CLEARWATER, Fla.— It was a who’s who of prominent political leaders and national activists at a rally in Clearwater against Florida’s “stand your ground” law.
Rev. Al Sharpton organized the Rally for Justice in honor of Markeis McGlockton. McGlockton was shot and killed outside a Clearwater convenience store after an argument over a handicapped parking spot.
Britany Jacobs, McGlockton's girlfriend, said the man who fired the fatal shot started a confrontation with her while McGlockton was inside the store. When he came out and saw Michael Drejka screaming at his family, surveillance video shows McGlockton push Drejka to the ground. Seconds later McGlockton is seen running back inside the Circle A Food Mart clutching his chest, then falling to the ground.
Drejka told deputies he was in fear for his life, and that’s why he pulled the trigger.
“How can you have a civilian become the judge and jury over whether somebody should live,” Rev. Al Sharpton said. “That’s what this law represents. It is also disproportionately used to the disadvantage of blacks.”
Sharpton held a news conference at St. John Primitive Baptist Church. Standing next to Sharpton were the parents of Trayvon Martin, McGlockton’s family, Jacobs and her 5-year-old son Markeis Jr. who witnessed the shooting.
Sharpton had this message for the five-year-old standing in a crowded room full of cameras.
“We will be involved until we see the prosecution and arrest of the killer of Markeis McGlockton,” Sharpton said.
Democrats who are running for governor also made brief statements in the news conference and during a ceremony inside the church. The political leaders seeking higher office offered the same message, if elected, they would work to get rid of what some continue to call a controversial law.
As people marched in the streets holding signs calling for justice for Markeis. They felt the stand your ground law had to go and Drejka should be charged with murder and let a jury decide his fate.
“Well, why he did it was clear to me, that he was just looking for an opportunity to kill someone,” Tiuanna Pavlov said. “He needs his day in court. And, this is not a clear-cut case he was not standing his ground at home.”