The Florida parking lot incident in which Michael Drejka shot and killed Markeis McGlockton after McGlockton pushed him to the ground has been a big topic of discussion. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri declined to charge Drejka based on his reading of the state’s ‘stand your ground’ law. But he referred the case to prosecutors.
State Attorney Bernie McCabe’s decision to charge Drejka signals that prosecutors believe they can show by “clear and convincing” evidence that a stand your ground defense is not applicable in Drejka’s case.
State legislators revised the law last year to put the onus on prosecutors to disprove a stand your ground claim instead of on defense attorneys to prove one.
Several questions must be considered in deciding whether someone can be protected under the law when they use force: Was the person acting lawfully? Did the person have a right to be there? And was the person in reasonable fear of serious injury or death?
The attorney who represented Trayvon Martin’s family, Benjamin Crump, is representing Tiffany Jacobs, McGlockton’s girlfriend who was part of the altercation with Drejka the day of the shooting. And . . .
Five members of Congress, including Sen. Bill Nelson and Rep. Charlie Crist, called for the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division to open an investigation. State Sen. Darryl Rouson called for a special session to address stand your ground, an effort that failed on Friday.
And all the while, rallies and news conferences cropped up nearly every day to call for an arrest, organized by groups such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Black Lives Matter.
Here we go. Look for the Drejka case to possibly rival the Zimmerman trial in a toxic mix of hyperbole and misinformation from both sides as the days and weeks go on.