Florida police declined to charge a man after he shot and killed a father who was protecting his family.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri cited Florida’s infamous “Stand Your Ground” law at a news conference on Friday as the reason for not charging Michael Drejka after he killed Markeis McGlockton Thursday in front of his 5-year-old son in a dispute over a handicap parking space.
Britany Jacobs, who is McGlockton’s girlfriend and his son’s mother, plans to fight Drejka’s claim. “It’s wrong. He came approaching me, and all Markeis did was try to protect us, and protect his family” she told WFLA-TV.
Jacobs, 25, was sitting in a car parked in a handicapped space outside a Clearwater convenience store while McGlockton and their son went inside, the police said. Drejka approached her and started looking for a handicap permit on the vehicle. He confronted Jacobs about whether she could park in the space, and they soon began yelling at each other.
A surveillance video shows McGlockton, 28, walk out the store and push Drejka, 47, to the ground. McGlockton takes a few steps back, and Drejka pulls out a gun and shoots him once in the chest. McGlockton walks back into the store and collapses, as his son watches.
Drejka had a concealed carry permit, the sheriff stated, adding that the Stand Your Ground law removed the duty for Drejka to retreat before using deadly force.
Race influences application of the 2005 law, a Tampa Bay Times analysis found shortly after Zimmerman Killed the Black teenager. People who killed a Black person walked free 73 percent of the times, while killing a white person resulted in no charges 59 percent of the times, the newspaper reported.