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Legislators Say Sheriff Who Declined to Arrest Michael Drejka for Killing Markeis McGlockton Is Misrepresenting Florida's 'Stand Your Ground' Law

Bob Gualtieri erroneously claims the law's "largely subjective" standard lets Drejka off the hook.

Pinellas County Sheriff's OfficePinellas County Sheriff's OfficeSeveral prominent Florida Republicans have criticized Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri's misrepresentation of that state's Stand Your Ground self-defense law in connection with the July 19 shooting of Markeis McGlockton. Three key legislators who had a hand in writing the law and the National Rifle Association lobbyist who helped get it passed told Politico that Gualtieri was simply wrong when he claimed the standard for using lethal force is "largely subjective."

That point is crucial in this case, because Michael Drejka told police he shot McGlockton, who had just shoved him to the pavement in the parking lot of a convenience store in Clearwater, because he was afraid the other man was bent on continuing the attack. Under Florida law, someone is justified in using lethal force if he "reasonably believes" it is "necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm." Yet surveillance video of the incident, which began with a dispute over a handicapped parking spot, shows McGlockton backing away when Drejka draws his pistol.

At a press conference the day after the shooting, Gualtieri conceded that brandishing the gun "probably" would have sufficed to protect Drejka from further attack. But Gualtieri insisted that Florida's law prevented him from making an arrest, because "Stand Your Ground allows for a subjective belief by the person that they are in harm's way," and "we don't get to substitute our judgment for Drejka's judgment."

Not so, says the NRA's Marion Hammer, who lobbied Florida legislators to pass the Stand Your Ground law in 2005 and strengthen its protections for defendants in 2017. "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.

State Sen. Dennis Baxley, who sponsored the 2005 law, agreed. "Stand Your Ground uses a reasonable-person standard," he noted. "It's not that you were just afraid. It's an objective standard." State Sen. Rob Bradley, who sponsored the 2017 law, made the same point, as did state Rep. Bobby Payne, who sponsored the House version of the bill.

While Hammer, Baxley, and Bradley did not want to comment on the facts of the shooting, Payne suggested that Drejko's fear was not reasonable. "Based on what I saw in the video, the assertion of Stand Your Ground was weak, based on the victim's retreat or de-escalation of the event once he saw the gun," Payne said in a statement to Politico, adding that there was "no additional fear of great bodily harm or imminent death." Now that Gualtieri has declined to arrest Drejka, Bernie McCabe, the state attorney for Pinellas and Pasco counties, has to decide whether to prosecute him.

Hammer et al. said Gualtieri also was wrong to suggest his office could face civil liability if it arrested Drejka. The provision to which the sheriff referred concerns someone who is sued based on his justified use of force. In such a case, the law says, "the court shall award reasonable attorney's fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred" in defending against the suit. That provision has nothing to do with a law enforcement agency's decision to arrest someone when there is probable cause to believe his use of force was not lawful.

Another red herring that Gualtieri repeatedly mentioned was the right of someone who claims he used force in self-defense to a pretrial hearing at which prosecutors must disprove that claim by "clear and convincing evidence," a standard added by the 2017 law. While prosecutors have to make that showing before proceeding with a trial, the standard for making an arrest is still probable cause.

Gualtieri, who has a law degree from Stetson University and once served as his office's general counsel, certainly should have a better understanding of what the law says. You might surmise that, like many law enforcement officials, he does not like the Stand Your Ground law and is using this case to discredit it. But at his press conference, Gualtieri, a Republican, said he agrees there should be no duty to retreat for people attacked in public places, the feature that gives the law its name.

The sheriff seemed less keen on the 2017 revision. "The state attorney has the burden of proof, by clear and convincing evidence, that the defendant, the shooter, is not entitled to Stand Your Ground," he said. "Nowhere else is there anything like this in criminal law….That's a very heavy standard, and it puts the burden on the state." But neither that provision nor the rule allowing victims of public attacks to stand their ground was relevant in deciding whether there was probable cause to arrest Drejka. The one aspect of the law that was relevant, its supposedly "subjective" standard for self-defense, is purely imaginary.

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  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

    Yet surveillance video of the incident, which began with a dispute over a handicapped parking spot, shows McGlockton backing away when Drejka draws his pistol.

    Backing away isn't retreating. Only turning around and running away at full speed is retreating. That's what all the super smarty people say anyway.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    He didnt back away until he was shot in the chest.

