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Spurred By Latest Dubious Shooting, Calls For Stand Your Ground Repeal Hit Capitol

| August 10, 2018

Britany Jacobs, McGlockton’s live-in partner and the mother of his three children, told reporters and supporters gathered Wednesday morning at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee.

Britany Jacobs, Markeis McGlockton’s live-in partner and the mother of his three children, speaks to reporters and supporters Wednesday. (NSF)

Joined by the longtime girlfriend of a black man who was shot dead in a dispute over a parking spot at a Clearwater convenience store, black pastors, civil rights leaders and politicians marched to Gov. Rick Scott’s office Wednesday to demand a repeal of the state’s controversial “stand your ground” law.

Tensions over the July 19 shooting of Markeis McGlockton, with his three young children nearby, escalated after Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri decided not to arrest shooter Michael Drejka, who is white. Gualtieri said his hands were tied by the National Rifle Association-backed law that allows people who fear their lives are in danger to use deadly force without having to retreat.

“It’s hard and, you know, I am still going to stand up and fight for what is right. My man was right. Markeis was right. He was just protecting us. He was a good man and a good father, and he didn’t do nothing wrong,” Britany Jacobs, McGlockton’s live-in partner and the mother of his three children, told reporters and supporters gathered Wednesday morning at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee.

McGlockton and Jacobs stopped at a convenience store to buy snacks for their children, Jacobs’ lawyer, Benjamin Crump, said. While McGlockton was inside, Drejka began to berate Jacobs for parking in a handicap parking spot. A videotape of the confrontation shows McGlockton shoving Drejka to the ground. Drejka then pulled out a gun and shot McGlockton, who appeared to be backing away. McGlockton, accompanied by his five-year-old son, ran into the store and later died.

Gualtieri has insisted that the state’s “stand your ground” law prevented him from arresting Drejka but that the case remains under investigation and has not been closed. State Attorney Bernie McCabe’s office is weighing whether to press charges.

But critics of the sheriff, including the NRA and some Republican lawmakers, have said the law did not prevent Gualtieri from arresting Drejka, whom Crump said was the instigator of the confrontation outside the Circle K.

“If he never would have started the altercation, there would be no reason for you to be in fear for your life,” Crump said.

An expansion of the traditional “Castle Doctrine,” the 2005 “stand your ground” law gives people the right to defend themselves with deadly force in their own homes or any place they have a right to be. Florida’s first-in-the-nation law, used as a model elsewhere, says people are justified in using deadly force and do not have a “duty to retreat” if they believe it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm. When the defense is successfully raised in pre-trial hearings, defendants are granted immunity from prosecution.

A change approved last year by the Legislature and Scott shifted the burden from defendants to prosecutors to prove whether a self-defense claim is justified.

The law has been a flashpoint for the black community since the death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in 2012 in Seminole County. Black leaders maintain that the law is disproportionately used to exonerate white shooters of black victims.

The statute and the subsequent changes have created confusion for the public and law-enforcement officials, Crump said.

“There was never a problem or anything wrong with self-defense and the Castle Doctrine. It was very clear, and everybody understood it. If you came to my house, then I had a right to defend my house. Now, everywhere is somebody’s ground. It almost suggests that for black people and people of color, our ground is only where white people deem it appropriate to be,” Crump said.

Gualtieri further outraged black leaders in Florida and the nation following a Sunday rally in Clearwater led by civil-rights leader Al Sharpton, who demanded the sheriff either arrest Drejka or hand in his badge.

“I don’t really care what Al Sharpton has to say. Go back to New York. Mind your own business,” Gualtieri said.

The sheriff’s comments elicited a sharp rebuke Wednesday from lawyer Michele Rayner, who represents McGlockton’s family.

“Whether you are in Tallahassee, whether you’re in Jacksonville, whether you are in Miami, whether you are in Tampa or whether you’re in little old Clearwater, this is all of our business. And guess what we won’t do? We will not rest. We will not rest until the shooter is arrested, until charges are filed, but most importantly, until ‘stand your ground’ is repealed,” she said.

Jack Heekin, a Scott deputy chief of staff, met with Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, the Rev. R.B. Holmes and two others after the group marched to the Capitol. Gillum is a Democratic candidate for governor.

Scott’s aides pointed to lawmakers when asked if Scott, who is trying to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in November, would use his executive power to change the law.

“The governor expects that every Florida law be enforced and applied fairly by law enforcement and state attorneys, who are elected by Floridians. If the Legislature wants to make any changes to clarify Florida’s laws next legislative session, they can do so,” Scott spokesman McKinley Lewis said in an email.

