Law of Self Defense VIDEO: Just because it’s lawful to present the gun doesn’t mean it’s lawful to press the trigger
License to Use Force Ends When the Threat Ends
There’s been a shooting in Florida (naturally?) that resulted over an argument about a non-handicapped person parking in a handicapped parking spot, and it was captured on a rather poor quality surveillance camera recording, according to news reports.
It seems that the shooter, 47-year-old Michael Drejka (who happens to be white), was giving his piece of mind to 24-year-old Britany Jacobs for having parked in a handicapped parking spot without the necessary permit. The victim, 28-year-old Markeis McGlockton, who happens to be black, was Ms. Jacob’s boyfriend, and he emerged from the convenience store and approached the argument.
McGlockton approached Drejka, and shoved him viciously to the ground, with McGlockton looming over the downed man.
In response Drejka appears in the surveillance footage to present a handgun at McGlockton. As McGlockton sees Drejka apparently initiating the presentation of his hand gun, McGlockton immediately takes several steps backwards away from Drejka.
It is then that Drejka fires the single shot that would ultimately kill McGlockton, nearly two full seconds after initially presenting the gun at McGlockton.
Rather surprisingly, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri has announced that Drejka would not be arrested over the shooting, on the basis of Florida’s “stand your ground” self-defense law. The facts of this confrontation do not, however, involve any duty-to-retreat issues with respect to Drejka’s use-of-force–he was attacked without apparent warning, and immediately knocked to the ground, and thus placed in a physical position from which physical retreat with safety would have been difficult, if not impossible.
That said, Florida’s self-defense immunity statute, §776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force, does have the following provision:
(2)A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use or threatened use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using or threatening to use force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used or threatened was unlawful.
Based on the video footage of this confrontation, I expect a reasonable argument could be made that Drejka’s initial presentation of his handgun was lawful–he’d just been shoved hard to the ground without warning, put in a physical position from which unarmed self-defense would be extremely difficult especially against an attacker nearly half his age who still loomed angrily over him. It’s not hard to see how Drejka could have reasonably formed a reasonable perception of imminent serious bodily injury, which would warrant deadly defensive force.
As often happens when a gun is presented in self-defense, however, here the initial aggressor (McGlockton) decided that he’d goofed in bringing his fists to a gun fight, and he immediately began moving backwards, distancing himself from Drejka. This ought to have been apparent to McGlockton during the two second pause between his pointing the gun and shooting. Had McGlockton maintained his position, and particularly if he had made any movement apparently consistent with continuing to attack Drejka, the fired shot may well have been warranted.
Given that McGlockton was backing up, however, this strikes me as a scenario that plenty of prosecutors would be happy to present to a jury, and argue that the fired shot was not lawful, and which I expect in this instance plenty of police officers would determine at least created probably cause to believe that the shot was not lawful.
Of course, there may well be facts not known to us that could have shaped the Sheriff’s conclusion to not arrest. That, of course, is not the end of this matter, either criminally or civilly. The evidence is being presented to local prosecutors, who will decide whether to take the matter to trial, and the girlfriend of McGlockton, with whom she had three children, has already announced her intention to seek civil compensation for the killing of her children’s father (even throwing out the legal term-of-art “wrongful death”).
–Attorney Andrew F. Branca, Law of Self Defense LLC
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the dead guy might have uttered some sort of threat or made gestures we can’t see. with only two apparent witnesses, both obviously biased, there may not be enough evidence to come to any other conclusion.
moral of the story is, don’t park in a handicapped space if you’re not handicapped.
the other moral is “don’t go around initiating physical violence in a state where CCW is both legal and prevalent.
Another moral of the story might be for people to mind there own business if it is not impacting their lives.
The shooter really didn’t need to begin verbally going after the driver. Yes, non-handicapped people should not park in handicap designated spots. But to decide to make it your business and cause a scene which ended in a death. Come on.
A father of three is dead, over what, a parking space?
Too many people are poking there noses in situations that, in the whole scheme of things, are meaningless to their lives. Which, in this case, proved to be very meaningful for all the wrong reasons.
