Michael Drejka Charged With Manslaughter For Killing Markeis McGlockton – Stand Your Ground Law

Markeis McGlockton

I saw the video for this case when it first happened, and also read that the Sheriff refused to arrest Michael Drejka because of Florida’s stand your ground law.  When I saw the video, it was my impression that the shooter was an elderly man.  Maybe it was his posture or the fact that he fell to the ground so easily.  It turns out that Drejka was 47-years old on July 19, 2018 when he shot and killed 28-year old Markeis McGlockton.

Here is the video.

 

 

Comments were quickly posted on Twitter protesting that Drejka was not arrested.  Thinking that an elderly man might be afraid of a younger man pushing him to the ground, I sighed at the thought that he could avoid arrest using stand your ground in his defense.  Then, I watched the video again and saw where Markeis’ girlfriend Britany Jacobs, was getting out of the car and Drejka was standing at the car’s door invading her space.  I wondered what he said to Britany that provoked Markeis to push him.   I sighed again, because Markeis is not alive to tell anyone what he heard and believed that provoked him to push Drejka out of Britany’s face.

Other thoughts came to mind, such as Drejka thinking he was entitled to approach and engage Britany for parking in a handicapped parking space.  How is it possible to provoke a  confrontation, verbal or physical, then claim self-defense when someone takes action to stop the confrontation?

On August 13, 2018, Michael Drejka was charged with manslaughter.  He is currently in jail on a $100k bond and is going to be appointed a public defender.

Pinellas and Pasco County State Attorney Bernie McCabe said he came to his decision to charge Drejka after a nine-day review that began August 1.

“We interviewed witnesses and looked at all the available surveillance video, and we made our decision to move forward based on all the information available,” the prosecutor said.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that it obtained new details from the arrest warrant.

“It follows the same timeline outlined by authorities. The encounter between the two men started when Drejka, of Clearwater, confronted McGlockton’s girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, about why she had parked in a handicap-reserved parking space without a decal at the Circle A Food Store on Sunset Point Road.

McGlockton, inside the store with his 5-year-old son, caught wind of the heated argument from witnesses. Surveillance video shows him leaving the store, walking up to Drejka and pushing him to the ground. Drejka then pulls out a gun and shoots McGlockton. He told deputies he was in fear of further attack.

“Drejka steadies the firearm with both hands,” it says. “McGlockton immediately backs up when confronted with the firearm. As he backs up to his vehicle he begins to turn towards the front of the store away from the shooter.”

It also notes investigators used a scanner that helps capture measurement and distance to find that Drejka was about 12 feet from McGlockton when he fired the shot.”

The arrest warrant answers or addresses some of my concerns.  Prosecutors considered that Drejka had a confrontational approach.  They also noted the distance between Drejka and Markeis and that Markeis turned away from Drejka when he pulled his gun.  Drejka alleged that he was afraid of further attack, but he was 10 to 12 feet from Markeis when he pulled the trigger.  Markeis stepped back from Drejka and turned towards the store when he saw the gun.  On the video, it can be seen where another man seeing Drejka pull his gun had enough time to get out of the way.  That indicates that Drejka had enough time to see that he was under no threat from Markeis and to not pull the trigger.

Michael Drejka charged with manslaughter

Drejka has been the accused aggressor in 4 incidents since 2012.  Three are documented in police reports.  The one not documented involved the same handicap-reserved parking  spot at the Circle A Food Store.  In that incident, Drejka confronted Rick Kelly and threatened to shoot him.

Two other incidents involved allegations that Drejka showed a gun.  In another, a trooper accused him of aggressive driving and cited him after a crash when Drejka braked hard in front of a woman driving with two children.

Tampa Bay News has more information on Drejka’s prior incidents.

Since most states have justifiable homicide law, it still puzzles me that some states found it necessary to have stand your ground.  The concept of not having to retreat means that the person is armed and capable of killing.  Being capable of killing is not limited to using deadly force in self-defense.  As we have seen from several cases, it also means taking entitlement chances that initiate confrontation — from killers getting out of their car to follow the person they end up killing, to arguing about cell phones in movie theaters, or whether a kid on a skate board is allowed to use a basketball court.  It seems to give those with guns false courage that they can put themselves in situations that are none of their business and use those guns when they don’t get the entitled respect they anticipate.

Posted on 08/14/2018, in Cases, Gun Control, Markeis McGlockton and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. I can’t help but think that had it not been for the camera Drejka might not have been charged. The sheriff didn’t even arrest him when the killing occurred.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Benjamin,
      True. The surveillance video was certainly a help in this case, as well as the witness who went inside of the store and told Markeis what was happening outside. On the video, you can see that man begin to walk behind Markeis, then he saw Drejka pull his gun and he moved beside a vehicle as if to take cover.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Unfortunately, the camera footage nor the witness was enough in Sheriff Gualtieri’s opinion to arrest Drejka.

        Like

        • Benjamin, you make an excellent point. Even with video, it doesn’t mean that juries will convict. What it does however, is help us to see how others judge between victims and defendants. We begin seeing a pattern, and from that pattern we draw certain conclusions. We bring those conclusions to the forefront and are mostly challenged by people who judge between victims and defendants in spite of video taped evidence. It speaks volumes.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    I have been following with interest the latest use of the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law … the same law that saw George Zimmerman go scot-free after murdering the unarmed Trayvon Martin in February 2012. In this case, another unarmed black man, Markeis McGlockton, was shot and killed in a dispute over a handicapped parking space by a legally disinterested party, Michael Drejka. The story was on my list to write about, but had not yet made it to the top of the list when I read this excellent post by blogger-friend Xena. If the evidence in this case is properly presented and considered by the jury, this one should have a different outcome than the Trayvon Martin case … let us hope. Thank you, Xena, for this highly informative post!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Good post. Stand your ground make less sense as a law when it becomes mobile. It is one thing to guard your family when a break-in occurs, but to interpret it on the street makes it more like manslaughter. Arguments should not have to end in the death of the other debater. Too many die just because a gun was present.

