STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Push doesn't justify shooting, slain man's father says of 'stand your ground' case

The father of a man killed in a case highlighting Florida's "stand your ground" law called Thursday for the shooter t...

Posted: Jul 26, 2018 9:50 PM
Updated: Jul 26, 2018 9:50 PM

The father of a man killed in a case highlighting Florida's "stand your ground" law called Thursday for the shooter to be prosecuted, saying his son was rightly standing up for his family and that there's no way the shooting could be justified.

Markeis McGlockton was shot and killed July 19 outside a convenience store in Clearwater by Michael Drejka, sheriff's detectives say, after McGlockton shoved Drejka to the ground for confronting McGlockton's girlfriend over a parking space.

Drejka was not arrested, with the Pinellas County sheriff saying the "stand your ground" law appears to give him immunity because he feared a further attack.

McGlockton's father said he raised his son to be a man who could protect his family, and "that's all my son was doing."

"If you push a man down to the ground, that man does not deserve to be shot. Stand up and fight with your fists," Michael McGlockton said at a news conference in front of the Pinellas County Justice Center in Clearwater.

The father joined his son's girlfriend and their lawyers, including civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, in calling for Drejka's prosecution.

Britany Jacobs, Markeis McGlockton's girlfriend of nine years, said she is having trouble explaining his death to their older children, ages 5 and 3. They also have a 4-month-old.

"They asked me where is their daddy, and I need answers, because it's hard for me to even say where the father is right now," said Jacobs, 25.

The confrontation

Sheriff's detectives said Drejka, 47, approached Jacobs while McGlockton and the couple's 5-year-old son went into the store. Drejka and Jacobs began arguing about her parking in a handicapped parking space.

Jacobs concedes she parked in a handicapped spot outside the Circle A Food Store in Clearwater, and told "Good Morning America" this week that Drejka pulled up in a silver SUV and began yelling and cursing at her.

"(McGlockton) comes out and sees a guy yelling at me and I'm sitting in the car. So, by this time, my man is defending me and defending his children so he pushes the guy down," she told the ABC show.

Jacobs said her two younger children were in the car with her.

Surveillance footage from the store shows McGlockton exit the Circle A and make a beeline for Drejka, whom he shoves upon reaching him. Drejka tumbles back onto his butt as McGlockton briefly stands over him, pulling up his shorts.

Drejka pulls out a gun and McGlockton steps back and quickly clutches his chest before running back into the store and collapsing in front of his son. There is no sound on the video, but the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said in a news release, "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."

The time between Drejka hitting the ground and the shooting was four to five seconds, authorities have said.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Florida's "stand your ground" law prevented him from arresting Drejka, because McGlockton violently shoved him and Drejka feared further harm.

Florida's law says someone is justified in using deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm, or to prevent a forcible felony. And, the law says, the person using deadly force does not have to retreat if he or she "is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be."

Gualtieri said the county's state attorney would consider the case.

"If he concurs, there will be no arrest," Gualtieri said.

Drejka was cooperative with deputies and has a valid Florida concealed weapons license, the sheriff's office said.

Repeated attempts to reach Drejka have been unsuccessful. CNN affiliate WFTS reported that the 47-year-old put a sign outside his home that read, "No comment."

Crump: Race is a factor in this case

Crump said he believes that "stand your ground" is being applied to the wrong person in this case. He contends Drejka was the initial aggressor by starting the argument with Jacobs.

"You cannot provoke a fight and then hide behind 'stand your ground,'" Michele Rayner, another attorney representing McGlockton's family, said Thursday.

Crump contends race is a factor in the case. McGlockton was -- and Jacobs and their children are -- black.

"Just imagine if the roles were reversed, and you had a black man approach a white woman sitting in the car with her two white toddler children in the back seat, and the white father came out to protect his family," Crump said, adding he believed the black man would be arrested in that scenario.

"So why is it different when there is an unarmed black person lying on the ground dead? We only want equal justice -- nothing more, but nothing less," Crump said.

Gualtieri has defended Drejka, describing McGlockton's push as forcible and violent.

He said there's no evidence Drejka posed a threat to McGlockton's family. It was strictly a verbal argument and McGlockton engaged in unlawful conduct by pushing Drejka, the sheriff said during a news conference last week.