  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

    Too bad camera footage disproves your statement.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Watch the footage again. I did.

    McGlockton steps back when he sees the gun drawn but actually puffs up without leaving the scene of his battery upon Drejka.

  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

    McGlockton steps back

    It's nice to see you admit that he backed away.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    'Steps back' is not back away.

    'Back away' involves more than one step back.

    Its all moot anyway. McGlockton become reaggressive after taking one step back which can lead a reasonable person to defend themself.

    The law does not mention a 'step back' negating the right to stand your ground and defend yourself from injury.

    776.012 Use or threatened use of force in defense of person.—
    (1) [...]
    (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.

  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

    Thank you for proving my initial point.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Thanks for proving my point that taking a step back does not negate stand your ground laws.

    McGlockton was still the aggressor and never broke off the attack.

    Even seeing the gun only got him to take one step back.

    Its why you lose every argument, $parkY. You get focused on one thing and think that supports some bigger claim you make.

    Good shoot.

  • BambiB||

    The problem with this shoot is that we are watching in show-motion something that happened in seconds. Would the shooter fire if he knew then what he knows now? It was just under 5 seconds from the time Drejka was pushed to the time he fired. It was just 3 seconds from the time he hit the ground and rolled up to the time he fired. There was no warning of the attack. No words were exchanged. He was hit blind-side.

    Ultimately, I think Drejka will be charged as a political matter. The stand-your-ground hearing will likely not go in favor of the prosecutor, and the law will work as intended.

    Would that be the correct result? I think so. The initiator of violence was clearly indifferent to how much injury he might have done to Drejka. If he died in the attack - it's the risk he assumed.

  • Whorton||

    Not to mention, getting suddenly and violently shoved to the ground in an unprovoked attack without warning, it takes a moment to collect ones self and make sense of what just happened. Add to that, to process that he has been physically attacked, that the attacker is still present, AND the girlfriend is now out of the car and standing 90 degrees from the attacker, thus blocking an avenue of escape adds up to a viable threat.

    Like Zimmerman, they will never get a conviction. Had Glockton kept his grubby paws to himself, he would be alive today.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    All any of this "proves" is that there are questions of fact that must be resolved in the forum of a trial by jury. That's it. I look at a video and see one thing, you look at that same video and see another. That makes for a triable issue of fact. Period. Full stop.

    The Stand Your Ground statute as quoted changes nothing in terms of how the lethal use of force in a self-defense situation is to be judged. Was the shooter's belief that s/he faced a risk of imminent death or great bodily harm if s/he did not resort to deadly force reasonable? Who decide whether it was reasonable? The jury. All the "stand your ground" element did was bring Florida into line with a majority of states in eliminating the "rule of retreat", which basically said that before you could use deadly force in self-defense you had to make a reasonable effort to retreat from the scene.

    If this sheriff does not understand this basic rule of law (especially after the Trayvon Martin matter) then he either needs to sue to get his law school tuition back, or quit his law enforcement position and join a monastery.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    This law takes power away from police.

    It works as designed and is a great check to police abuses of the past.

  • Whorton||

    Lets not forget, the man was on the ground. That in and of itself precludes an easy avenue of escape.

  • John Ashman||

    That isn't what any smart person says.

  • sarcasmic||

    "we don't get to substitute our judgment for Drejka's judgment."

    So Stand Your Ground means little people get the cop treatment when they kill someone?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Silly rabbit, cops dont even let you touch them before they gun you down.

  • sarcasmic||

    I meant that his judgement cannot be questioned.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Under Florida law, Drejka will have his claim of Stand your Ground reviewed by the state Attorney Generals Office.

    Just because its a good shoot does not mean that this story is over. There is nothing wrong with objective review of people actions. Rule of Law and all.

    This law prevents police (which nearly all of us on Reason find lacking in good judgment) arresting people after defending themselves when the evidence clearly shows some kind of self-defense situation. This prevents someone who just survived a near-death experience from being ground up by the criminal justice system.

