Stand Your Ground

Michael Drejka, Who Supposedly Could Not Be Arrested for Killing Markeis McGlockton, Is Charged With Manslaughter

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri misrepresented Florida's self-defense law while passing the buck to State Attorney Bernie McCabe.

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surveillance video

Michael Drejka, who shot and killed Markeis McGlockton in the parking lot of a Clearwater, Florida, convenience store on July 19, was charged with manslaughter today. The charge means that Bernie McCabe, the state attorney for Pinellas and Pasco counties, did not buy Drejka's claim that he shot McGlockton because he reasonably believed it was necessary to prevent serious injury or death.

That is the justification required by Florida's "stand your ground" self-defense law, notwithstanding much confused criticism implying that the state is especially permissive in situations like this. McCabe's decision makes Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri's failure to arrest Drejka seem all the more puzzling, since it indicates that the prosecutor not only thinks there is probable cause to believe Drejka's use of lethal force was unjustified (the requirement for an arrest) but also thinks the state can prove that by clear and convincing evidence at a pretrial hearing and beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

Under Florida law, manslaughter, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison, is an unjustified homicide that does not qualify as murder, which requires premeditation. Manslaughter using a firearm is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison.* The charge seems appropriate given what we know about the facts of the case.

Surveillance video shows McGlockton, responding to an argument between his girlfriend and Drejka over her decision to park in a handicapped spot, pushing Drejka to the pavement. Drejka, still sitting on the ground, draws a pistol, prompting McGlockton to back away, at which point Drejka shoots him in the chest. While McGlockton broke the law by assaulting Drejka, Drejka's response was disproportionate. He acted out of fear (and/or anger) in the heat of the moment, so the killing was not premeditated. But that does not mean it was justified.

Gualtieri conceded that Drejka "probably could have" defended himself by brandishing the gun without firing it. He has also said that he himself would not have fired in that situation. Yet he erroneously insisted that Florida law barred him from arresting Drejka. He has asserted that police are not supposed to second-guess the subjective judgment of people who use lethal force, which is wrong, and that police are not supposed to make an arrest unless it is "absolutely clear" that a shooting was illegal, which is also wrong.

Journalists, many of whom were already biased against Florida's self-defense law, followed Gualtieri's lead. The Tampa Bay Times, for instance, claims Drejka "avoided arrest…because of the controversial self-defense law that eliminated one's duty to retreat before resorting to force." Yet nothing in the law prevents police from arresting someone when they have probable cause to believe he killed someone without justification.

[*This post has been revised to note that Drejka's use of a firearm doubles the maximum penalty he faces.]

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  1. Drejka, still sitting on the ground, draws a pistol, prompting McGlockton to back away…

    Kind of. Bad shoot but he’s not getting convicted.

    1. You figure there are as many racist, gun-fondling yahoos in Clearwater’s jury pool as there are in the can’t-keep-up sections of Pennsylvania?

      1. Take your vile bigotry somewhere else.

    2. It’s an overcharge based on the politics of the situation. His choices now are either request an immunity hearing (which, if he wins, results in all charges being dropped) or he pleads to a lesser offense.

  2. He has asserted that police are not supposed to second-guess the subjective judgment of people who use lethal force

    But I thought it was indeed settled law that people are not supposed to second-guess the subjective judgment of police who use lethal force. Oh, wait, I misread the sentence. Nevermind.

  3. Makes sense. Florida is a swing state with a bunch of Yankees from NY who live there. Much of Florida is conservative and some of Florida is Lefty. Tallahassee is full of Lefties, I guess.

    Like Zimmerman, Drejka will be acquitted too.

    Floridians wanted this Stand your Ground law and the Lefties in the State Government evidently want to end run the law and self-defense protections.

    1. I think if they had charged Zimmerman with manslaughter instead of 2nd degree murder he would have been convicted.

      1. How would a “duty to retreat” law have helped the prosecution get Zimmerman?

        1. Beats me. I didn’t say anything about a duty to retreat.

          1. Sorry, I thought you were weighing in on that dispute but I see you weren’t, my bad.

            1. Zimmerman never should have been charged, as the police correctly decided. There is no way he was ever going to get convicted of anything.