"Markeis wouldn't be dead if Markeis didn't slam this guy to the ground," Gualtieri said.

Gualtieri also noted the framework of Florida's "stand your ground" law was changed this year.

Previously, a shooter who used "stand your ground" as a defense had to prove she or he feared further bodily harm. The law now says the state attorney has to provide "clear and convincing evidence" the shooter is not entitled to "stand your ground" immunities.

A community is angry

Mourners and protesters gathered Sunday night for a church vigil before marching more than a mile to the Circle A Food Store. Local news footage from the march showed demonstrators carrying signs that read, "He was murdered in front of his kids" and "Indict Drejka! The whole system is guilty."

Some protesters called for the repeal of "stand your ground," claiming it was racist in its application. Crump concurred in a CNN interview on Tuesday, calling the law "a license to kill black people and people of color and not be held accountable."

"The state attorney needs to make sure this cold-blooded murderer does not get away with this," Crump said. "It's the law, and it's ludicrous. It's just a very bad law that encourages people in society to take the laws into their own hands."

Huntsville
Scattered Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 94°
Florence
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 90°
Fayetteville
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 86°
Decatur
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 93°
Scottsboro
Scattered Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 93°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 54768

Reported Deaths: 1096
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6746170
Mobile4904140
Montgomery4547112
Tuscaloosa269053
Madison22689
Marshall198011
Shelby169125
Lee159637
Morgan13385
Baldwin127711
Walker107532
Elmore106721
Etowah101114
Dallas10029
DeKalb9677
Franklin93816
Autauga69815
Russell6860
Unassigned67928
Chambers67730
Butler65229
Limestone6393
Tallapoosa63069
Cullman6156
Houston6077
Lauderdale5776
St. Clair5443
Calhoun5155
Colbert5096
Escambia4888
Lowndes48422
Pike4795
Jackson4352
Coffee4284
Covington41612
Talladega4017
Barbour3992
Dale3951
Bullock37810
Hale35423
Marengo35411
Chilton3312
Blount3201
Clarke3176
Wilcox3038
Winston2995
Sumter29213
Marion29014
Pickens2746
Randolph2639
Monroe2603
Perry2502
Conecuh2318
Bibb2241
Macon2199
Choctaw21712
Greene1989
Henry1553
Washington1488
Lawrence1360
Crenshaw1323
Cherokee1247
Geneva980
Lamar891
Clay852
Fayette851
Coosa661
Cleburne451
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 61960

Reported Deaths: 741
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby13594224
Davidson13309143
Rutherford360239
Hamilton336438
Sumner194556
Williamson176316
Knox16209
Trousdale15105
Out of TN141610
Wilson118717
Putnam10197
Bradley9724
Robertson94813
Sevier9123
Unassigned8902
Montgomery7787
Tipton6987
Lake6960
Bledsoe6291
Bedford6249
Macon6037
Hamblen4744
Maury4623
Hardeman4184
Fayette3705
Madison3632
Rhea3430
Blount3393
Loudon3282
Dyer2923
McMinn28419
Cheatham2753
Dickson2750
Washington2620
Lawrence2396
Cumberland2214
Sullivan2214
Anderson2002
Jefferson1871
Lauderdale1824
Gibson1811
Smith1602
Monroe1556
Greene1512
Coffee1430
Cocke1380
Hardin1287
Warren1270
Obion1243
Haywood1213
Marshall1182
Franklin1163
Wayne1160
McNairy1071
Carter1052
Giles1051
Hickman1050
Marion954
Hawkins912
Lincoln870
White863
DeKalb850
Roane850
Henderson740
Weakley741
Overton731
Campbell701
Chester690
Claiborne680
Grundy652
Unicoi580
Grainger560
Polk550
Crockett543
Henry530
Carroll521
Cannon500
Sequatchie490
Humphreys472
Jackson470
Johnson460
Meigs380
Perry380
Morgan321
Decatur290
Scott280
Fentress270
Stewart260
Union240
Moore210
Clay200
Houston200
Benton151
Hancock120
Lewis110
Van Buren90
Pickett70

 

 

Community Events