Florida Creep Who Killed Black Man Over Parking Spot Will Now Stand His Ground In Prison
We prefer a world where black men aren't fatally shot in convenience store parking lots, but you can't have everything. So, we're pleased to hear that the trigger-happy asshole who murdered Markeis McGlockton last summer was found guilty of manslaughter.
Michael Drejka tried to use Florida's idiotic "stand your ground" law to justify killing McGlockton in front of his 5-year-old son. Drejka had confronted McGlockton's girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, over whether she'd wrongly parked in a handicapped spot. He wasn't a cop, not even of the Paul Bart variety. McGlockton defended Jacobs from the random loon shouting at her, and when he pushed Drejka to the ground, the creep pulled a gun and shot him dead.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri declined to charge Drejka because he thought the minor inconvenience he suffered justified cold-blooded murder. Gualtieri didn't personally respond well to the inevitable backlash of protests and calls for a federal investigation. He told Al Sharpton to "go back to New York" and "mind (his) own business," which we don't think has ever worked. Justice started to catch up with Drejka just a few weeks later when the state attorney's office charged him with manslaughter. The state attorney had access to more investigative resources than Gualtieri, and also apparently was in possession of a functioning brain.
It was clear on the day of the shooting that McGlockton's killing was unjustified. The store's surveillance video contradicted Drejka's claim that McGlockton was advancing on him like some racialized bogeyman. Detective Richard Redman dismantled Drejka's story using his unique power of "vision."
REDMAN: What happens if I told you that I looked at the video and at no time and point does he come running up toward you. He actually takes a step back.
DREJKA: I would disagree.
Matrix Morpheus Meme - Imgflip imgflip.com
All you need to know about Drejka's level of intelligence is that he thinks a police interview is like appearing on "Hollywood Squares," and he can just "agree" or "disagree" with Detective Morpheus's questions.
Drejka managed to get himself some solid legal representation from a bunch of REALLY GOOD LAWYERS -- Lysa Clifton, John Trevena, and Bryant Camareno. Clifton violated Florida bar rules against soliciting clients when she cold-called Drejka in jail. She closed the deal but quickly realized she was in over her head. The legal savant asked for help from fellow attorneys on her Facebook page, stating outright: "I sure ain't qualified for this ---- show." Clifton was removed from the case in October. She was arrested for (allegedly) driving drunk and crashing her car in November. She lost her law license in June. She should look into working for the Trump White House.
The vehicle reportedly hit the right curb, swerved across the lanes and onto the median, only to come to a stop when its front end became damaged and the car stuck. A responding Tampa police officer identified 31-year-old Clifton as its driver, the report says.
The officer noted an odor of alcohol, writing Clifton's speech was slurred, and she was slow to respond. Clifton reportedly told the officer she had been at a bar watching a friend DJ.
Trevana was arrested and charged with domestic assault in March. He was accused of hitting his ex-wife, shoving her to the ground, and kicking her while trying to take stuff from her apartment he claimed "belonged to him."
We think this is the exact quality of legal representation Drejka deserved, but prosecutors were rightly worried about a possible appeal on account of incompetent counsel -- even for Florida. Assistant State Attorney Fred Schaub not only let Drejka know that Clifton was a flake, which was fairly obvious, but raised concerns about Camareno, who literally argued the prosecution's case in a radio interview before taking Drejka's case.
"Why did [Drejka] feel compelled -- at that point -- to shoot when there is so much distance between them? He's backing up," Camareno told [local radio station WiLD 94.1FM].
Yes, why indeed? Camareno did go all in for Drejka. Trevana and he pulled every lousy trick in the Big Book of Blaming a Black Man For His Own Death. They argued that traces of ecstasy found in McGlockton's blood might've made him "aggressive," "paranoid," and "emotionally unstable." This does not at all jibe with our experience in New York City clubs during the '90s but maybe they New Coked it up since then. Dr. Daniel E. Buckington, a South Florida College of Medicine faculty member, testified that the so-called "love drug" is "dangerous" and has "unpredictable side effects." Does he also say this about LaCroix? We would not be surprised.
Drejka's case never fully recovered from losing Clifton, and he's now facing 30 years in prison. During his closing argument, Trevana said, "The right to stay alive is the most fundamental right." McGlockton and his family would agree. Jacobs was pregnant with McGlockton's fourth child when Drejka senselessly and callously took his life.
And now Drejka gets to stand his ground in prison. The end.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.