              1. Zimmerman!?!? Zimmerman!?!? Lemme tell ya about Zimmerman!!!

                ?Zimmerman/Martin case was a very complicated case …
                The OTHER part of the truth (Martin threw away the sword and the pistol by his side, before he died, and the cops never found it, bumbling fools that they were), but here is the REAL truth:
                Martin went a fartin’,
                And he did ride,
                With a sword and a pistol
                By his side,
                Lookin’ for a “creepy ass cracker”
                To help him eat his skittles,
                So when he couldn’t find his spittoon,
                He spit instead in his shittooon,
                And shit instead in his spittoon,
                While the cow jumped over the moon,
                And the dish snorted coke with a spoon,
                And we’ll all know the truth real soon!

        2. It wouldn’t, but Juice’s comment is about overcharging, not “duty to retreat”.

      2. How? Hard to argue against self defense when his head was being bashed into the pavement. Or are you ignoring the actual evidentiary record and going with the press “reporting” on the matter.

        1. I think that the jury could be convinced that Zimmerman started the whole thing and since it was his decision to initiate a confrontation that eventually led to Martin’s death, his actions constitute manslaughter.

          1. Zimmerman was charged with murder 2 with a “lesser included charge” of manslaughter. He was acquitted by a jury on both counts.

            The jury he actually faced acquitted Z of manslaughter. Who knows, maybe a different jury would have convicted him, but I doubt it.

          2. So Zimmerman violently attacked Martin?

            The evidence from that case had Zimmerman following Martin, which is perfectly legal and Martin jumped Zimmerman, which is illegal.

            Drejka was talking to people in the vehicle parked illegally (or suspected to be parked illegally), which is legal when McGlockton violently attacked him, which is illegal.

          3. There was no evidence that Z “initiated” a confrontation.

            The trial evidence shows that M was safe at his father’s house before “going back to deal with that cracker” (testimony of the “girlfriend”).

            M started it. Z did nothing illegal that night.

          4. ” Zimmerman started the whole thing ”

            Except the law doesn’t work that way. Zimmerman started a verbal confrontation. That’s not a crime.

            The world you prefer would be one of fear and intimidation.

            1. Zimmerman started a verbal confrontation.

              He didn’t even do that. He just watched Martin from a distance and briefly followed him. The confrontation was entirely the doing of Martin.

            2. The world you prefer would be one of fear and intimidation.

              Yes, I suspect some of the commenters who refuse to see Drejka or Zimmerman as defending themselves are habitual bullies who don’t want to lose their power to push around smaller, weaker, less aggressive people to fear of armed self-defense. Notice their warped perception that physically attacking people who piss you off is such an everyday thing that allowing armed defense against it would result in a bloodbath. They seem not to know that nearly all of us manage to get through our entire adult lives without ever physically assaulting anyone.

              1. Zimmerman defended himself legitimately.

                Drejka, no.

                1. I don’t see the difference.

      3. I don’t think so.

        The evidence of self-defense is clear, beyond a reasonable doubt.

        In the above instance the self-defense claim is not supportable.

    2. I think Drejka will be convicted, of something. Maybe not manslaughter, maybe aggravated assault, maybe some lesser form of homicide.

      I watched the video. I don’t think he should have pulled the trigger. It might turn out to be a hung jury since some people obviously disagree with my opinion.

      The case against Z was totally different. Z was completely justified in killing Martin.

  4. I don’t know that it matters, but has anyone else noticed that the video jumps between the time Drejka pulls the gun and McGlockton is actually shot?

    1. I think they cut out the actual shot. I’ve seen this before and I believe it is done to avoid families having to see the actual ‘event’ or time of lethal injury.
      But it raises a bit of concern about what is really going on. Did he step back at first, and then start forward again? There is at least a second of time that is cut out of the video judging the movement of the other people in the frame.

      1. Glad to see conspiracy theories brought into it. JFC.

        1. don’t be dense.

          It’s not a conspiracy to recognize the obvious fact that a bit of time was cut out of the video that is available to the public.