  • BambiB||

    More, the revision to the law adds a "clear and convincing evidence" standard to what is effectively an indictment of the shooter. This is not unreasonable. If a prosecutor cannot prove their case to a judge by "clear and convincing" evidence, then there should be no chance at all of proving the case "beyond a reasonable doubt". The Zimmerman-Martin case was no doubt the impetus for this change in law. Zimmerman made a good shoot. He was attacked by a vicious, gangsta-wannabe thug who knocked him to the ground and was pounding his head on the concrete. Zimmerman's testimony at every stage was 100% consistent. Even efforts to trip him up (the lead investigator pointing out a surveillance camera and suggesting that they have video of the fight) only confirmed Zimmerman's innocense (Zimmerman's response was relief that the video existed - not the response of a guilty man with something to hide). Of course there was no video - but Zimmerman did not know that. Had he done anything improper, his response would clearly have been to try to explain away what the video would show. Even with all the evidence indicating Zimmerman was not guilty, the politicians ordered up a show trial where the opening remarks by the prosecutor sounded more appropriate for the defense!

    It was to short-circuit that sort of asinine response that the law was changed.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    True enough, but "stand your ground" was not raised in the actual trial (there were and are special procedures for that including a pretrial hearing on the issue). So the Zimmerman case was NOT resolved on "stand your ground" but on straightforward self-defense.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Yes, it can. Otherwise the word "reasonable" in the statute would have no meaning.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    It is not true that "we" don't get to substitute our judgment for Drejka's. That's exactly what a trial hinging on a claim of self-defense in the use of deadly force requires the jury to do in coming to a determination whether the shooting was based on a "reasonable" belief (in Drejka's mind) that he faced an imminent risk of death or great bodily harm. Taking his claim of having such a belief as genuine the jury must examine all the facts and decide "yea or nay" whether that belief was reasonable under the circumstances. That's the decision the jury came to in the trial of George Zimmerman.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Zimmerman was pushed into trial by politics.

    This law prevents persons defending themselves from arbitrary government action and that is what the state AGs office did.

  • Cy||

    Drejka was blatantly assaulted. In the United States of America you don't get to tell someone how you'll allow them to defend themselves, especially in the heat of the moment. McGlockton assaulted someone and then didn't back down, he rolled the dice and lost. WTF else is there to talk about?

  • dave b.||

    Drejka was verbally assaulting McGlockton's family unprovoked. Was McGlockton supposed to call the cops and hope Drejka didn't assault his son or girlfriend?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    A lot of non-violent what ifs in your comment.

  • Cy||

    "Drejka was verbally assaulting McGlockton's family"

    In the United States there's this thing called Free Speech. Sadly, for McGlockton there is no amendment in the Bill of Rights for "Free Thugging."

  • dave b.||

    Verbal assault (Menacing/Terroristic Threats) is a crime in all 50 states in case you were wondering. I understand that thug is code for nigger in white America, but the real thug is the one who started the altercation unprovoked.

  • Cy||

    Attacking someone because you don't like what they say falls under the definition of a thug. If you automatically associate black people with the word thug and feel the need to use racial slurs to describe them you're a racist piece of shit. So, fuck off you racist piece of shit.

  • dave b.||

    I'm black, asshole. Verbal assault is a crime. Fact. Drejka started the altercation unprovoked. Fact. He should be facing murder charges.

  • dave b.||

    Of course he didn't. He was just having a friendly conversation about the weather.

  • Cy||

    Being black doesn't mean you're not a racist piece of shit.

    Drejka stood well away from the vehicle and was using his voice to share his opinion and feelings in a public place, that falls under free speech. There was no altercation until Drejka was assaulted for exercising his free speech. Drejka defended himself as is his right to do it.

    It doesn't matter what you, I or even the Sheriff feel he should've done. "What if's" go out the window when you're violently blind sided by someone. This is exactly why we have the second amendment. Someone thought they could bully someone else who was weaker and oh boy were they wrong.

  • dave b.||

    Whites hate when you call out their racist bullshit. Sorry I triggered you.

    "Drejka stood well away from the vehicle"

    Meaningless garbage. There's no definition of "well away". Not to mention that there is case law of neighbors who didn't cross each other's property getting convicted of verbal assault, so it's obviously not a free speech issue. You being impervious to reality doesn't change that.

  • Cy||

    Swap Drejka's and McGlockton's skin color and get back to me.

    Drejka was standing in a non threatening way when he was blind sided by someone younger and stronger than him. McGlockton pursued Drejka until he saw him attempt to draw a gun. McGlockton, after assaulting Drejka, continued to engage Drejka while clearly maintaining a position of aggression. Drejka, in a position of weakness, on the ground, legally retaliated with a pistol. Drejka did nothing illegal in this altercation. McGlockton is dead because he assaulted and pursued someone weaker that was armed.

  • CaveMan||

    In the video I watched Drejka clearly looked like he was in an aggressive pose and his behavior had been disturbing enough that a witness had informed people inside the store about the nutcase in the parking log.