Even the staunchest supporters of Florida’s “stand your ground” law have questioned Gualtieri’s decision not to arrest Drejka, while at the same time they have decried efforts to politicize the law.

“The law is very clear, if there is probable cause an arrest can be made. If opportunistic politicians took the time to read and understand the law they would know that issue is with the facts of the case not the text of the law,” NRA Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer, a former president of the national organization, said in an email. “It’s irresponsible to second guess law enforcement without all of the facts and it’s appalling that politicians would attack a law that protects their constituents’ constitutional right to self-defense to score cheap political points.”

McGlockton’s shooting death adds to the political minefield around firearms. Democrats and others have demanded stricter gun laws in the aftermath of the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 14 students and three faculty members dead.

“We have a major election coming up within 90 days,” Holmes said, pointing out that all five Democratic candidates for governor have said they would work to repeal the “stand your ground” law. “So now it’s in our hands to support a governor who has the courage and backbone to see the evil of the misapplication of stand your ground law.”

The law “makes it less safe for everyone,” said Gillum, the only black candidate running for governor.

“It creates tension in the community that shouldn’t be there, between law enforcement, between citizens … but ultimately it comes down to voters,” he said. “The best way to make good on the demand to repeal ‘stand your ground’ is to show up with your voter identification card or whatever credential you need and cast your vote consistent with your belief that ‘stand your ground’ has no place in the state of Florida.”

–Dara Kam, News Service of Florida

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38 Responses for “Spurred By Latest Dubious Shooting, Calls For Stand Your Ground Repeal Hit Capitol”

  1. Common Sense says:

    This stand your ground thing has gotten way out of hand and has become a license to shoot whoever someone wants to, all the while shouting that they had a right to do so. I call BS. While we DO continue to need the Castle Doctrine and probably always will, the stand your ground law seems to mean open season on anyone who happens to cross your path when you’re having a bad day. This portion of the self defense law either needs to be rewritten or repealed entirely. This kind of makes me wonder who came up with the BS to begin with.

  2. Agkistrodon says:

    Don’t put your hands on someone, you’ll have no reason to feel in danger. It is simple, No one has the right to put their hands on another. But everyone has the right to defend themselves.

  3. P one. says:

    Every morning I get up and turn the tv. On and every morning there is one or more black on black shooting this is every day so we’re is the outrage from the black community we’re is Benjamin crump Al Sharpton. So a white guy shoots a black guy and the black community gets all bent out of shape. Meanwhile the blacks keep killing each other and you never here from the black leaders we’re is there outrage????

  4. Anonymous says:

    There was a need for stand your ground because people are often victims of robbers and assailants outside the home in this dangerous world. You don’t hang up your right to self-defense when you walk out your front door. This is not a case of stand your ground. It’s not right to park in a handicapped space if you’re not handicapped, but apparently Drejka took this pet peeve of his a little too far and decided to play amateur cop, going around looking for a fight. He was pushed and landed on his butt. It was not a beat-down. He pulled the gun and fired without even giving McGlockton a chance to surrender. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, but carefully consider the circumstances of each case.

  5. woody says:

    If people would learn to control themselves life would be simpler.McGlockton threw Drejka down to the ground like a small child,not just a simple push.

  6. Richard says:

    If you don’t want to get shot in the state of Florida then mind your own business and keep your attitude to yourself. Also, if you break the law then you need to suffer the consequences of your action. How simple is that to understand You just don’t know who is carrying these days and what they may do in a situation where there is conflict.

  7. Born and Raised Here says:

    Why was she parked in the Handicap spot in the first place. Was she or her boyfriend handicap, or was it just for conveniences. I see so many violations of folks parking in Handicap spots all the time, and they are as healthty and fit as a race horse. One time I approached a young woman who was in a handicap spot, and put the handicap card on her mirror. I questioned her disability, and she said she was not disabled,but her Grandfather was, and she was driving his car, and to make matters worse he wasn’t in the car.

  8. hawkeye says:

    the guy who got shot brought it upon himself by attacking the handicapped guy.