A father of three is dead, over what, a parking space?
It might have had a bit more to do with his sudden and unprovoked physical assault than with the parking space.
He’s dead because he viciously assaulted someone. End of story.
Since when is pushing someone to the ground “viciously assault[ing]” them?
There’s a lot of bloodthirsty people cheering this outcome.
B effing S. Citizens have an absolute right to orally call out and address scofflaws. The victim is the one who poked his nose in and got physical, and sadly he paid the ultimate price for it.
I agree, but I still wouldn’t have confronted her, or said a word to her. She was obviously not a decent human amenable to reason. It’s hard enough when the police have to deal with them.
You answer words with words. If you attack people bad things will happen to you.
The aggressor should have thought about the fact that if he pushed the man to the ground, that he might have gotten heated about, and not just taken it lying down, pun intended.
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
While it’s at perhaps rude to make light of such an event, I cannot help but notice that the decedent’s name is “McGlockton.” Call me superstitious, but with a name like that attached to you, I think it unwise to instigate a fight.
A second lesson – even though shot fatally, death is not immediate. With a more aggressive person, the fight could be different.
Yes. As anybody who has been in the military or police can tell you – getting shot once and being blown back across the room is the stuff of Hollywood.
Somebody shot directly in the heart will live and can fight for 10-15 seconds, which is more than enough time to inflict a lethal wound or cause serious damage. Somebody sustaining a fatal wound to any number of other organs may not even feel the pain – ESPECIALLY if they’re a druggie on something like PCP.
That’s why there is always these bullshit stories about “COPS SHOOT VICTIM XX TIMES!!!!!”. When there is a lethal threat, you fire until the threat is eliminated, which may take several seconds. Which is more than enough time to empty a clip at them.
I had a Marine that used to say to guys going into combat, “Remember, if he’s worth shooting once, he’s worth shooting a few more times. You fire until he goes down and stays down”.
I had a Marine that used to say to guys going into combat
It’s not obvious that this is a useful guide to self defense. Not even Florida would qualify as a combat zone.
“Remember, if he’s worth shooting once, he’s worth shooting a few more times. You fire until he goes down and stays down”.
I was taught you shoot until the bad guy stops doing what caused you to shoot him in the first place. That is, turn and run, or lay down and make hurt noises, etc. Shoot until they stop. Pretty close to the same thing.
That said, I hope I never have to…if I do, please help me aim true.
I thought you would be amused by this, given your handle.
I had one of these back in the early ’80s.
And I can’t freakin’ believe they are worth money.
I was taught you shoot until the bad guy stops doing what caused you to shoot him in the first place.
In this case, the deceased did stop.
I was fortunate enough to be in the first concealed handgun instructor class held in Texas. Our instructor for deadly force was THE EXPERT from the Dept. of Public Safety. At that point he had testified in more deadly force cases than any other human being in Texas. Someone asked “how many times do you shoot someone?” His answer was you keep firing until they are out of your sight picture because they have either run so far away you can’t see them or they have fallen down.
So much for your instructor being an “expert” on use-of-force law. His answer is explicitly and objectively incorrect.
We do not have the full story of what went into the determination of the Sheriff. For example, our local State Attorney told me that intake will reject a case if it cannot be determined that the potential charges can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. A local chief in a similar self defense case said that non of his detectives would swear out a probable cause affidavit.
The speedy trial law; vigorously enforced by the defense bar, means that Law Enforcement must often hold off on an arrest until the prosecutor is convinced there is enough evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Self defense immunity from arrest means its pointless and tenuous to make an arrest if a prosecutor won’t prosecute.
The Florida Courts are genuinely geared to protecting the rights of defendants. I think we should be proud of this orientation.
I would disagree that the video is clear cut and would like to point out at 2 factors that may have influenced Drejka – McGlockton’s attitude, and the other male that came out of the door immediately after McGlockton. Has he been identified, and what relation does he have of this?
