(USA Today) JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - AsDay 4 begins in the trial of a middle-age man accused of killing a teenduring a dispute over loud music, youth here say they are paying attention to the court case and it has affected how they act.
David Daniels, 13, one of about two dozen kids participating in a city league basketball program this past weekend, said he hasn't come across much racial profiling but thinks that could change as he gets older.
"I have taken off my hoodie," he said. "I usually wear it in the stores, but I've taken it off. And I don't really listen to music, as in that situation. I don't really listen to music loud, but I look around. I watch my back while I'm walking down the streets."
Michael Dunn, 47, a software engineer who lives in South Patrick Shores, Fla., faces charges of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder and shooting or throwing a deadly missile after firing 10 bullets into a Dodge Durango containing four teens here during a argument over loud music in a convenience store parking lot. His shots Nov. 23, 2012, killed Jordan Davis, 17, and narrowly missed two others in the vehicle.
Dunn, a white man, told detectives he fired in self-defense because Davis, a black teenager, threatened him with a shotgun or pipe-like weapon - but police said no weapon was found at the scene.
Deaths like Davis' and Trayvon Martin's have changed black youth, said Derek Bermudez, a father of two young boys and a volunteer for the basketball program.
"It's really sad that these kids get to grow up and see that here ... I'm targeted as a troublemaker," Bermudez said.
George Zimmerman, then 28, shot and killed Trayvon Martin, 17, on Feb. 26, 2012, in Sanford, Fla., after trailing Martin through the neighborhood where Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch volunteer. Zimmerman is a mixed-race Hispanic man; Trayvon was black and wearing a hoodie as he walked through the neighborhood, talking to his girlfriend on his cellphone.
Zimmerman eventually was charged with second-degree murder and was found not guilty. He considered using Florida's Stand Your Ground law as his defense because Trayvon tackled him and hit him after he realized he was being followed but instead contended the shooting was in self-defense. The teen did not have a weapon.
Bermudez says he's focused on teaching his 9- and 11-year-old boys the importance of having character, integrity, and morals - all lessons that Larry Catney, 62, agrees with.
Catney lives at the senior center around the corner from the park where the kids were playing basketball. He said the world was tougher when he was growing up during the Civil Rights Movement and though attitudes have come a long way, they are not perfect yet, he said.
"I tell the kids all the time it basically takes two to tango and the strongest man is going to prevail," he said. "And the strongest man is always going to walk away and take the higher ground."
More Florida 'loud music' trial coverage:
-DAY 1:Prosecutor says Dunn was unconcerned after shooting
-DAY 2:Testimony focuses on rap music confrontation
-DAY 3: Jacksonville Police officer takes the stand
-DUNN'S FIANCE: Emotional Testimony