Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via AP
It started out as being a reported case of someone using the “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida. Another case of a black man being shot by someone who claimed they were in fear of their life.
The usual suspects took their appointed sides in the debate. Opponents of Stand Your Ground were beginning to attack the law yet again. Those who remembered the misrepresentation of what happened to George Zimmerman were striking back, arguing that if there’s a threat, law-abiding citizens have a right to end it.
Yet when we took a look at the video, we saw something else. What we saw wasn’t a case of a man fighting back to save his life.
The Florida man who fatally shot an unarmed black man last summer outside a grocery store, sparking a nationwide debate on the state’s “stand your ground” law, is set to stand trial on Monday for manslaughter.The case dates to last July when Michael Drejka, then 47, got into an argument with Britany Jacobs, then 24, who was parked in a handicapped-accessible spot outside a grocery store, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.McGlockton, Jacobs’ 28-year-old boyfriend, and their 5-year-old son Markeis Jr. were inside the Clearwater, Florida, store at the time. McGlockton then went outside, walked over to Drejka and forcibly pushed him, causing him to fall to the ground.While sitting on the ground, Drejka pulled out his gun and shot McGlockton, who had started to turn away, surveillance video shows. The entire incident lasted just a few seconds.
Now, the description of the video is accurate.
Where CNN drops the ball is in likening this to a Stand Your Ground case. It’s really not. Not from what I saw.
You see, a Stand Your Ground defense has to hinge on the idea that there is an actual threat to the shooter. However, as the above quote notes, McGlockton was turning to walk away. The altercation was over. The threat, such as it is, had passed.
Drejka still allegedly drew his weapon and fired.
Unless there’s testimony that somehow suggests that McGlockton was turning away for a weapon or something of the type, Drejka is likely going to prison for manslaughter. While I might hate it for him, it doesn’t change what we saw on the surveillance video.
This isn’t a Stand Your Ground case because there doesn’t appear to have been any kind of threat.
If Drejka is convicted, though, there may be a Second Amendment upside. At least then it’ll end the nonsense about how Stand Your Ground just legalizes murder, how all you have to do is say that you were scared and you can gun down as many people as you want. Well, Drejka is saying he was scared for his life. He’s still on trial.
Should he be convicted, it’ll show that no amount of claiming to be terrified justifies using lethal force unless there is an actual threat facing you.