By Frederick H. Lowe
Michael Drejka shot to death Markeis McGlockton on July 19 after he shoved Drejka to the ground following an argument in a Clearwater, Florida, parking lot.As he lay on the ground, the 48-year-old Drejka pulled a pistol from his pocket and shot McClockton as he backed away, according to surveillance footage.
The 28-year-old McGlockton, who was bleeding, stumbled backwards into the Circle A Food store where he had been buying snacks for his children. His 5-year-old son was with him, and his girlfriend was waiting for them in the car. McGlockton, who was unarmed, later died at a local hospital.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri refused to arrest Drejka after he defended the deadly shooting based on Florida’s “Stand your Ground Law.” He added, however, that Bernie McCabe, the Pinellas-Pasco State’s Attorney, would also have something to say about the deadly shooting. And in fact he did.
McCabe charged Drejika with manslaughter and had him arrested. He is being held on a $100,000 bond. Last year, the Florida state legislature amended the stand your ground law, making it more difficult for the prosecution to prove its case.
McCabe’s decision to charge Drejika follows weeks of demonstrations in which supporters and friends of McGlockton charged that the stand your ground law was nothing more than a license for white men to kill black men and never be held accountable.
While McCabe had the final word in charging Drejika, a jury will have the final word in convicting him.
In 2012, George Zimmerman shot and killed an unarmed Trayvon Martin, 17, in Sanford, Florida.
Zimmerman invoked the state’s stand your ground law, although he ignored police orders not to pursue Martin, whom he erroneously identified as an intruder in his housing complex. Zimmerman provoked a deadly fight with Martin.
A six-person, all women’s jury, which was comprised of five white women and one Hispanic woman, bought his explanation and let him go.
McGlockton came to the rescue of his girlfriend Britany Jacobs, who was sitting in the car with couple’s two other children. Drejka pounded on the car’s windows, demanding to know why she was parked in a handicapped parking space.
Since McGlockton was gunned down, others have come forward, saying they had similar run ins with Drejika.