Michael Drejka had some issues.
For some reason, he felt overly protective over a handicapped parking space at a store. So protective, that he had confronted another man of color over the space, using racial slurs and threatening to kill him. He had two road rage incidents where he also displayed his gun. When the police checked into the story, they found the gun in the car, but he denied using it.
Apparently, his word was taken over others. Whenever he flashed his gun, his actions would be excused. Did anyone see this ticking time bomb and his issues before he murdered someone?
Here is what we know happened…..
Store security video shows the confrontation began about a minute after Jacobs pulled into the handicapped-accessible spot. Jacobs told Moffett that two trucks blocked her from getting to other spaces. McGlockton and young Markeis got out and entered the store.
Drejka pulled up in his SUV seconds later, parking perpendicular to Jacobs. Drejka got out, walked to the back of Jacobs’ car, looked at the license plate, and then went to the front, where Jacobs told Moffett that Drejka began yelling at her.
The video then shows McGlockton leaving the store, walking toward Drejka and shoving him with both hands. Drejka lands on his back and McGlockton takes a step toward him. Drejka sits up, pulls his gun and points it at McGlockton, who takes three steps back until he is about 12 feet away (3.6 meters). Drejka fires, hitting McGlockton, who runs back into the store clutching his chest. Witnesses said he collapsed in front of young Markeis, who was waiting inside.
This is what the law says….
The law says people can use deadly force if they believe they are in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and have no obligation to retreat. Under a change made by the Legislature last year, if a suspect raises a stand-your-ground defense, prosecutors must prove the law doesn’t apply.
So did Drejka have a right to Stand His Ground? What about McGlockton? Here is a man who felt the need to be a self appointed cop over handicapped parking spots, decided to take the law into his own hands.
I see this incident through three lenses. I carry a handgun , am black, and disabled.
As a gun owner….
This is the type of incident that you DON’T want to ever get involved in. This is a matter for the people who own the store, since it’s their property and rules. To somehow feel that I must protect a parking space and then run behind the Stand Your Ground law is ridiculous. The fact that this guy nearly got away with it, as they refused to charge him for a few weeks after the fact is astonishing to me. You only want to use deadly force if you feel your life is in danger. Or the life of someone else. In this situation, this did not apply.
As a Black woman…
What about McGlockton’s right to stand his ground? He comes out of a store and sees a man screaming and yelling at his girlfriend. He won’t back off either. She’s explaining to him that she’ll move when her boyfriend comes back to the car, but that’s not good enough for this guy. He’s still yelling at her when he comes out. Who do these people think they are? Its unreal how some people believe that they have a right to question your very existence. What are you doing here? Why are you parking here? What right do you have to be here? This is constant for Black people.
As a disabled person….
I’ve had a few verbal altercations with people over handicapped parking. I am in a wheelchair and people do abuse the spaces. However, this is not a matter for me to deal with. If someone is parked illegally, you do not go up to them and ask them if they belong there. You let the police or the store owners handle this. The other day, this happened to me. I just waited for the store manager to tell the people that they couldn’t park there. I never approached the owners of the car because it’s not my parking lot.
When the incident occurred, the police were adament that Drejka had done nothing wrong. They totally ignored his past behavior, flashing his gun and getting in the face of other people for the same or similar situations. This is where gun control fails us. When we have unhinged people who have guns, what recourse is there to take the guns from these nut jobs who see themselves as self appointed law enforcement.
I think I will call this the Zimmerman Effect. The belief that ordinary citizens have a right to take over where law enforcement is lacking or taking over the duties of an officer. These people believe that they not only have the right to confront ordinary citizens who are breaking the law, they believe they have the right to confront you even when you aren’t. Regardless of how you feel about the Trayvon Martin case, it’s lost in the facts that Martin wasn’t committing any crime when he was stalked and killed. Not one crime. He was simply walking home in the rain when the attack happened. Whatever else is in Zimmerman’s imagination of what he thinks sounds good and makes him more of a victim.
So what is the color of Stand Your Ground? It’s White. Very White. A 2015 study found that cases with white victims are two times more likely to result in convictions under these laws than cases with black victims.
One series of studies, released last year, used various visual tests to see how people perceive the bodies of white and black men. The findings were consistent: When participants believed the man in the images was black, they generally saw the man as larger, more threatening, and potentially more harmful in an altercation than a white person. And they were more likely to say use of force was justified against the black men than against the white men.
Stand your Ground basically states that you have a right to be safe in the place that you are. This makes sense in your home. This doesn’t make sense in parking lots of stores that you don’t own. McGlockton had every reason to believe that his girlfriend could have been in danger, as this strange man stood at the side of their vehicle screaming at her for no reason. He reacted. He acted in defense of his girlfriend. What about his right? It was stolen from him. If he had known the background of Drejka, who was increasingly looking for a fight, he probably should have used even more force to remove this man from his girlfriend and child.
But McGlockton had no way of knowing that. But it shows that his instinct was right. It was just that he lost his life in acting on it.