          1. It requires us to believe that a massive number of individuals, many of whom have conflicting motives, to all cover up the event. That’s extraordinarily dense.

            1. No one said anything about a coverup.

              It’s obvious to everyone that a bit of time is cut in the video. That fact does not imply conspiracy and it was never implied that it did.

              You need to get your lunacy in check.

              1. Alright, dude. You’re right. The media are injecting their narrative into the video evidence for… some reason. When did this place become a truther haven?

                1. again…check your lunacy.

                  The video is edited. This is an obvious fact.

                  no motive was applied to that, in any post above. It was simply acknowledged.

          2. Yes, but that’s not all you did. You also suggested that perhaps the man who was shot had started forward again, suggesting that the official account of what happened has been distorted from the truth. This is entering into conspiracy theory territory.

            1. I never said or implied the video was edited to distort the truth.

              I suggested the starting forward as an unknown which it clearly is.

              Kinda difficult to discern the facts from a video with a clear gap in time at the most critical moment. But, yeh, go ahead and read ‘conspiracy theory’ into the simple acknowledgement of reality.

              1. Positing something for which there is absolutely no evidence, which contradicts the widely-reported official version of events, and which, if true, would dramatically alter the circumstances of the situation is not a “simple acknowledgement of reality.” Your comment is not as innocent as you would like to portray it to be.

                1. No evidence? The video linked to in this very article is edited.

                  1. You seem to misunderstand the nature of evidence.

                    The fact that there is a time gap in the CBS video is NOT evidence that the man who was shot moved toward the man on the ground.

                    Just as that time gap is not evidence that, before being shot, the standing man reached into his pants, appearing as if he were about to pull out a gun.

                    Just as the fact that no one you know saw you between 3 and 4 pm yesterday is not evidence that you were off drinking in a bar somewhere.

                    To constitute evidence, some kind of logical connection is required — not just a fanciful theory.

                    1. “You seem to misunderstand the nature of evidence.”

                      LOL. That’s fucking ironic.

                      The video has been obviously altered. Meaning, as evidence, it is entirely suspect. Nobody gets to infer what they cannot see, but you likewise cannot pick and choose what bits you can..

                    2. If that were the only version of the video released to the public, you might have a point.

      2. I don’t know what video you guys are watching, but I went back to re-watch the version I found online, paying attention to uninvolved cars and people moving in the scene, and everything is smooth, with no jumps. The man who was shot definitely did not charge forward.

        1. The video link in the article goes to youtube which has a clearly edited version. But yeh, with further searching, the unedited version is available online.

          1. So yeh, upon further research there is no move forward.

            It would be nice if the ‘journalists’ at Reason would be a little less slopply and apathethic about their links and citations.

  5. People get unnaturally pissed off over handicap parking spots. Americans really hate any extra walking in their day, I guess.

    My mother has a legit heart condition that permits her handicap parking, but if we ever go somewhere together, I feel like we might get screeched at when we get out of the car because she’s not paraplegic.

    1. Yeah, the social pressure regarding handicapped spaces is pounded into us.

      I had minor foot surgery a few years ago and was in a boot and the doctor didn’t want me overdoing it for the first few weeks, so they gave me a handicapped thingy to hang on my mirror. I was tempted not to use it at all because I felt too much subconscious guilt. Used it for a week and then it got to me so I sucked it up the last two weeks and walked farther.

      But I sure as hell wouldn’t hassle a stranger if they parked in one. I mean, I don’t know anything about their situation. It’s on their conscience, not mine. The shooter here may or may not be guilty of a crime, but it’s obvious by inspection that he’s guilty of being a jackass.

    2. Maybe if people hadn’t insisted 20% damn percent of the parking spaces be reserved for the disabled (just in case) and then started gaming the system with sympathetic doctors so that everyone and their mum’s brother has a pass people wouldn’t get pissed at people who aren’t obviously disabled taking advantage of this coerced charity.

