- Three weeks after a controversial "Stand Your Ground" shooting in Clearwater, charges have been filed in the case.
Michael Drejka, the man accused of shooting and killing an unarmed Markeis McGlockton on July 19 in a convenience store store parking lot, was charged with manslaughter Monday morning.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri originally declined to charge Drejka, saying one day after the shooting that the man was protected by Florida's stand-your-ground law. Video shows McGlockton then exited the store and shoved Drejka to the ground. As you can see in there, there is a pause, even if it's only for a couple seconds, there is a pause between the time Drejka hits the ground and he shoots.
Footage of the shooting was recorded on CCTV outside the convenience store and shows Mr McGlockton rushing back inside the building while clutching his chest. He died at Morton Plant Hospital a half-hour later. The driver declined to press charges, and Drejka denied showing the weapon.
Markeis McGlockton (left, standing) was shot dead by Michael Drejka (kneeling) outside a store following a dispute about a parking spot.
"Consistent with the decision-making process established under Florida law in this case, the State Attorney conducted his review and chose to charge Drejka with manslaughter", Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said in a news release. Drejka lands on his back and McGlockton takes a step toward him. "This self-appointed wannabe cop attempted to hide behind "Stand Your Ground" to defend his indefensible actions, but the truth has finally cut through the noise".
His comments came after McGlockton's family and girlfriend slammed the decision not to arrest Drejka. "He didn't do nothing wrong".
The law was changed a year ago to put the burden of proof on prosecutors to disprove a stand your ground claim, instead of on the defense to prove one. While McGlockton broke the law by assaulting Drejka, Drejka's response was disproportionate.
The case drew hundreds to a rally earlier this month in Clearwater. Sheriff Gulatieri later responded to Sharpton's criticisms by telling him to "go home".
Drejka was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on Monday and bond has been set at $100,000.
As of noon, Drejka was being booked into the Pinellas County Jail.
Drejka is now being held on a $100,000 bond.
"The state attorney's office is doing what Sheriff Gualtieri has failed to do thus far -seeking justice for the death of Markeis McGlockton", said Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King in a statement released this afternoon.
"This man killed Markeis in cold blood, without a second thought about the devastating impact his actions would have on our family, but this charge gives us a measure of hope that the truth will win and justice will prevail in the end".