CLEARWATER, Fla. — Senator Bill Nelson is calling on the United States Department of Justice to investigate the fatal "stand your ground" shooting that occurred at a Clearwater convenience store last week.
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- 'Stand your ground': Clearwater man could avoid charges in fatal shooting due to controversial law
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri won’t press charges against Michael Drejka who shot and killed Markeis McGlockton at a convenience store because the shooting may have been justified under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law.
Sen. Nelson and four other lawmakers sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday.
The letter was also signed by Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Reps. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) and Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.).
The letter reads:
Dear Attorney General Sessions and Assistant Attorney General Gore:
We are writing to request that the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Criminal Section open an investigation into the death of Markeis McGlockton at the hands of Michael Drejka in Clearwater, Florida, on July 19, 2018.
Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.
I am calling on DOJ to investigate the shooting that took place in Clearwater last week and determine whether any criminal charges should be filed. pic.twitter.com/Uorw92y7hF
— Senator Bill Nelson (@SenBillNelson) July 27, 2018
Following the announcement, attorney Ben Crump, who is representing McGlockton's girlfriend, Britany Jacobs released the following statement:
“I firmly stand behind the members of Congress who have called for the Department of Justice to investigate the murder of Markeis McGlockton. Michael Drejka was a self-appointed wannabe cop who became an executioner. ‘Stand Your Ground’ immunity was extended to a man who angrily approached my client’s car and created the confrontation. Markeis was clearly trying to protect his family from this threat. Had he pulled out a gun, would ‘Stand Your Ground’ have been extended to him, a man of color? No, he would have been charged with murdering a white man. ‘Stand Your Ground’ has been wrongly applied to give a cold-blooded killer a license for shooting an unarmed man defending family. I applaud these members of Congress — U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker and Reps. Alcee Hastings and Charlie Crist — for acting swiftly to call on the Department of Justice to investigate.”
Governor Scott's office released a statement in response to the letters sent to the DOJ:
"The Governor expects that every Florida law be enforced and applied fairly by law enforcement and state attorneys, who are elected by Floridians. If the Legislature wants to make any changes to clarify Florida’s laws next legislative session, they can do so."