      1. Maybe people should stop being so emotional over things that don’t matter.

        1. Funny. Have you seen your comment history lately

        2. If it don’t matter then get rid of the spaces.

      2. There are absolute requirements, that need to be fulfilled, to get handicapped parking. Disability is not always “obvious”. It is so disturbing to see the peanut gallery making the decisions that we, doctors, were given the right to determine! It is determined by the person’s ability to ambulate a certain distance. Mental disability does not qualify a person, either. The problem I saw , yesterday, was a motorcycle parked in the striped area next to the handicapped spot. I am disabled. I am, still, able to ride my two wheeled scooter. But, I would not park it in a handicapped spot. either! The striped areas were very well justified by the Facebook picture of a child unable to get into his van, because someone had infringed upon the area that was needed for the child’s wheelchair ramp be able to be deployed. I am lucky that my injury to my spinal cord was low enough that I was left able to walk and function almost normally! I am limited in the fact that I cannot stand up straight and I have spinal claudication due to the lacerated nerves in my cauda equina. Explosive, L-2, fracture damaged the nerve roots at the end of my spinal cord. It looks like a horse’s tail, thus the term “cauda equina”.

  6. SYG laws have been implemented for this exact situation, as an antidote to prosecutorial politics used to punish legal self defense.
    In many states, it is almost as risky to defend yourself with a firearm as it is to acquiesce to the assault. No one should have to prove they had a right to defend themselves. If they do, then it isn’t a right.

    Anyone can second guess this specific incident and read into the video whatever their personal views are. I personally am uncomfortable with calling it reasonable given the delay between attack and shot, but no one can pretend to know what the fight-or-flight response was doing to Drejka as he sat on the ground. He very well could have felt his life was in peril.
    the facts remain. Drejka was being an ass, but non threateningly. At no point was he leaning into the car or threatening the occupants. So much so that the driver was comfortable enough to get out of the car.
    but still, Drejka was assaulted violently enough to knock him flying.
    Being secure in your person and free from assault is a natural right. Drejka had the right to use lethal force to end it. That may not sit well, but if he didn’t, then self-defense isn’t a right. It’s a priviledge given by the state and can be taken away at their whim.

    1. FFS. This case has nothing to do with SYG. What matters is whether this was a justified self defense action. It hinges on whether or not Drejka REASONABLY believed that he was in mortal danger. That’s a question of fact that can be decided by a jury. It does not matter what Drejka’s “fight-or-flight response” was. All of this is true in every jurisdiction in the country, regardless of whether or not they have SYG laws. All of this has been explained ad nauseam in plenty of articles on this site. Learn what the law actually says before you make objectively false statements.

      1. Self defense also requires proportionality. If you push me, I do not have the right to shoot you in self defense. I don’t know of a jurisdiction on the planet where I would. Okay, maybe the UAE.

        1. Again, you apparently misunderstand assault and self defense laws.

          Being blindly and violently knocked to the ground and having your assailant stand over you is universally considering to be a life-threatening situation.

          1. I suggest you read the applicable laws. This isn’t hard.

            1. Judging by your lack of understanding, apparently it is.

            2. Relevant statute – you’re looking for section (1)(b):

              776.013?Home protection; use or threatened use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.?
              (1)?A person who is in a dwelling or residence in which the person has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and use or threaten to use:
              (a)?Nondeadly force against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force; or
              (b)?Deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.

              1. Nice true. A push is a simple assault. It is not imminent death or great bodily harm or a forcible felony. I truly hope that you do not carry. If you do, I truly hope that you take a carry class with a certified instructor. It seems that your understanding of the law needs strong correction. This is the law in every jurisdiction in the US.

                  1. Oops. Grabbed the wrong one. That was the castle law (much stronger than the law outside of the home in most places). Here’s the right citation. Section (1)(2).

                    776.012?Use or threatened use of force in defense of person.?
                    (1)?A person is justified in using or threatening to use force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. A person who uses or threatens to use force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat before using or threatening to use such force.
                    (2)?A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person using or threatening to use the deadly force is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.

                1. aggravated assault is a forcible felony.

                  You really don’t understand what you are posting.

                  1. Aggravated assault requires one of three things: (1) causing or attempting to cause serious bodily injury to another, (2) causing such injury purposely, knowingly, or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, or (3) attempting to cause or purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon.