    To me it matters not who is more at fault – someone should not have to die, after an argument. The arrest makes sense in my view, as a trial by peers is important. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • Keith,
      I’m with you. With stand your ground, people have seen things in their imagination, like popcorn, which they use as an excuse to take the life of another human being.

      Liked by 1 person

      • True. I also believe the existence of a gun causes a person to be more aggressive over perceived slights, increasing the chance that it will be used. Sans the weapon, the person may have said nothing or been more diplomatic. Everyone thinks they are Dirty Harry with a gun. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • Keith,
          Absolutely! Guns give that false sense of courage that without them, people would not think of themselves so boldly and entitled to stick their noses into things that are not their business, or start arguments. The only purpose for conceal carry is to shoot a human being.

          Like

  4. “Since most states have justifiable homicide law, it still puzzles me that some states found it necessary to have stand your ground. The concept of not having to retreat means that the person is armed and capable of killing. Being capable of killing is not limited to using deadly force in self-defense.”

    It’s a dog-whistle law that has special meaning and protection for racists. In those states where its the law, I wonder how many black people use the stand your ground defense and predictably get off like many white people do when they kill black people? For example, when a white person gets in a black person’s face, calls them a nigga and threatens to swing them on a tree? Can a black man stand his ground and shoot that person who is threatening?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angela,
      Back in 2012-2013, I researched SYG cases in Florida. I did not complete that research but distinctly remember that the cases I found involving Blacks granted immunity under SYG were all cases where victims were also Black. Florida has a thing of tacking on another charge to get a conviction even when SYG applies to the homicide charge. The case of Trevor Dooley comes to mind. A new trial was ordered for him, but there’s been no news for over a year on the status.

      Regarding defense when threats are made because of race, I seriously doubt that a Black man can prevail under SYG in response to verbal threats. We’ve seen the numerous cases of White defendants testifying what they thought, but Black defendants are not given that same level of consideration. There is still the ideology that Blacks are suppose to be submissive, obedient to any White person regardless of lack of authority, not talk back, and shuffle along.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Xena, your prelim finding was consistent with optics of racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Many “expert” researchers in the field have difficulty proving structural racism in that system. I’ve been reading some judicial articles. Pay close attention to who funds the research as it does affect the findings. Those findings become the foundation of the laws, rules, and policies that govern the criminal justice system.
        There is an emphasis on “evidence-based” or “best practices” when there is controversy as to what constitutes evidence-based or best practices.

        “There is still the ideology that Blacks are suppose to be submissive, obedient to any White person regardless of lack of authority, not talk back, and shuffle along.” That is the heart of it.
        One reason many white people don’t see anything wrong with killing a black person just for possession of a gun in a state where gun possession is legal and whites walk around with guns. The NRA never defended Philando Castile right to gun ownership.

        I remember being told by several white men on LinkedIn that a black man should never utter the following threatening words– razor, knife or gun –in any sentence. I kid you not.

        Like

    • Angela,
      Here’s something recently tweeted by the SPLC that you might find interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We can’t let these things go unchallenged. What is the NAACP doing? The ACLU seems to have abandoned issues relevant to communities of color. They gravitate to high profile cases. We need a legal defense network and lobby groups to get the ball going. We have to make it illegal and punishable to kill black people. That is where we need to start, stop the bleeding first.

        Like

        • Angela,
          I’m not so sure if the NAACP gets involved politically anymore. The ACLU gets involved in cases where there is a challenge of constitutional rights. Unless someone challenges SYG as unconstitutional, the ACLU will not get involved. Personally, I believe that SYG is a violation of constitutional rights. When anyone is conceal carrying, they have taken away the level playing field and can use that gun to kill because they are losing an argument, or someone looked “suspicious”.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Xena,

    That damn SYG law was an ALEC creation with the NRA, one of those template laws that republicans wanted to enacted into law. They just needed to try passing this law in one state and they needed a story to justify the enactment. In 2005, after the 2004 hurricane season in FL. the GOP state lawmakers came up with a justification and a story to match.

    The story came in the form of a Mr. James Workman who was protecting his RV during a storm event. He saw a man whom he perceived to be an intruder which caused him to feel threatened. Consequently, he shot the man to protect himself and his wife.

    The legislative sellers of this law claimed the poor elderly man and his wife had to wait months worrying about legal repercussions while the prosecution took his time to arrive at a decision. The problem is that the prosecution took three months and the intruder was not just any intruder. Mr. Rodney Cox was a FEMA worker and a family man with a great reputation. No one will ever know what he was doing wondering in the area of Mr. Workman’s RV that evening. The sad thing is that on any other occasion these two men had so much in common including a love for fishing. They could have been good friends. This is how this law came into being with bipartisan support. Many who voted in favor in 2005 now openly oppose this law.

    After this template law was enacted in Florida in 2005, it became law in 26 other republican led legislative bodies.

    I wonder if the Koch brothers ever sit back to think about the harm they have done in bcking forums like ALEC.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Like

    • Gronda,
      I had read that the NRA was behind SYG, but didn’t know the whole story. Thanks for sharing it. Under Gov. Quinn, Illinois fought hard against conceal carry. The only reason we have it is because the state was sued and the federal court found that Illinois was in violation of the 2nd Amendment. At that time also, Quinn along with law makers in Illinois said there would never be SYG in Illinois.

      Liked by 1 person

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