    In several seconds of the video, Drejka was clearly waving his hands and arms in a threatening manner.
    In the seconds before the push, Drejka was hidden from view by McGlockton. We don't know what threats he was making. McGlockton was fully justified in defending his child and female from a nutcase in the parking lot.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Dave b., people on here are not going to take your comments seriously if you throw out race as some motivation to everything people do.

    Don't want to get shot, don't violently attack people with guns.

    You think McGlockton was justified in pushing down Drejka for talking to/yelling at the people in the vehicle. You're wrong and you're legally wrong. In the USA at least.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    If that's all this was -- someone wrongly thinking they could bully someone else -- that Drejka is going to have trouble with his use of deadly force in self-defense.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Dave B. Define verbal assault and how it applies in this Florida situation.

    Hint: Assault requires a threat of bodily injury.

  • dave b.||

    If you are standing there yelling at my wife unprovoked, you're going to get much more than a shove to the ground. Which is what most men would do.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Good for you tough guy. Come to Georgia and Florida and commit violence against someone talking to/yelling at your wife.

    Bring your shove to a gun fight. Stupid.

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    If you are standing there yelling at my wife unprovoked...

    Where does "unprovoked" come from? Drejka took the girlfriend to task over being a non-handicapped person parking in a handicapped space. All that makes him is a self-righteous busybody/civic minded citizen (depending on your point of view). That might have called for a forceful verbal response, like "Fuck off, asshole" and driving away. The violent shove that put the smaller man on his back is what seals this as far as who the violent aggressor was.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The cops never charged Drejka with verbal assault, so your claim is bogus.

  • dave b.||

    Just because you weren't charged with it doesn't mean you didn't do it.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    True. So does does the fact that people are charged and didn't commit a crime.

    This law lessens the power of police. Why wouldn't Libertarians be for it?

    Can I assume that you are NOT Libertarian?

  • ThomasD||

    Is the Sheriff aware of this crime that you allege? Do you have any evidence?

  • Rossami||

    re: "Verbal assault (Menacing/Terroristic Threats) is a crime in all 50 states"

    Yelling at someone for parking illegally in a handicapped parking spot does not, however, meet the legal definition of any of the things you said above. The threshold for a true threat is quite high. No evidence has been presented by any party including the woman who was getting yelled at which would suggest that Drejka was anywhere close to that threshold.

  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

    It's true that McGlockton should not have pushed Drejka. However, battery does not generally carry a possibility of the death penalty.

  • Cy||

    He was pursuing Drejka until he saw him reach for a gun. If Drejka hadn't drawn McGlockton had every intention to continue assaulting Drejka. After Drejka drew McGlockton stayed well within range to assume he was going to continue his attack.

    We don't have to agree with Drejka actions for them to still be legal.

  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

    Drejka is a piece of shit:

    As seen here

    That doesn't excuse McGlockton. Drejka could have easily gotten to his feet while maintaining aim and stopped without killing anyone.

  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

    Dammit, I should have known the link would break.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    A lot of what-ifs and broken links in your comment.

    The Florida law allows for the state Attorney General to review the Stand your Ground claim and decide if it has merit.

  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

    A lot of what-ifs and broken links in your comment.

    Right, and there are zero what-ifs in your argument. /s

    Search "wfla drejka shooting" and you'll get the site I was trying to link to.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I have zero idea what was said as there is no audio in the video.

    I saw Drejka talking to someone in a vehicle. McGlockton violently blindside Drejka and pushed him off his feet and to the ground. McGlockton stood about 4 feet from a Drejka. McGlockton only took one step back when he saw Drejka draw a pistol.

    Its some kind of self-defense that is clearly evident on the video.

    Under Florida law, Drejka should not be arrested but will have his claim reviewed.

  • Happy Chandler||

    I saw three steps, in a matter of a second or two.
    The authors of SYG and the NRA lobbyist also saw him backing off.

    How come Drejka's fear cannot be questioned, but McGlockton's fear for his family is denied?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Happy Chandler|7.30.18 @ 3:27PM|#
    I saw three steps, in a matter of a second or two.
    The authors of SYG and the NRA lobbyist also saw him backing off.
    How come Drejka's fear cannot be questioned, but McGlockton's fear for his family is denied?

    I will assume since you didnt link anything you're full of shit. Its a moot point because taking a step back or three steps back does not mean that Drejka didnt reasonably fear for his life.