                    It is not at all clear that the initial assault met any of these criteria, so it’s not at all clear that Drejka acted to prevent a forcible felony. These are all questions of fact for a jury to answer. That’s the point of an arrest and charge. Let the jury sort it out. Obviously, if I’m Drejka’s lawyer, I’ll claim that an aggravated assault was about to be committed and that the homicide was therefore justifiable self defense. That has nothing to do with a prosecutor’s decision to indict. And it has nothing to do with SYG.

                    1. Definition of forcible felony, FWIW.

                      776.08?Forcible felony.?”Forcible felony” means treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.

                      Theses are pretty serious crimes. Pushing definitely doesn’t make the list. Again, that would be a question of fact for the jury. But Drejka’s lawyer is going to have a very difficult time getting him off on a reasonable threat of commission of a forcible felony.

                    2. You keep saying “push” as if it was a minor shove. You are being intentionally obtuse as the assault was anything but a simple ‘push’.
                      It is aggravated assault in any jurisdiction in the country to violently ‘push’ someone to the ground with such force as obvious in the video.
                      That is a forcible felony, and if drejka had any reasonable belief that the assault wasnt finished he has every right to defend himself. Syg laws clarify that he can practively defend himself irregardless of whether retreat could be feasible. As he was on the ground and the assailant so close, even retreat is questionable. The only reasonable argument against that is if the assailant was clearly backing away, disengaging from the assault. We cannot tell from the video, but i am sure the responding officers have that from the eyewitness accounts. What was being said verbally is probably the key evidence.
                      Self defense is a right. If prosecutors use politics to decide on whether to charge people, then it is no longer a right.

                    3. Good rebuttal on the “push” meme.

                      Describing the violence with which the uncivilized brute employed against a much smaller man as a “push” is a deliberate distortion of the facts.

                      Either that, or there are none as blind as those that will not see.

                  2. DJK posted the wrong statute. He has no idea what he is talking about.

                    He has an opinion but its not based on current Florida law.

                    1. In one respect, he does: he knows that he is arguing in bad faith by describing the aggressor’s action as a mere “push.”

                      How would DJK like it if a Calais Campbell or a JJ Watt “pushed” him with the same force?

                2. “A push is a simple assault. It is not imminent death or great bodily harm or a forcible felony. ”

                  You make that blanket assertion all on your own but insist this guy get exposed to the vagaries of a jury???

                  Yeah, that’s reasonable…

        2. “Self defense also requires proportionality.”

          Nope.

          You might be thinking of the ‘law’ of war.

          1. Yeah, there’s been a lot of conflation of macho concepts about “fair fighting” with actual law about self-defense in these discussions.

      2. I think you are the one who is grasping at ignorance of the law.

        Drejka was assaulted an on the ground. His attacker was standing over him.
        SYG says Drejka did not have a responsibility to retreat. He had the right to end it.

        The only argument possible is if the assailant was truly backing away and breaking off the conflict.

        1. Hence why SYG is so fucked up.

          1. Again, SYG is not at all relevant. See FL Statute 776.012 Section 2.

            1. Even anti-gun places like CA have similar self defense laws.

          2. I honestly do not understand why anybody rejects SYG. It is entirely reasonable that a person should not be required by law to submit to intimidation at the hands of a bully, criminal, racist, etc.

            Having said that, SYG is not applicable in the shooting we are discussing. The guy was on his ass, he had no opportunity to stand his ground. He could not retreat. This is simple self defense. However, he was a bit too quick to pull the trigger, IMHO.

            1. Some of the people on here have never been arrested or dont work in the legal field.

              They have zero idea how oppressive the modern criminal justice system is, especially to an innocent person who is just trying to defend themselves.

              I would more apt to be in favor of charging self-defense shooters and let juries decide if bail in Felony cases was set at something non-excessive like $10, prosecutors didnt stack charges, jurors could easily nullify laws, judges had discretion to give light sentences, and appeals were taken seriously by the appellate courts.

            2. The concept of syg was to prevent reasonable self defense cases from going to juries where the choices a defender made would be argued after the fact. It is ridiculous for a jury to judge the choice between retreat and defense made in the midst of a viloent conflict….hence syg, will not charge laws.

