On July 19, a deadly shooting thrust Florida’s already-controversial Stand Your Ground laws back into the spotlight. Michael Drejka, a then-47-year-old white man, shot and killed Markeis McGlockton, a 28-year-old black man, in Clearwater, Florida, outside of a convenience store. McGlockton was inside the convenience store while Drejka confronted McGlockton’s girlfriend over parking in a handicap-designated spot, in what was described as a “heated argument,” according to the Tampa Bay Times. McGlockton came out of the store and shoved Drejka to the ground.
Drejka then pulled out a gun and shot McGlockton in the chest. Following the shooting, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said that Drejka was protected under Stand Your Ground and wouldn’t be arrested. The decision incited mass protests.
Monday, law enforcement announced Drejka’s arrest. He was charged with manslaughter over the killing. In filings from the arrest warrants, new information about the incident has been uncovered. Officials say McGlockton had backed away from Drejka and was 12 feet away when he was shot.
The warrant also states that it was unlikely for Drejka to be in fear of attack as he told deputies.
From the warrant: “Drejka steadies the firearm with both hands … McGlockton immediately backs up when confronted with the firearm. As he backs up to his vehicle he begins to turn towards the front of the store away from the shooter.”
According to a report from Vox, this wasn’t Drejka’s first time involved in a confrontation over a handicap spot: “Drejka also reportedly has a history of confronting people over handicap spaces, allegedly threatening to shoot a trucker in the past over the issue. But the sheriff said that, legally, Drejka’s history isn’t relevant to the July 19 shooting.”
This case is being closely followed by many because of it calls to mind George Zimmerman killing Trayvon Martin and using Stand Your Ground as a defense.