gun ownership- if you ban guns then only criminals will have them...


    • cheaptrick profile image

      cheaptrick 6 years ago from the bridge of sighs

      I never thought I'd see the day I agreed with you A R,but[and it pains me to say this],you've spoken my mind for me.

      Now don't go getting all mushy on me.

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 6 years ago from America

      guns don't kill! People kill! Let us make a law that everyone should carry a gun! Crime will drop by 90% overnight! Notice guns are illegal in Mexico and 3000 people killed this year in Juarez by guns! Why? Because only the criminals have them! Right across the border in Elpaso the numbers are quite different! When a terrosist stands up on an airplane and yells acka acka alabar! and every granny on the plane cocks a pistol you will see things happening very differently! As a last ditch effort to save my country I vow to die before ever handing my guns over to the government! My forefathers knew that as long as I owned a gun I could keep my government under control!