          3. SYG is not an issue here. The victim has already been knocked to the ground on his back. He has no ability to retreat. The only issue I can see here is whether the guy on the ground could reasonably beleive that the attack was going to continue.

            I suspect that a conviction is going to be difficult because someone on the jury is going to see reasonable doubt on the question of could the victim have believed that that attack would continue.

            In any case, SYG is not at issue here as the victim was already on the ground and on his back. There was no ability to retreat.

        2. “Drejka was assaulted an on the ground. His attacker was standing over him.
          SYG says Drejka did not have a responsibility to retreat. He had the right to end it.”

          But when you get into manslaughter, there’s also a question of who caused the confrontation to begin with, isn’t there? This applies to Zimmerman as well. If I stir up shit and you overreact and provide me with the excuse to shoot you, is there no liability on my part for initiating the confrontation?

          1. “Stir[ring] up shit”? No, self defense does not give you the right to commit aggravated assault unless under imminent threat of same or similar. Noticing someone hovering in the background does not count. Or are you another one of those who learned about the case from the shoddy “reporting” of it and not from the actual evidentiary record?

            1. LOL. Actual evidentiary record. Unless you’re a Clearwater cop or in the State’s Attorney’s office over there, you’re also “one of those who learned about the case from shoddy reporting” because there is no public actual evidentiary record.

              I guess it’s cool if I come up to you in public and berate your wife and kids, and you’d better not lay a finger on me to stop me because if you do I can shoot you and claim self-defense. Right?

              1. Everything Drejka did was legal.

                He will be acquitted and the people attacking gun rights will sent off again with their tails between their legs.

                1. Everything Drejka did was legal.

                  Does that unqualified assertion derive from an Ave Maria or Regent law degree, or is it something you remember from an afternoon of legal studies during homeschooling?

                  1. You should be glad you are not the one that is going to face that jury.

                    I can’t say the jury won’t acquit, but if I was on the jury I would vote to convict.

                    This was a very bad shoot, and the guy f-d up his own life for no good reason.

                    1. And you are why the syg concept has been implemented. An overly judgemental and emotional assessment from a video alone is enough for your arrogance to convict a man who was blindly assaulted and violently knocked to the ground.

                  2. As usual Rev, your abusive comment is foolish as well. Everyone (even you) is entitled to an opinion on the matter.

                    Perhaps you are going to stop posting on any topic on which you don’t have a PhD from an accredited university in?

                2. “He will be acquitted and the people attacking gun rights will sent off again with their tails between their legs.”

                  Saying “maybe you shouldn’t stick your nose in somebody else’s business and end up shooting somebody” isn’t the same thing as “attacking gun rights”.

                  1. This is all about getting rid of SYG laws.

          2. Talking to someone is not a crime, so everything Drejka did was perfectly legal.

            McGlockton committed battery against Drejka which was illegal.

            Florida SYG law only prevents a shooter’s ‘self-defense claim’ from committing felonies and then shooting a person.

      3. Except in Florida there is another potential option which could prevent this from ever going to a jury.

        The shooter could request an immunity hearing and then the Sta

      4. Except in Florida there is another potential option which could prevent this from ever going to a jury.

        The shooter could request an immunity hearing and then the Sta

        1. …then the State would be required to disprove his self defense claims by ‘clear and convincing evidence.’

          Which is a high bar to get over.

          Maybe, given the politics, not an impossible bar. But tough none the less.

    2. He wasn’t “ending” anything.

      He was not being “attacked” when he shot.

      Bad shoot, very bad.

      If he had just called the police, he could have gotten the victim charged with assault.

      Instead he ruined his own life.

      There is a lesson here.

      Don’t be an $ss. And particularly, don’t carry a gun if you are.

      1. He has the self defense right to end the felony assault with the force available to him if he thought the conflict was not over. He was on the ground in a vulnerable position with the attacker close. It is impossible to say the assault was over from the video alone, particularly without audio. Self defense allows shooting before you are assaulted…the attack didnt have to be ongoing, just the threat that it would be.
        A “dude, dont shoot” probably means in was unjustified. A “gonna shove that gun up…”, changes the situation enormously.

