Pinellas Co. Commission asks state to re-evaluate Stand Your Ground

The Pinellas County Commission is calling the 'Stand Your Ground' law a danger to the community, especially the way it was applied in the shooting death of Markeise McGlockton.

County leaders are calling on lawmakers to make changes. The commission passed a resolution, urging the legislature to clarify the law before this happens again. 

Commissioners say the shooting of Markeise McGlockton was a "disproportionate response to a minor incident."

They say the lack of arrest sends the message that it’s OK shoot someone over something minor, and then argue self-defense.

“We are pointing to the legislature and saying, look, you need to fix this law so there’s not confusion, that it does what it’s supposed to do, which is protect the rights of folks but not to foster a wild wild west state in Florida and tragically here in Pinellas County,” said Pinellas County Commission Chairman Kenneth Welch.

Controversy erupted moments after the dispute over a handicapped parking space at a Clearwater gas station turned into a deadly shooting July 19.

Surveillance video shows Markeis McGlockton walking out to his car and shoving Michael Drejka to the ground. Seconds later, Drejka pulls out a gun and shoots McGlockton in the chest.

Many people are outraged, arguing McGlockton lost his life over something as trivial as a parking spot.

Civil rights activist Al Sharpton traveled to Clearwater over the weekend, saying “we need to repeal stand your ground.”

According to the Pinellas County sheriff, his hands are tied. The law protects the man who pulled the trigger and under these particular circumstances, he can’t be arrested.

“Florida law creates a situation where someone is immune from arrest if their conduct is arguable within the parameters of Stand Your Ground,” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.

But the county commission says this law, and more specifically this case has opened a potentially dangerous precedent.

“I think it gives folks freedom to think they can be judge, jury, and executioner and even provoke a conflict and fall back on using fatal, deadly force,” Welch said.

The Pinellas County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to pass Tuesday’s resolution, which encourages state legislators to re-evaluate the Stand Your Ground law.

They hope legislators go as far as holding a special session.

Simultaneously, the State Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case and will determine whether it’s appropriate to file charges against Michael Drejka.