    McGlockton would clearly have been fearful of pushing Drejka down and would have needed years of counseling for his PTSD, if he wasn't dead.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Even if the AG thinks it has merit the defense does not arise in any trial unless the DEFENSE raises it by way of pretrial adjudication at a contested hearing.

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    "Stand your ground" does not apply if you're flat on your ass. What complicates this case is whether Drejka had time to assess whether McGlockton was actually trying to "back away" or just "regrouping" for another attack.

    A jury of six fellow Florida citizens will decide that if the State Attorney brings in an information.

  • Cy||

    "That doesn't excuse McGlockton. Drejka could have easily gotten to his feet while maintaining aim and stopped without killing anyone."

    Maybe he could've. No one is denying that. But what Drejka did was legal. Just as when anyone killing someone else including, police officers, the killing could probably have been avoided.

    But, we don't get to play Monday morning quarterback when someone is assaulted and legally defends themselves. We don't have the right to tell other people how we will allow them to defend their life. No one should have to think twice about defending their life from someone while being assaulted.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Exactly Cy. Having to shoot someone to defend yourself is bad enough. Being treated like a criminal for having done so is too much.

    Jailhouse snitch: "What are you in here for?"
    Arrestee: "Defending myself"

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Actually, "we" do get to play Monday morning quarterback "when someone is assaulted and LEGALLY defends themselves." We do it with cops all the time, and there is no reason not to do so where civilians are concerned. And please remember: it is not enough to "defend their life from someone while being assaulted"; being assaulted and facing the imminent use of force likely to produce death or great bodily harm are quite different things.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    A single push and then deescalating the situation might not require deadly force for reasonable people.

    Having an insanely violent person blindside you- while talking to the person in a vehicle parked in a handicapped spot- stand over you while you are off your feet- the aggressor not run away after you pull a gun

    This might make someone reasonably fear for their life.

  • ThomasD||

    Nice strawman you got there.

    Lethal force is not the death penalty.

  • Azathoth!!||

    However, battery does not generally carry a possibility of the death penalty.

    Not from the police, or the state--but battery ALWAYS carries the possibility of the death penalty from the victim during the attack. Always.

  • Whorton||

    You have to be kidding. Look at the tape. Drejka knocked on her window and then took two steps back. He speaks to her from the other side of the ramp outline. At NO time does he make threatening gestures or actions towards the baby momma. One has a right to point out someone is illegally parked, and for that matter, make an ass of oneself. That does not however, give family members the right to physically assault someone for doing so.

  • John Ashman||

    He wasn't defending himself, he was murdering someone who pissed him off.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Are we back on this?

    Must be a slow week for immigration articles.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    This is a test case for attacking free speech of Americans and then violently attacking them. If you can get away with it, then many more attacks on speech will be sanctioned.

  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

    That's a pretty dumb thing to say, even for you.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You, as a dumb person, would say its dumb.

    Its what you do- You think everything is dumb.

  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

    You think everything is dumb.

    No, not everything. Just the idiot act that you spend all day playing here.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    No, its everything. And you're not acting.

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    How is it dumb?

    Drejka took the girlfriend to task over being a non-handicapped person parking in a handicapped space. All that makes him is a self-righteous busybody/civic minded citizen (depending on your point of view). Last I checked, that was allowed, even for self-righteous busybodies.

    A whole lot of other libertarian issues, as well as a lot of personal conduct issues, arise here, such as, whether it is anyone else's business if some one is in a handicapped space, especially if there is no handicapped person in sight who may be harmed by this infraction especially for the few minutes that it takes for the offending asshole [your definition] to go inside to get a handful of candy (never mind judgments of self-righteous busybodies everywhere about the propriety of parents loading their children up with sugar).

    There are lessons here for those tempted to be self-righteous busybodies. If you don't want to be attacked by violent thugs like Trayvon Marin and Markeis McGlockton, the first step is, when you see them, mind your own fucking business.

  • Deep Lurker||

    The conspiracy theory I find plausible is that this is an attempt by the sheriff (and the authorities backing him) to discredit "Stand Your Ground." They want the law changed so as to either weaken it into uselessness or repeal it altogether.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    So now some Sheriff in some Florida county is letting back men get murdered to get public opinion on his side?

  • EscherEnigma||

    To be fair, this is a southern state we're talking about. Folks there have done much more egregious things to black people in attempts to appeal to public opinion.

    So while I think the conspiracy theory is bunk, not for that reason.

