Florida white man kills Black dad over parking space, won’t be arrested because of “Stand Your Ground”
Last Thursday afternoon, a dispute over a handicapped parking space turned fatal in Pinellas County, Florida. Local authorities announced they will not arrest the man who killed another man as the incident falls under Florida’s self-defense law, known as “Stand Your Ground.”
Michael Drejka, a 47-year-old white man, got into a dispute with a 28-year-old Black man, Markeis McGlockton. According to local deputies, Drejka first confronted McGlockton’s girlfriend, Brittany Jacobs, about parking without a handicapped permit in the space.
McGlockton proceeded to “slam” Drejka to the ground, according to the sheriff’s office. Moments later, Drejka pulled out his handgun and shot McGlockton in the chest.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri states that his agency will not arrest Drejka as Florida law gives immunity to those who use force in self-defense. He adds that the shooting “is within the bookends of ‘stand your ground’ and within the bookends of force being justified… I’m not saying I agree with it, but I don’t make that call.”
Gualtieri later adds that “the agency will forward the case to the State Attorney’s Office for a final decision.”
“It’s a wrongful death. It’s messed up. Markeis is a good man… He was just protecting us, you know?” Brittany Jacobs, 25, shares on Friday. “And it hurts so bad.”
Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” laws have faced heightened controversy ever since George Zimmerman shot and killed 16-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2014. While the basis of the defense was different, it erupted a national conversation on self-defense laws.