  9. just sayin says:

    Maybe people should follow the law to begin with. The victims girlfriend did not need to park in a handicap parking space to begin with. Most people would just roll up their window and ignore the men screaming because you have two young kids in the car. And just because your babies mamma is arguing with the gentlemen, dose not give you the right to push him to the ground. The victim escalated the problem instead of defusing the problem. He paid with his life for the poor discussion.
    Just sayin

  10. The Truth says:

    I also call BS- If McGlockton kept his hands to himself, he would still be alive today- Also if you look up arrest records for Pinellas County Mcglockton has been arrested 5 times. This guy was not your model citizen

  11. License to carry says:

    If he would have kept his hands to him self this wouldn’t even exist. When you make a choice to lay hands on another person you better be prepared to suffer the consequences. What ever they might be.. CLICK CLICK BOOM…

  12. Brandon Cross says:

    OK, I realize I am going out on a limb here, but let’s look at this a bit further.
    Guy goes up to car illegally parked in handicapped spot, complains to occupants, then moves away.
    Boyfriend of occupant of vehicle comes out of store and upon hearing that girlfriend has been confronted decides he is going to confront person who confronted girlfriend.
    Here is where video comes in: large male quickly and without hesitation approches a much smaller male, and without warning violently shoves smaller individual to the ground.
    Article portrays boyfriend as then stepping back, yet to me it appears he only stepped back when he saw a gun and instantly shot. As there is no audio it unknown what was said during the conflict.
    Moral of the story… don’t park illegally in handicapped parking spot then confront someone that has moved away and very much smaller.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Stand your ground law or not….I will protect myself and family and STAND MY GROUND! The thugs and criminals dont care about the law so i wont either.

  14. Innocent Bystander says:

    The assailant shoved the senior citizen to the ground, and was hitching his britches and advancing toward the man on the pavement, until he saw the firearm. Trained police officers are often disarmed, and shot with their own weapon. Sure the old man was probably a jerk for confronting the woman, but I see people jumping out of cars in tennis outfits, while parked in the handicapped zone.

  15. Michael Cocchiola says:

    Stand Your Ground is a RepublicaNRA gift to angry, fearful white men who can live their dream and be Clint Eastwood for a day. They can respond to just about any dispute by shooting dead their perceived assailant and claim fear as their justification. Seems, however, that a disproportionate number of fearful shooters are white and an equally disproportionate number of dead assailants are black.

    Did I mention their latest truly abominable NRA (I’m sorry, I mean SYG) legislation is to put the burden of proof on the prosecution in court cases involving SYG. The shooter only has to claim fear. The prosecutor has to prove the killing was not justified. As intended, pretty hard to prove when the other guy can’t testify because he’s dead. But again, this IS Floriduh, and we have a very conservative Republican legislature. They sleep very well at night.

  16. Anonymous says:

    McGlockton acted as many of the young African decent men do. He came out of the store and pushed down a senior citizen, {which is a felony assault}, when there was no need for physical contact at all. Drjka had not threatened or harmed McGlockton’s girlfriend in any way. He was, merely expressing to her his displeasure over her wrongly taken his parking place. At no time was she threatened or endangered by Drjka. These young black men are often too aggressive and have a chip on their shoulders and want to handle situations with violence. How would you feel if a younger, bigger, stronger man knocked your father or grandfather down over something as trivial as a parking space? Why do you think the stand your ground laws were enacted in the first place? It was because people are tired of being the victims of these sorts of aggressive criminal acts of violence. You think this is racism that I’m describing? Let me ask you, if Drjka was black would McGlonckton still have knocked him to the ground? I think not!
    Another example of this violent behavior by young black men is Wake Forest coach Jamill Jones who punched and killed a man for mistakenly knocking on Jamill’s car window because he thought Jamill was the Uber car he had called for. The Coach Jamill got out of his car and punched the man and the man went down hard and then Jamill fled the scene, which is what he should have done to start with. Instead he turned aggressive and got out of his car and stuck the white man so hard the guy died from the punch. Later Jamill turned himself into police after he had already been identified and knew the incident was recorded by a security camera. Very aggressive pattern of behavior here and it is happening all over the United States, not just in Florida.

  17. Brandon Cross says:

    Noticed someone using name “just Sayin “….
    Hmmm… sounds familiar ??

  18. Trailer Bob says:

    First, the commentary should be about assholes parking in handicapped parking spaces. I was handicapped for a year, with a handicap sticker, and always ended up losing a space to some young punks with dads care, or someone who got the sticker because they were overweight from eating. The first amendment gave the shooter the right to free speech. The victim made himself a victim by attacking the senior citizen. Sorry, but keep you hands off people who are not threatening you and you don’t get hurt. This dude pretty much committed suicide by attacking someone who could very well be carrying. There are two ways to look at this story, and in this case, though I feel bad someone had to die, he brought it on himself. So, if you liberals want to look at it in a warped way, no surprise. But at my older age, if you push me hard enough that I end up on the ground and you are still aggressive towards me, you may get shot. Keep you hands off moron.