  • Whorton||

    Given that people are routinely gunned down for wearing the wrong color, or doing funny yoga finger exercises in the wrong neighborhood, the only thing that makes this stand out is that the poor fool had the audacity to stick around to tell the cops what happened.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    When trying to figure out a confusing state of facts, always remember Occam's Razor: the simplest explanation that accounts for all the known facts is the most probable. The simplest explanation here is that the sheriff does not understand the law (what a surprise) and refused to make an arrest despite clear probable cause to do so. As an aside, law enforcement generally supports the "stand your ground" laws.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    As seen with Zimmerman, the Sheriff does not have final say in the matter. The State Attorney has their own investigators and politics is involved. Drejka will be wise if he's dummied up and lawyered up. It ain't over.

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    Actually, in Zimmerman's case the decision was made by the Sanford Police Dept. in general, in Florida, if a reasonable case can be made for self defense no arrest is made. While Zimmerman was taken in cuffs to the Sanford Police station he was not arrested and was released after giving a statement.

  • GlenchristLaw||

    The notion that law enforcement is entitled, let alone obligated, to consider potential affirmative defenses to a crime is ludicrous. To corrupt a phrase (and with all due respect to Dick Wolf): Arrest them all and let the prosecutor sort them out.

    May cause a brief moment of libertarian agita, but that's how it's supposed to work.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Actually that is NOT how its supposed to work.

    This law specifically takes the law enforcement decision to arrest out of the equation. If "x" and "Y" are present in a self-defense claim then law enforcement is not allowed to arrest the person.

    Under the law, the Florida Attorney General's office reviews these 'Stand your Ground' claims to determine if they have merit.

    Even if a person is arrested, a judge can free that person, before a prosecutor even reviews the case, because there is not enough probable cause for the arrest. A custody hearing is a check and balance to Executive power of a prosecutor.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    "This law specifically takes the law enforcement decision to arrest out of the equation. If "x" and "Y" are present in a self-defense claim then law enforcement is not allowed to arrest the person."

    Generally speaking, this is untrue. Law enforcement makes an arrest (or at least a custodial detention) because a citizen used lethal force and another citizen is dead, and further investigation is warranted. From there it is up to the AG to decide whether to prosecute, and up to the court to decide whether the use of deadly force was "reasonable under all the circumstances". Each part of the criminal justice system has its part to play.

  • Happy Chandler||

    The woman in the car stated that she was in fear of physical harm from Drejka. Evidence of assault committed by Drejka (fear that violence is imminent).
    A witness went into the store and said that some dude was messing with a woman outside. Further evidence that threats were being made and fear of imminent violence.
    His violence was a stand your ground, legal use of force to protect his family. Some dude just came into the store and said that his wife was getting messed with.

    Further evidence not known at the time:
    In a previous incident, another man says that Drejka threatened to shoot him in relation to a handicapped spot.
    There was an incident where he was alleged to have brandished a gun in a road rage incident.

    Either he gets really unlucky that people keep falsely accusing him of threatening violence, or he used his gun to threaten violence. What would Occam say?

  • ThomasD||

    LOL.

    Ockham would say you are an alternate conclusion in search of confirmatory facts.

  • John Ashman||

    A man comes running in the store and says to call the cops because there is some psycho menacing a family and you know it's your family, are you going to go out with the attitude of "hey, buddy, let's talk about this"???

    I think not. Any person in this situation could be forgiven for protecting his family first and asking questions later. McGlockton in no way tried to kill him. He was never under any serious threat of being killed. There may have been a 2 second window where someone could make the claim of not knowing, but once the guy backs up, it's over.

    If you have a gun, and you're out looking for trouble, SYG should not in any way apply to you.

  • Azathoth!!||

    A man comes running in the store and says to call the cops because there is some psycho menacing a family and you know it's your family

    This is impossible to know. McGlockton is dead. You are speculating.

    McGlockton in no way tried to kill him. He was never under any serious threat of being killed.

    This is impossible to know. McGlockton is dead. You are speculating.

    There may have been a 2 second window

    A bullet can travel quite a distance in 2 seconds. This is not speculation. It is fact.

  • EscherEnigma||

    And if whats-his-name had come out of the store and shot the guy he saw harassing his wife, he would have had a fair-shot at a SYG defense.

    If old-dude had shot whats-his-name non-fatally, and whast-his-name had pulled out his own gun and shot old-dude dead, then he would have had an air-tight SYG defense.