        The investgating officers likely know what happened and was said from eyewitnesses….so their first response to not charge indicates alot.

        1. No, he has the right to defend himself from the imminent threat of death or bodily harm, not “if he THOUGHT” the conflict was not over.

          Subject to the “reasonable man” standard.

          The assailant/victim was backing away when shot.

          That is not self-defense.

          A jury is going to convict this guy.

          He was stupid, and an $ass. Bad combination.

          And a lesson for all that think otherwise.

          1. McGlockton took one step back when the gun was drawn. He did not ‘back away’ nor run away.

            A good defense lawyer will make the point that McGlockton violently attacked Drejka and when Drejka pulled a pistol, the attacker was only deterred one step’s worth.

            1. hmm, “one step back”, “backing away”, not sure there is a distinction there.

              Again, YOU should be very glad it is not you who is going to face the jury.

              I wouldn’t want to be facing a jury in this instance.

              But your mileage may vary.

              1. If the disparity of opinion on this thread is any indication, a hung jury might be the most likely outcome. There’s plenty of fodder here for both the prosecution and defense to make some hay.
                But conviction or no, this is a bad shoot.

                1. And conviction or no this guy has ruined his own life for no good reason.

              2. To me if you’re going to assault someone it is your own fault when you get killed a few seconds later. Full stop. I’d acquit and fuck what the law says.

      2. Texas police know the odds are high that pulling the trigger will cost you 25 grand–whether in fines, legal fees, awards or whatever–that’s the average cost of that form of deadly coercion.

      3. Agreed.

        I feel those defending him are using the same Letter of the Law arguments we detest when used by LEO’s.
        Sure, legally this guy might weasel his way out of the charges, but that was a murder at the hands of a little dick trouble maker that sets all good gun owners a little bit backward.

        If you’re going to be mouthing off about people’s parking spots that has nothing to do with jack shit, be prepared at least to get in a fist fight, not just pull out your piece like you’ve been dreaming of since you bought it….

  7. re: “but also thinks the state can prove that by clear and convincing evidence…”

    Maybe. It is equally plausible that the prosecutor thinks that he can defuse some of the political controversy by letting a grand jury and/or trial jury make the call. There’s no downside to the prosecutor for bringing the case even if he thinks it’s a loser from the word go. If the jury acquits or the judge makes the call based on Florida law, at least it’s not his guy getting yelled at anymore.

    Okay, I said “no downside” to pushing a case you know you’re going to lose and that’s a slight overstatement. There’s some wasted time and money. But tax dollars are all funny-money when you’re the government so what’s that compared to sweeping a political embarrassment under the rug.

    1. You nailed it.

      That is exactly what happened with Zimmerman. They prosecuted him to defuse the angry mob. It was clear that Z acted in justifiable self defense.

  8. There’s no such thing as a “stand your ground” self-defense law. It’s just a self defense law. All Florida did was remove the requirement to attempt to flee first because people who were otherwise justified in shooting an assailant were being jailed because they couldn’t prove they had attempted to flee.

  9. He will get convicted. Only trumptards and ruskiebots think otherwise.

    1. You know that “left” and “libertarian” is a contradiction right? Kinda like an experienced virgin whore.

  10. A cogent argument tersely presented and backed by evidence. How refreshing!

  11. Michael Drejka, Who Supposedly Could Not Be Arrested for Killing Markeis McGlockton, Is Charged With Manslaughter
    Sheriff Bob Gualtieri misrepresented Florida’s self-defense law while passing the buck to State Attorney Bernie McCabe.

    He’s not passing the buck. The buck was always with the prosecution. As I said before, he might (probably is) be misrepresenting ‘stand your ground’ but not arresting the dude immediately is not a major thing.

    Its not necessarily even a bad thing that the cops waited until they were sure a crime had been committed before arresting someone.

    1. Under Florida law, manslaughter, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison, is an unjustified homicide that does not qualify as murder, which requires premeditation. The charge seems appropriate given what we know about the facts of the case.

