A white man who shot a black father over a disabled car parking spot has managed to avoid a jail sentence due to the controversial ‘stand your ground’ law.
47-year-old Michael Drejka shot and killed 28-year-old, Markeis McGlockton after an altercation in a convenience store car park.
Markeis’ long-time girlfriend and their three young children witnessed the shooting, which took place in Clearwater, Florida.
The ‘stand your ground’ law gives immunity to those who use force to defend themselves under circumstances where they fear for their lives.
Surveillance video provided by the owner of the Circle A Food Store shows Markeis McGlockton walk outside and confront Michael Drejka, who was arguing with McGlockton’s girlfriend after she parked in a handicapped space. McGlockton shoves Drejka, then Drejka pulls out his gun pic.twitter.com/rT1CeYi9tm
— Kellie Cowan (@KellieCowan) July 20, 2018
According to ABC News, Markeis’ girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, had been waiting in the car with their two younger children while Markeis went into the store with their five-year-old son.
Because the car park had been busy, and Markeis had only intended to be in the shop for a few minutes, the family parked in a disabled parking space.
Drejka had reportedly started ‘harassing’ her about being in the disabled parking spot without a permit and when Markeis exited the store, he shoved Drejka to the ground.
By this time a witness pulls up and everybody hears us going back and forth with one another. …
A witness goes in the store and he let the owner know that there was somebody out there messing with a woman in a car.
My man hears what’s going on, sees the guy yelling at me and I’m sitting in the car. My man is defending me and his children, so he pushes him down.
The white cop said #MarkeisMcGlockton wouldn't be dead if he hasn't pushed the white dude.
No. We wouldn't be here if that armed white dude wasn't going around acting like he's a police officer and instigating and inciting people. He had a prior run in with a Black man.
— ZiggyDaddy™ (@Ziggy_Daddy) July 22, 2018
Is Drejka a parking enforcement officer? Since when is that his job? Why doesn't Markeis McGlockton have a right to protect his family? This is murder.
— Robert Naylor Jr. (@RobertNaylorJr) July 21, 2018
It was at this point Drejka took out a handgun and fatally shot Markeis.
The family had been unaware Drejka was armed, and Markeis had reportedly stepped away from him in fear when the shot was fired.
According to Britany:
The guy is on the ground and he pulls the gun out. … My dude steps back ’cause my dude is fearing for his life — all of us were.
Everybody is panicking … my son is screaming, but it was too late,
It’s hard for a 4- or 5-year-old to witness what he saw. It’s really tough for him.
Markeis was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. The couple had been high school sweethearts who’d been together since 2009.
In an interview with Good Morning America, 25-year-old Britany said:
He wanted somebody to be angry at. He just wanted someone to fight him.
He was picking a fight. I’m just sitting, waiting for my family to come back to the car.
It’s a wrongful death. It’s messed up. Markeis is a good man … He was just protecting us, you know?
Michael Drejka (not a cop) harassed Brittany Jacobs for parking in a handicap spot
Her boyfriend & father of her children, Markeis McGlockton defended her
Drejka murdered him in front of his 5 yr old son
Police defended Drejka & refused to charge him pic.twitter.com/OT3EaphsHF
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) July 22, 2018
Speaking at a press conference, Pinellas County Sheriff, Bob Gualtieri said:
He told deputies that he had to shoot to defend himself. Those are the facts and that’s the law.
No matter how you slice it or dice it that was a violent push to the ground.
Britany is now seeking justice for Markeis, and is in the process of hiring legal representation.
Last week we saw the murder of Markeis McGlockton who was shot and killed following a fight over a parking spot. This falls under FL’s dangerous Stand Your Ground law. While I firmly believe this misguided law ought to be repealed, @RepAlLawsonJr has been a longtime supporter.
— Alvin Brown (@Alvin4Congress) July 23, 2018
That “Stand your ground” defense and law is horseshit and always favors the killer and not the victim. #MarkeisMcGlockton
— Andrel (@iknownothing_13) July 23, 2018
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Markeis McGlockton at this difficult time.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.