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Stand Your Ground

Michael Drejka was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday for the fatal shooting of Markeis McGlockton over a handicapped parking spot in Clearwater last year - a sentence that McGlockton's family praised.

In Interview, Michael Drejka Told Detectives He Feared Severe Injury

Aug 22, 2019
In a video shown to jurors during his manslaughter trial Thursday, Michael Drejka talks to Pinellas County Sheriffs detectives shortly after he killed Markeis McGlockton in a Clearwater parking lot in July 2018.
Scott Keeler/ Tampa Bay Times pool photo

The Pinellas County man who fatally shot an unarmed black man during a dispute over a handicapped-accessible parking space told detectives he fired because he had been pushed to the ground and feared the man was about to "finish" what he started, video played at his trial Thursday shows.

Defendant Michael Drejka listens during his manslaughter trial in Pinellas Circuit Court Wednesday.
Scott Keeler/ Tampa Bay Times pool photo

A prosecutor told jurors Wednesday that a white Florida man who fatally shot an unarmed black man during a dispute over a parking space in a Clearwater parking lot had initiated a similar confrontation just months before, while his defense attorney said the shooting was in self-defense.

Jurors and alternates have been sworn in for a manslaughter trial of a white man who fatally shot an unarmed black man during a dispute over a parking space in Clearwater.

A jury of five men and one woman was seated Tuesday afternoon for 49-year-old Michael Drejka's case.

A Pinellas County manslaughter trial starting Monday could shape how courts - and state residents - understand Florida's Stand Your Ground law.

It's been one year since 28-year-old Markeis McGlockton was shot to death outside a Clearwater convenience store.
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

A year ago today, a man walked into a convenience store in Clearwater to buy snacks, not knowing he would never leave the parking lot.

Markeis McGlockton, 28, was shot and killed after an argument over a handicap parking space.

Tonight, one year later, community groups around Tampa Bay are holding a vigil for him.

A jury in West Palm Beach, Fla., has convicted a former police officer in the shooting death of a black motorist. It's the first time in 30 years that an on-duty police officer in Florida has been convicted in a shooting.

Corey Jones, a housing inspector and part-time musician, was on his way home from a nightclub in October 2015 when his van broke down on Interstate 95 in Palm Beach Gardens. He was on the side of the road in his SUV when he called for roadside assistance.

A trial date has been set in the case of a white man accused of fatally shooting an unarmed black man in a parking lot dispute near Clearwater. The controversial case ignited Florida's "stand your ground law."

Siding with a Broward County sheriff’s deputy who fatally shot a man, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously ruled that law-enforcement officers can use the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law to be shielded from prosecution.

Attorney General Pam Bondi is seeking to block Miami-Dade County’s top prosecutor from getting involved in a Florida Supreme Court case and supporting arguments that a 2017 change to the “stand your ground” self-defense law is unconstitutional.

Lakeland City Commission

Lakeland City Commissioner Michael Dunn has resigned less than four days after a grand jury indicted him on charges of second-degree murder.

Lakeland City Commissioner Michael Dunn on Friday was indicted on charges of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Christobal Lopez on Oct. 3.

A medical examiner says a man killed in a shooting that reignited the debate over Florida's "stand your ground" law appears to have turned away from the shooter after he drew his gun.

Newly Released Records Show Lead-up To Parking Lot Shooting

Sep 25, 2018

Florida authorities on Monday released hundreds of new pages in the case of a white man accused of fatally shooting a black man in a parking lot dispute in July.

The Florida man accused in the shooting death of an unarmed man in a store parking lot apologized to the victim's family during a jailhouse interview, but said he wouldn't change anything about what he did that day in July.

Polk County Sheriff's Office

An Uber driver in Winter Haven claimed self-defense after he fatally shot a man who trailed his car and tried run him off the road, authorities said Wednesday.

In a case stemming from a fatal shooting in Broward County, the Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday waded into a debate about whether police officers should be able to use the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law.

Judge Nixes Bail Reduction For Parking Lot Shooting Suspect

Aug 24, 2018
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

A Florida judge has decided not to reduce the bail of a white man charged with manslaughter in the death of an unarmed black man in a store parking lot.

Last week, Florida’s Stand Your Ground law took center stage as people rallied, protested, and marched over the killing of a black unarmed man during a dispute over a handicapped parking space.

The shooter, a white man, was never arrested. That is, until earlier this week, when the Pinellas County State Attorney decided to file charges.

Last week, Sascha Cordner spoke to the main author of Stand Your Ground, who weighed in on the case and the law before the charges were filed. But, first, what led up to this point?

Defendant Tries To Sway Justices On ‘Stand Your Ground’ Change

Aug 17, 2018

Pointing in part to statements made by lawmakers, attorneys for a woman arrested in a shooting outside a Miami nightclub filed a 40-page brief late Wednesday at the Florida Supreme Court arguing that a 2017 change in the “stand your ground” self-defense law should apply to her case. 

A judge says a sheriff's son can't use Florida's "stand your ground" law to avoid prosecution for an aggravated battery charge.

Cathy Carter

There has been an arrest in the Clearwater 'stand your ground' case.

The Pinellas Pasco State Attorney's office is charging Micheal Drejka with manslaughter in the death of Markeis McGlockton.

Florida Democratic lawmakers have failed to force the Republican-controlled Legislature to repeal the state's contentious "stand your ground law."

Lawmakers Poised To Reject ‘Stand Your Ground’ Session

Aug 9, 2018

Republicans are on the verge of scuttling an effort by Democrats to hold a special legislative session on the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law. 

Screenshot from video, courtesy Pinellas County Marketing & Communications:

Pinellas County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday asking Florida lawmakers to take another look at the state's "Stand Your Ground" law.

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is firing back at the Reverend Al Sharpton for speaking out against Florida's Stand Your Ground law.

Florida Democratic legislators are using an obscure state law to try to force the Republican-controlled Legislature to repeal the state's contentious "stand your ground law."

The Reverend Al Sharpton led a rally at a Clearwater church Sunday to protest Florida’s controversial 'stand your ground' law.

And while the civil rights leader spoke in the sanctuary, demonstrators made their feelings heard outside.

We're only weeks away from the state’s primary election; Florida’s Stand Your Ground law is back in the news; and a new transportation initiative may be on its way to the November ballot. We talk about these issues and more on our monthly news roundtable.

Host Robin Sussingham talks to Steve Contorno, a reporter for the Tampa Bay Times; WUSF reporter Cathy Carter; and Janelle Irwin with the Tampa Bay Business Journal.


YouTube

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri spoke at a press conference Tuesday to update the public about a recent controversial "stand your ground" case.

The news conference was supposed to include representatives from The Upper Pinellas County Ministerial Alliance and NAACP Clearwater, but they called before the event saying they would not attend. Gualtieri addressed the media alone.

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