      And I think the line between manslaughter and self-defense can be sufficiently blurry that a little restraint is called for. Be sure before jumping in and fucking with a dude’s life by locking him up for a couple weeks while the prosecutor gets around to sorting things out.

      If anything, having this guy walking around means that the prosecutor’s office had to get off their arse and jump through hoops to make a determination on this one.

      but also thinks the state can prove that by clear and convincing evidence at a pretrial hearing and beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

      I’m sorry, but the arrest means no such thing. Its more than plausible that the prosecution got the arrest warrant solely because political considerations meant that they needed to get this guy locked up ASAP to counter the bad optics before the DA’s next election cycle.

  12. The article does not mention the fact that Drejka has a history of road-rage and of aggressively displaying his gun in order to project the implication of menace during ordinary disputes. At least three of these events were reported to police immediately after they occurred.

    1. The jury won’t be hearing about those prior incidents.

  13. “Nothing in either the 2005 law or the 2017 law prohibits a Sheriff from making an arrest in a case where a person claims self-defense if there is probable cause that the use of force was unlawful,” Hammer told Politico.

    Yes, and the sheriff thought there was no probable cause; hence he had to let him go. You may disagree with his judgment, but that doesn’t change the law.

    Having said that, I think a manslaughter trial is reasonable in this case. I also think there is a high probability that he will be found not guilty, despite the fact that he seems like an unpleasant character looking for trouble.

    1. “I also think there is a high probability that he will be found not guilty, despite the fact that he seems like an unpleasant character looking for trouble.”

      Yep.

  14. Reaction time is a funny thing. Reasonable response is too.

    The other day I’m driving a four lane highway. In the right lane when the light ahead goes red. I slow and come to a stop. In the cross lanes to my right there are two cars waiting to pull out. The nearer is a large pickup, the other is a compact car. This is a big intersection – rural, with large right of way, so there is at least one car length or more of pullout before the cross traffic actually enters the lanes.

    The truck starts into the intersection first, pulling out kinds slowly. Just then a car in the right lane of my direction of travel flashes by me and blows the red light. The truck (I think) sees him coming and he slows to let him pass by. The other car pulling out cannot see the oncoming car because he’s screened by the pickup. The runner flashes in front of him, but he’s almost the full length of the truck back. He still jacks on his brakes, coming to a complete stop.
    By the time his head bobs forward, then back, then forward again to look for the runner, the runner is already 75+ yards down the road.

    1. His response was totally unnecessary. Given his rate of travel, the rate of travel of the cross vehicle, and the distance between them, there is no possible way they would have made contact.

      But was it unreasonable? I think not. He was pulling out and the next thing he knew there was a car directly in his path of travel. He did the thing he thought best at that very moment. I doubt he had (and certainly did not take) the time necessary to evaluate it’s velocity or actual path of travel. He just jacked on his brakes (increasing his risk of getting rear ended if the person behind him was not being super attentive to boot.)

      Meanwhile the truck driver had time to sort it all out, and he was through the intersection before the guy in the compact even started moving again.

      What the compact driver did, in hindisght, was objectively unnecessary. But can anyone really say it was, at the moment he did it, wrong?

      1. The difference, which I’ve explained to you countless times, is that one is based on rational fear (i.e. to avoid a thing that happens all the time) and the other is based on irrational fear (i.e. to avoid a thing that very rarely occurs). The compact driver would have been behaving irrationally, for example, if he thought an airplane coming in for a landing at the nearby airport was about to crash into him.

    2. (correction, I was in the left lane of travel)

  15. Why does Florida acquiesce to these damned political cases?

    1. Are you saying there are states where prosecutors and judges do NOT fold to political pressure?

  16. Jacob, please, if you’re going to keep writing about this case, familiarize yourself with the relevant laws and procedures. That the state’s attorney has chosen to pursue the case does NOT mean that the sheriff was in error in not arresting Drejka. There was no “passing the buck”. Passing the case up to the state’s attorney is the prescribed procedure in a case where LE finds a credible self-defense claim. Drejka will now have the opportunity for a self-defense hearing, and a trial if the hearing judge rejects a self-defense claim. That is due process under Florida law in such a case. Not “buck passing”. Not “puzzling”.

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