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Crime News Breaking News

Florida's 'Stand Your Ground' Law Under Fire Again After Man Dies Over Parking Spot

The “stand your ground” law was made famous following the 2012 shooting of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin.

By Stefan Lembo-Stolba

Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law is under fire again after a man shot and killed someone in front of a convenient story after the two got into an altercation over a handicapped parking space.

Surveillance video captured the incident between Markeis McGlockton and Michael Drejka outside of a Circle A gas station in Pinellas, Florida.

It started as McGlockton, 28, was inside the store with his 5-year-old son. His girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, was waiting in their car with their two other young children. They apparently had parked illegally in a handicapped spot. 

Drejka, 47, can be seen standing outside of arguing with Jacobs over the parking spot. As McGlockton exited the store, he went over to Drejka, pushed him to the ground, and Drejka responded by reaching for his gun and shooting McGlockton once in the chest.

McGlockton retreated back into the store where he collapsed. He was taken to the hospital and later died, police said. Drejka told investigators when they arrived that he was afraid for his life after being pushed down.  

On Friday, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gaultieri said in a press conference that after being slammed to the ground, Drjeka was afraid he was going to be attacked again. Gaultieri also said that Drejka would not be arrested by the Pinellas Sheriff as a result of the “stand your ground” law.

The “stand your ground” law was made famous following a 2012 shooting of an unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin. In that case, the Florida law was controversially used by George Zimmerman after he shot and killed an unarmed teen.

The law protects people who defend themselves if they fear for their immediate safety. Twenty-three states in the U.S. have "stand your ground" laws.

In the press conference, Gaultieri explained that in the case of Drejka, they did not have probable cause to arrest him. Gaultieri said that the case would be considered by the state attorney general, but did not know how the office would handle the case.

On Sunday night, protesters gathered in front of the Circle A gas station to oppose the use of the “stand your ground” law as a defense in this case, WTSP in Tampa reported. Hundreds of protesters demanded that Drejka be arrested for the shooting. 

[Photo: Pinellas Sheriff's Office]

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