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Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law claims another victim

A Florida gunman won't face charges for killing an unarmed man after starting an argument over a parking spot.

Surveillance footage of the shooting. (Screengrab via the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office)
Surveillance footage of the shooting. (Screengrab via the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office)

An armed man in Florida allegedly provoked an argument over a parking spot before shooting and killing an unarmed man.

Michael Drejka, 47, will not face charges due to the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law after shooting dead 28-year-old Markeis McGlockton in front of his five-year-old son and girlfriend in Clearwater on Thursday. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced the decision during a news conference on Friday:

“I don’t make the law. I enforce the law. The law in the state of Florida today is that people have a right to stand their ground and have a right to defend themselves when they believe that they are in harm.”

According to the sheriff’s office, 24-year-old Britany Jacobs, McGlockton’s girlfriend, was parked in a handicapped spot when she was approached by Drejka. The sheriff’s office described what occurred next in a statement:

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“According to witnesses, McGlockton exited the store and walked over to Drejka who was still arguing with Jacobs in the parking lot. Witnesses say McGlockton forcibly pushed Drejka causing Drejka to fall to the ground. Witnesses told detectives that Drejka was on the ground when he took out a handgun and fired one single round at McGlockton striking him in the chest.”

Store owner Ali Selous told WFTS-TV that McGlockton was buying candy for his son at the time of the incident:

“[It’s] sad to see [McGlockton] die in front of his son. … For a parking lot [space]. For a stupid reason. Just to argue, just to find someone to argue with.”

Social media users pointed out the absurdity of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which has been shown to increase homicides:

Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) signed a controversial update to the law, but it was ruled unconstitutional in July 2017. Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law gained notoriety after George Zimmerman shot and killed unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012. The law was cited in Zimmerman’s defense during the trial that resulted in his acquittal. Zimmerman has since been involved in numerous violent incidents.