Deadly shooting sparks ‘Stand Your Ground’ protests
Michael Drejka shot Markeis McGlockton during an argument over a disabled parking space at a grocery store in Clearwater, Florida; Phil Keating reports from Miami.
A Florida man was arrested on a prosecutor’s warrant Monday in connection with a deadly shooting last month that a sheriff said it was justified on the basis of the state’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law.
Michael Drejka, 47, was indicted for manslaughter in the July 19 death of the 28-year-old Markeis McGlockton during a dispute over a disabled parking space at a grocery store in Clearwater.
The recording, which was caught on video, reignited the debate around the “Stand Your Ground” law, and led to demonstrations by protesters who criticized Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gulatieri for not arresting Drejka, a white man who shot and killed an unarmed black man.
Mugshot for Michael Drejka, 47, of Clearwater, Florida.
(Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office)
Gualtieri said detectives from his office took Drejka in custody pursuant to an arrest warrant. Drejka, of Clearwater, was booked in the county jail and bond was set at $100,000.
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“I support the Attorney’s decision and will have no further comment as the case continues to work its way through the criminal justice system,” the sheriff said.
McGlockton family lawyer Benjamin Crump — who gained national notoriety that the family of Trayvon Martin, after black teenager’s fatal shooting by a Hispanic man George Zimmerman in 2012 — said in a statement Monday, “it’s about time” Drejka was arrested.
“These self-appointed wannabe cop tried to hide behind `Stand Your Ground’ to defend his indefensible actions, but the truth finally cuts through the noise,” said Crump. “I have full faith that this truth will prevail, for the punishment of this cold-blooded killer who is angry made of the argument that led to Markeis’ unnecessary death.”
McGlockton, 28, of Clearwater, pushed Drejka to the ground and then was shot and killed when Drejka, from a sitting position, pulled out a gun he legally owned and opened fire. McGlockton was shot once in the chest.
Gualtieri said: “Stand Your Ground” prevented him from arresting Drejka.
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“He told the delegates that he had to shoot to defend themselves. These are the facts and that is the law,” he said.”No matter how you slice it, or dice that was a violent pressure on the ground.”
The dispute began when Drejka began arguing with McGlockton’s girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, 25, because she was parked in a disabled parking space without a permit. With her were two of their children, a 3-year-old and a 4 month old.
McGlockton got involved when he came out of the shop with his 5-year-old son.
The complaint stated that investigators recorded the scene of the crime with a 3D-scanner to show that the distance between Drejka and McGlockton at the time of the shooting was approximately 12 metres.
It also stated that the findings of the autopsy were consistent with the video images of the shooting in that McGlockton seemed to be turning Drejka when he was shot.
In addition, the complaint said that in 2012 Drejka displayed with a gun during two separate road rage incidents in which he was never charged.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.