Was it “Stand Your Ground”?
This is the question being asked when on July 19, 2018, Michael Drejka, 47, opened fire on Markeis McGlockton, 28, killing him shortly after.
The security camera footage shows the girlfriend pulling into a handicapped space outside the Circle A convenience store, and Drejka puling up to the store shorty after. Drejka gets out of his car and proceeds to walk around the vehicle in the handicapped space, presumably looking for indications of anyone in the vehicle being handicapped. It then shows him talking to, and then arguing with Brittany Jacobs, the girlfriend.
You can see in the footage a man stopping before entering the store. It is believed this man entered the store to tell the owner two people were arguing. Shortly after, McGlockton exits the store confronts Drejka and then shoves him to the pavement. Drejka proceeds to pull out a firearm, and McGlockton is seen backing away when Drejka shoots. McGlockton then stumbles back into the store and collapses in front of his son. EMTs report later the father passed away.
The Sheriff of Pinellas County had this to say about the incident:
”He told the deputies he had to shoot to defend himself. Those are the facts and that’s the law.”
The law he is referring to is the “Stand Your Ground” law which gives residents the right to use force if there is a reasonable belief that they are in danger of death or being seriously injured.
When the store owner was interviewed about the incident, he said this was not the first time he has had problems with Drejka, and that the man had confronted others about parking in the spot, even having to call authorities in some instances.
This is what the store owner, Ali Selous, had to say, “[It’s] sad to see [McGlockton] die in front of his son. … for a parking lot. For a stupid reason. Just to argue, just to find someone to argue with.”
There were protests in conjunction with the shooting, but the final decision rests with the state attorney as to whether this is a “Stand Your Ground” case or not. Most of the rhetoric around the protests is that Drejka was white and McGlockton was black.
Drejka has no charges placed on him, was not arrested, and after a background check, it was revealed he had a concealed carry permit.
My Two Cents (The Opinion)
In this politically charged and racially charged climate, there was no doubt in my mind that there would be protests nor that the Trayvon Martin case in 2002 would be compared to this. After all, both incidents revolve around the “Stand Your Ground” law.
Some could argue that McGlocklon was defending his girlfriend and family, and Miss Jacobs has so much as iterated that point. Some could also argue that shooting someone who does not appear armed is an unnecessary escalation of a situation. After all, in the video, McGlocklon was backing off when the weapon was pulled and trained on him. It could even be argued Drejka did indeed defend himself, because, in his perception, he felt threatened.
But what do “I” think?
After reading several sources, it seems to me he was looking for an excuse to shoot someone. He has confronted other people before for parking in the handicapped spot. In the video I saw, I noticed body language that suggested he was agitated and confrontational, which would put someone on edge, but above all, it could have been avoided if she would have parked in any other spot than that one.
Now, this does NOT mean I am blaming Brittany. The video clearly shows empty spots when she parked at the store.
Just like Zimmerman who should not got out of his car, this all boils down to making a bad decision, and that decision leading to a death.
Until next time,
Anissa “Maddy” Mathias