  19. Bc. says:

    Well from what I see in the video is a large young man knocking down a older man very violently and looking like he might advance on him until he sees the man on the ground pulling out his weapon then and only then does he back up. The man on the ground did not know if the younger man was about to continue to attack him if he watited he might have been hurt bad I would have done the same thing. Let this be a lesson to the young thugs out there who a ready to attack someone over nothing.

  20. gmath55 says:

    @ hawkeye – there was a handicap guy? Where?
    @ Innocent Bystander and Anonymous – Michael Drejka is 47. So, how does that make him a senior citizen?
    You people cannot even read an article or look at a video correctly. SMH

  21. Anonymous says:

    Stand your ground was adopted for us victims to protect ourselves. How come there is NOT one single white person in the headline photo? We need this law in place to allow us to adequately protect ourselves. If you don’t want to be victim of a stand your ground case then don’t put your self in that position. It seems like most of the people that we see on the news are a result of stand your ground are black and this photo above shows these are the very people that want the law changed. We don’t need laws to be changed to make it easier for predators to easily commit their crimes and get away with it. If anything, make laws tougher on those that are committing home invasions, robberies etc. that put them selves at risk.

  22. Anonymous says:

    And, Agkistrodon, I suppose you have no hesitation in turning and shooting someone who puts his (or her) hand on your shoulder to get your attention??

  23. Dave says:

    So young black men are aggressive? But the white man is the one with a gun, shooting people and taking life.

  24. Agkistrodon says:

    @Anonymous Something tells me there is no right answer for you. I won’t even explain myself to people like you.

  25. hawkeye says:

    gmath55 the news story on tv which showed the young guy attacking the older gentleman ,specifically called him handicapped, that is where I got that information from.

  26. Florida Voter says:

    After reading the comments, I’m struck by a few things:

    1) MANY comments imply that parking in a handicapped space illegally is a CAPITAL OFFENSE so sever that it warrants the revocation of a person’s right to due process.
    2) Pushing someone to the ground is a prelude to killing that person.

    From what’s presented here, McGlockton never threatened Drejka’s life. Killing someone for pushing you to the ground in a fight that you started should never be legal.

  27. Really says:

    Keep your hands to yourself because smith n wesson created all men equal. Dont confront any person its 911 these days

  28. BrandonCross says:

    Florida Voter
    Your response is a best misunderstandable.?
    Due Process??? Do you know what that means?
    If so how does that relate To illegally parking in a restricted zone.
    Yet… pushing someone to the ground can indeed lead to further violence
    Please Explain your “Weak Response”.

  29. Anonymous says:

    To Florida Voter: The stand your ground statute is not just fearful for your life, but fearful of great bodily harm being done to you. This part of the law gave Drjka the right to defend himself with deadly force. White lives matter too, just as much as black assailant’s lives do! Drejka never stood a chance in a physical altercation with a much bigger, stronger, and younger assailant such as McGlockton. Drjka had every right to complain to McGlockton’s wife about the parking space as long as he did not threaten or touch her person. I never saw him get within two feet of the car, did you?

  30. Brandon Cross says:

    What I see on this site is People that are unwilling to look a an issue . Sad… Nothing is black or white..
    Please look at issues from both sides?

  31. Brandon Cross says:

    We debate this issue, but truly end result… victim had the right to defend himself???

  32. Anonymous says:

    Dave-white men must carry guns in this day in time because the black men has shown over and over again to be aggressive. If black men were not doing what they shouldn’t be taking advantage or assaulting white men then they would have no problem with the stand your ground law staying in place. It seems black men have to push and push and test and test to see just how much they can get away with and then when they face consequences they want to cry and complain and want laws changed to allow them to more easily carry out their forceful aggressive behaviors.

  33. Anonymous says:

    If police can stand their ground and recognize their jobs to be dangerous then they and law makers should understand that we need to stand our ground too. It is a dangerous world out there and there is more crime and more violent crime in this country now than ever before.

  34. Pogo says:

    @Vigilantes has a sad

    Florida man threatened people 3 different times before shooting man in latest ‘stand your ground’ case
    Anchor Muted Background

    By Amir Vera, CNN

    “(CNN)The man charged with manslaughter after shooting another man in a Clearwater, Florida, convenience store parking lot, has a history of threatening drivers, according to documents from the Pinellas County Circuit Court…”

    New York is targeting an NRA insurance program aimed at concealed-carry permit holders

    Joseph Spector and Jon Campbell, Albany Bureau

    “ALBANY, N.Y. — New York’s Democratic governor is hoping an effort to end a National Rifle Association insurance policy will damage the group’s finances — and he is urging other states to follow.

