State attorney considers Stand Your Ground case; voters consider changes to law

The controversial and deadly Stand Your Ground shooting that happened outside a Clearwater convenience store is now in the hands of the State Attorney’s Office. 

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office turned the case over Wednesday.

It’s been nearly two weeks since Michael Drejka pulled out his handgun and fired at Markeis McGlockton. The 28-year-old shoved Drejka for arguing with his girlfriend about parking in a handicap space.

Drejka told investigators he pulled the trigger in self-defense, and he is a free man because of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.

“I make decisions about an arrest and the state attorney makes decisions about charges, that’s our system,” said Pinellas County Sheriff, Bob Gualtieri.

Wednesday afternoon, the case was turned over to the local State Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors there will make the final determination if Drejka should be behind bars. 

It’s a decision that could take weeks or months.

The debate over the controversial self-defense law has gained national attention and there are calls for it to be reworked or repealed. There have been protests and rallies pushing for justice, but experts say the real power is at the polls.

“I think the power is in numbers,” said Lorenzo Jenkins. “We speak out against this law, this Stand Your Ground law, then we can get it changed.”

That’s the reason Jenkins organized a voter registration drive in Clearwater Wednesday evening to help folks in the area understand the process and why it’s so important.

“Voting is really the only way that things change,” Zebbie D. Atkinson IV with the Clearwater-Upper Pinellas County Branch of the NAACP said. “If you don’t like your elected officials, if you want to get laws passed, bills passed, voting is how that gets done.”

Instead of waiting, State Senator Darryl Rouson is trying to convene a special session of the legislature.

He sent a letter to fellow lawmakers Sunday asking for support to amend the Stand Your Ground law.

“Do we wait for another death, do we wait for another tragedy before we do something about it, or do we acknowledge as legislators we have the power to do something now?” he said.

Last week, a group of six state lawmakers including Senator Bill Nelson sent a letter to the Department of Justice requesting an investigating into this shooting.