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McGlockton Family Challenges 'Stand Your Ground' Defense

Jul 24, 2018

The family of Markeis McGlockton urged authorities Tuesday to pursue a case against the man who shot and killed him last week.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said McGlockton, 28, pushed Michael Drejka, 47, to the ground during a dispute in a Clearwater parking lot last Thursday.

Drejka argued with Britany Jacobs, McGlockton’s girlfriend, over her parking in a handicap spot. McGlockton, who had been in a nearby convienence store, came out and confronted Drejka before pushing him to the ground, authorities said.

In response, Drejka shot McGlockton in his side, according to Michele Rayner, the family’s attorney.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office passed the case along to the Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office to decide whether or not charges will be filed against Drejka. No decision has been made yet.

“We’re asking the office of Bernie McCabe to file charges against Mr. Drejka,” said Rayner at a news conference Tuesday. “If not, they’re sanctioning a murder. Plain and simple.”

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri previously stated that Drejka had not been arrested because of the state’s “stand your ground” law.

“There is going to be a lot of conversation over the next few weeks and months and years about the ‘stand your ground’ law," Rayner said. “How it disproportionately does not benefit people of color. How there are too many nuances in the law and that it’s too loosely applied…ultimately this case is not ‘stand your ground.’”

The NAACP's Clearwater/Upper Pinellas Chapter has previously called for charges to be filed against Drekja, who is white.

Florida’s “stand your ground” law has been met with controversy since it was enacted in 2005. Changes to the law last year shifted the burden of proof from defense attorneys to prosecutors.