DA reverses sheriff’s decision not to charge white man who killed Black man over FL parking space
Florida’s notorious “Stand Your Ground” law has faced renewed criticism for allowing a white man, Michael Drejka, to fatally shoot an unarmed Black man, Markeis McGlockton, after McGlockton pushed Drejka away from harassing his girlfriend and child. Almost a month after the fatal shooting, Drejka was finally charged on manslaughter by state prosecutors.
As the Black Youth Project previously reported, Drejka fatally shot McGlockton over a handicap parking space on July 19th. McGlockton was exiting a store when he saw Drejka yelling at his girlfriend, Britanny Jacobs. Though footage of the shooting was released, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri refused to arrest Drejka citing Stand Your Ground.
After sustained pressure from the community, Bernie McCabe, the state attorney for Pinellas County, said in a statement, “We have filed a formal charge, and he has been arrested, and he will now go through the court system.”
McGlockton’s father, Michael McGlockton, told ABC, “When I got the news today I was happy, I was ecstatic about it, but I’m just sorry that it took so long, you know, three weeks later. I know this is going to be a long road. We are up for the task and we just hope for a good outcome at the end.”
McGlockton’s mother, Monica Moore, said she has been dazed since the shooting, “So today when I head that he [Drejka] was being charged, I guess I could start healing.”
Currently, Drejka is booked at Pinellas County Jail with a $100,000 bond. Drejka will face 30 years if convicted.
While many commended the county for belatedly charging Drejka, some pointed out that the shooting was “cold-blooded murder.” Bernie McCabe told NBC News that he decided on a manslaughter charge after consulting with investigators and lawyers on the video footage of the shooting.
Tampa attorney Anthony Rickman, who has tried Stand Your Ground cases, agreed and said, “When the state looks at a case, they look at whether they have a reasonable likelihood of successful prosecution. It will be easier for the state to prove manslaughter.”