    If his wife, having seen her husband just get shot, had tackled the old dude, taken his gun, and shot him, she would have had a pretty air-tight SYG defense.

    And ironically, if both guys had lived, then both probably would have been facing assault charges.

    Quite simply, self defense laws (even without SYG provisions) favor the living.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Please, please, please! At least understand the laws you are invoking! All your fanciful examples raise issues of whether the use of deadly force was reasonable under the circumstances, not "Stand Your Ground".

    Stand Your Ground ONLY addresses whether the initial victim had any duty to retreat (or attempt to retreat) from the scene. Essentially it extends the general rule that a person has no duty to retreat in their own residence to the streets. Yes, it incorporates the language of self-defense statutes but those statutes remain in force entirely independent of Stand Your Ground.

  • Whorton||

    Baby momma made no claim of fear in the press conference that I saw. If you look at the video, Drejka knocked on her window, and stepped back TWO steps to the edge of the ramp demarcation. At no time did he make any threatening moves or gestures.

    McGlockton, who has an extensive criminal record, including domestic battery and violence against a police officer. Stepped over the line when he knocked Drejka to the ground. As a result, he got his exit orifice handed to him as headwear.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    BREAKING NEWS: POLICEMAN DOESN'T UNDERSTAND LAW HE IS CHARGED WITH ENFORCING

  • toddb||

    I have a carry permit. When I am armed, I go out of my way to avoid all conflict, verbal and otherwise. I don't want to have to justify using deadly force in a completely avoidable situation. When I first heard about this, I immediately wondered why Drejka wasn't minding his own business. Were his property rights violated or was he threatened in some way by someone parking in that space? No? Then why wasn't he moving on and minding his own business?

    This whole thing is an example of play stupid games win stupid prizes. The dude who unnecessarily introduced violence with the knock-down already won his stupid prize. If Drejka wins one with some jail time, I don't have much sympathy for him.

  • MasterThief||

    This is actually one of the concerns that leads to me not carrying. The presence of a firearm does make altercations more likely to elevate to a lethal level. If I'm armed and someone attacks me physically then I'm at risk of being shot if he grabs my gun. It's incumbent upon me to then leverage that potential use of force early and be prepared for it to become lethal. It also touches upon why I go out of my way to avoid fighting. The amount of force applied to an altercation is always up to the more aggressive party and I'm not inclined to have to take things as far as someone unhinged enough to attack me.
    I can't agree with people defending Drejka on the grounds of self-defense. He started the argument. McGlockton started the violence. Drejka resorted to lethal force at a point when I, watching the video, do not believe it was justified. Both men were in the wrong, but I see Drejka doing two major wrong things and I see one dead person.

  • ThomasD||

    You are also a person willing to be unarmed due to a chance of being physically attacked.

    Doesn't sound quite so rational when you put it that way, does it?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I would rather be alive and have to explain myself then dead.

    The media refuses to discuss other incidents in the context they are with this incident. Its because this incident is to be used to attack Stand your ground laws.

    They tried the same thing with Zimmerman and lost.

    Lefty arguments do not work anymore on the silent majority.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    "I would rather be alive and have to explain myself then (sic) dead". Or, as we used to say, better to be judged by 12 than carried by six.

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    Florida juries for non-capital felonies are heard by a jury of six. That old saw doesn't exactly worked here.

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    The only cases in Florida that call for a twelve-person jury are first degree murder (criminal) and condemnation (civil - eminent domain takings) cases.

    Misdemeanors, lesser felonies and civil case use a six person jury or are heard by a judge alone.

  • Whorton||

    Actually no, Lets remember that McGlockton attacked and knocked Drejka to the ground WITHOUT WARNING and WITHOUT PROVOCATION. He had not touched baby momma in any manner.

    At this point, baby momma got out of the car and cut of an avenue of escape for Drejka, who had been knocked to the ground.

    McGlockton took a step back and pulled his pants back. As yet, no one has provided a transcript of what was said (the video had NO audio) Thus it is logical to assume that McGlockton was no doubt threatening and questioning defendant Drejka's lineage.

    Would I have said something to baby momma about illegal parking? No.

    The person that will pay the cost in all this is the store owner, who will likely be sued because by his own admission Drejka had been a continuing problem.

  • CaveMan||

    In one sentence you say "without warning", in another you say "no audio". So you don't know if McGlockton warned the nutcase assaulting his wife.