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo in recent days has ramped up his criticism of the NRA after it filed legal papers to try to overturn his state’s decision earlier this year to end the NRA’s insurance program called Carry Guard.

    New York officials contend the program is illegal because it gives liability protection to gun owners for acts where “intentional wrongdoing” occurred. The NRA suspended sales in New York shortly after the state’s Department of Financial Services launched a probe into its legality…”

    Liability insurance is required to hold a driver’s license – why not the same for license to be a vigilante murderer?

  35. Richard says:

    New York State is SO screwed up only because of the lunatics that they have elected to run the state and local governments. I was born and raised in that state but now a resident of Florida, Thank You God!

  36. Sherry says:

    Here is “why” the Sheriff should have arrested the perpetrator on the spot. “Stand Your Ground” is meant to be used in a “courtroom”, after a “thorough” investigation has been completed. No Sheriff or officer of any kind should be putting themselves in the place of “judge/jury”.

    FACTS matter! Past History matters! The perpetrator, Drejka, is NOT a handicapped senior citizen. He is a dangerous “self appoint” vigilante! A man with a gun who has used his weapon to threaten people in the past on at least THREE other occasions! Take a read, for IMPORTANT FACTS before popping off your own prejudicial judgements:.

    Drejka, 48, was arrested and charged with manslaughter Monday by the state attorney for Pinellas County in western Florida, authorities said. He is being held on $100,000 bond in the killing of Markeis McGlockton, 28, in Clearwater.

    In court documents, prosecutors allege Drejka has brandished firearms or threatened to shoot other drivers during confrontations in at least three other incidents, including at the same store.

    See the CNN video interview with another person he threatened. . . here is the written report:

    About three months ago, Richard Kelly told a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office detective he was confronted by Drejka at Circle A Food Store, the same store where he shot McGlockton. Drejka, documents said, was upset because Kelly parked in a handicapped-accessible spot. The exchange between the two became very loud and Kelly said at some point during the argument Drejka told him he was going to shoot him, documents said.

    Drejka then went to his car and was rummaging around the center console, but documents said Kelly drove away. Drejka, Kelly said, also threw racial slurs at him. Kelly is black and Drejka is white.
    Court documents said Drejka wanted to voice his complaint to Kelly’s employer, AA Cut-Rate Septic Tank Service, so he spoke to the owner, John Tyler. Drejka told the business owner he was lucky he didn’t blow his employee’s head off, documents said.

  37. gmath55 says:

    They both have a history. Markeis McGlockton –
    STATUTE: 784.045(1)(B)/F

    STATUTE: 843.01/F
    BOND: $2500

    STATUTE: 877.03/M

    McGlockton then exits the store, walks toward Drejka and — just as Jacobs gets out of the car — shoves Drejka with both hands. Drejka lands on his back and McGlockton takes a step toward him. Drejka sits up, pulls his gun from his right front pocket and points it at McGlockton, who takes three steps back, his arms at his side. Drejka fires, hitting McGlockton, who runs back into the store clutching his chest. Witnesses said he collapsed in front of his son, waiting inside.

    McGlockton knocked him to the ground and was standing within twenty-one feet. That meets the criteria for defensive pistol use according to the Tueller principle. The standard for use of lethal force is reasonable fear of death or grave bodily injury. McGlockton could easily pull a gun, knife, or kick Drejka in the head with a shod foot. McGlockton committed battery by charging Drejka and forcibly shoving him into a vulnerable position, where he could easily follow-up with another attack. He demonstrated, by an act of violence, that he had no problem dramatically escalating the situation. Drejka, in contrast, was not violent until attacked. His use of our free speech right does not constitute a provocation for violence unless he articulated a clear and present threat, and there is no evidence of that. Further, because he passed the test on the use of lethal force, he demonstrated an awareness of the principles and laws I’ve briefly mentioned. Drejka will be found not guilty if he is represented by a competent attorney.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Sherry: Nothing has changed, McGlockton perpetrated violence on another person, weaker and smaller than himself and he got a reaction from that person. Now a days you never know who is armed and just who is crazy, so you better keep your hands to yourself. Stand your ground is here to stay whether there is a stand your ground law on the books or not. Don’t push me to the ground Bully………..!

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