  • Azathoth!!||

    This is actually one of the concerns that leads to me not carrying. The presence of a firearm does make altercations more likely to elevate to a lethal level. If I'm armed and someone attacks me physically then I'm at risk of being shot if he grabs my gun. It's incumbent upon me to then leverage that potential use of force early and be prepared for it to become lethal. It also touches upon why I go out of my way to avoid fighting. The amount of force applied to an altercation is always up to the more aggressive party and I'm not inclined to have to take things as far as someone unhinged enough to attack me.

    Everything you've written here leads me to hope you don't own firearms--but, if you do, please surrender them to the nearest responsible person---wait--you may not know what a responsible person is. This little paragraph of yours is BAD.

  • rajpe||

    The shooter was justifiably afraid of further attack.

    Look at the video.

    The attacker was looming over the shooter.

    From the video, you can see the gun pointed UPWARD AT A 30 DEGREE ANGLE.

    Put yourself in the shooter's position.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Drejka will probably need an attorney. Suggest you offer your services.

  • Whorton||

    I'm not an attorney, but I played the District attorney in Ayn Rand's "The night of January 16th," in High school. That oughta count for something. . .

  • swampwiz||

    The law should be that folks who want to take advantage of SYG must act in a way so as to avoid in an reasonably possible a way any type of confrontation. That means not being an asshat that bothers young black youths with Skittles walking around the neighborhood, or folks who park in a handicapped zone.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    THIS IS NOT A STAND YOUR GROUND CASE and the fact that the Sheriff was stupid enough to call it such does not justify people in adopting his viewpoint. It is a straightforward self-defense case and will be tried (if at all) on that basis, just as Zimmerman's defense was.

  • Whorton||

    WHAT IF he had been handicapped and used a Wheel chair and needed the handicapped space? Baby momma seemed entitled to the space. As she said, "I can park where I want to!"

    Would he have had an obligation to sit there all day waiting for her nail polish to dry and McGlockton to play video games?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The more gun nuts push shoot-'em-up laws and attempt to defend lethal belligerents, the quicker our improving electorate will reject gun absolutism.

    Bonus: The gun nuts will take much of the right-wing political platform down with them.

    Or maybe I am wrong, and our society's educated, accomplished, reasoning element will lose its decades-long position guiding American progress. Maybe our unskilled, disaffected, poorly educated, backwaters-inhabiting goobers will suddenly become competent and successful, and redirect America after a half-century of progress, ushering in a new era of Republican-conservative backwardness, bigotry, superstition, and ignorance.

    Keep clinging to your God and guns, goobers. I'm sure that will play great in Mississippi, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Idaho, which everyone knows to be the keys to American political success.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    The "stand your ground" laws, as well as the laws governing the justifiable use of deadly force in self-defense are commonly in effect across the country. This is even true in California, which is hardly a bastion of conservative thought or deed.

    Sorry that your self-serving rant is completely off point, but there it is. You can sit down and shut up now.

  • early_hominid||

    Sheriffs are elected. Their interpretation of the law is influenced by electoral politics. That's our system for better or worse. To some extent the "correct" decision is not the one state legislators or Marion Hammer or Jacob Sullum says but the one that wins re-election. This parsing of the law is fine as far as it goes but it doesn't seem to get us very far in explaining the Sheriff's decisions here. If a sheriff with a law degree, and lots of experience both as a lawyer and law enforcement officer makes the decision Gualtieri did here there's something else going on than a graduate seminar in statutory interpretation. One explanation would be that Gualtieri would like to keep his job and is more afraid of angering gun rights than gun control advocates. We will see if he chose wisely at the next election.

  • Concerned_One||

    What some people seem to miss is that Markeis McGlockton was "coming to the aid of another" who, she herself, may have felt threatened by Michael Drejka. Drejka, as many others would be if they were carrying, was the aggressor in the initial argument (possibly harassment/assault). Remember, legally an assault is carried out by a "threat" of bodily harm coupled with an apparent, present ability to cause the harm. With all of the political correctness going on, I would like to point on that there is still an innate physical respect that women have towards men. A man can threaten a woman by tone or proximity if done in an aggressive manner. If one has a gun (concealed or not), and instigated a heated argument, there is a chance that assault may apply. So by the time McGlockton came into the picture, Drejka was already in the wrong. Some folks leave their house "looking for a reason". Unfortunately the sheriff has the unique ability to time slice events and ignore the continuum of events. If the sponsors of the legislation disagree with the sheriff, then "Houston, we have a problem".

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