As far as McGlockton goes, he took a small step back, but to my eye didn’t seem to actually be backing off (and we have no way of knowing what he verbally said to Drejka). When the shot was fired he was still quite close to Drejka and definitely in a position he could attack him again if Drejka attempted to stand up (from his position nearly impossible to do without lowering the gun, even if completely uninjured).
From me watching him, the other male was very clearly marching towards this nonsense as soon as McGlockton shoved him down and very clearly with the intent of participating – leaning forward, arms out from his sides. The obvious assumption (from Drejka’s position) would be that this was a second asshole coming to attack him.
As soon as Drejka pulls the gun the other guy exits the field to the right, but his position is impossible to determine – but he could very easily have been coming around the cars to try and ambush Drejka.
So I don’t think its hard to make the argument that Drejka thought he saw TWO hostile males and that he thought the other was moving to attack him from behind.
Sorry forgot to include – if the 2nd male DID attempt to come around the car next to Drejka, it would be almost impossible to point the gun at him without exposing him to McGlockton, who was still extremely close to him.
Don’t forget about the girlfriend. I bet she was giving him attitude. Drejka was focused on her before the boyfriend blindsided him. She was walking towards Drejka after he produced the gun. It seems reasonable to me for Drejka to have perceived this situation as 2 v 1.
That’s right. The GF was part of the attack. The man in the purple shirt? Who knows? He was probably just some random person who happened to be there and wanted to know what all the commotion was about, although Drejka couldn’t have known that. I’m not sure he even saw him.
good points. As indicated in these comments, unless there is additional audio or video evidence, I predict a hung jury.
1. The initial argument of calling the woman out for parking in a handicapped space will resonate with many individuals. To be clear, he didn’t shoot him because she parked in a handicapped space. He shot the boyfriend because he felt threatened.
2. If the shooter takes the 5th, there is plenty of room to wonder why he felt threatened enough to pull the trigger. I’m wondering, so many others will too.
I’m not defending the shooter. It is a terrible tragedy.
Then why didn’t he shoot the other male threatening him from behind instead of the guy clearly retreating?
Perhaps because only one of them had attacked him.
“Yes, Officer, I shot this guy because some other guy had knocked me down.”
By your account, Drejka shot the wrong man. He should have shot the “second” man if he presented the threat, not McGlockton.
I had already posted a slight update that I did forget to clarify in the original post – IF the 2nd person was coming around the cars, there would be no way to cover him with his weapon without exposing himself to an attack from McGlockton, who was still extremely close to him.
We must also keep in mind that the perspective of the videocamera and that of the shooter are very different. The movement we see from the side is very exaggerated from the movement that the shooter would see, plus we are looking down and he is looking up, possibly into the sun.
Actually, in Florida, Drejka was not justified in shooting McGlockton and possibly not even in threatening him with the pistol. FSS 776.012 states the following:
“776.012 Use or threatened use of force in defense of person.—
(1) A person is justified in using or threatening to use force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. A person who uses or threatens to use force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat before using or threatening to use such force.
(2) A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person using or threatening to use the deadly force is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.”
Note that to threaten to use deadly force in self defense to be justified, the person doing so has to have a reasonable belief that great bodily harm or death is imminent or that a forcible felony is being committed.
In this case, there does not appear to be any reasonable expectation of death or great bodily harm. McGlockton shoves Drejka, from behind, and Drejka falls to the ground. This is simple battery, a misdemeanor. McGlockton takes two steps toward Drejka while putting both hands into his front pockets. Drejka sits up, draws his weapon and points it a McGlockton. McGlockton then takes two steps back but does not produce any weapon. Drejka shoots him once in the chest. This is totally outside the bounds of use of deadly force, or probably the threatened use of deadly force in self defense. This is an incredibly prosecutable case of homicide.
Now, under FSS 776.032, prohibits a LEA from arresting a person, who cl;aims self defense, until probable cause exists that he did not act in lawful self defense. So, no arrest would be made, immediately, in this case. However, if Drejka is not charged, either by indictment or by capias, then McGlockton had better have been armed. Or there will be a serious miscarriage of justice here.
And you are welcome to that opinion. Of course, it’s neatly refuted by the fact that more people are killed by blows from fist or feet than high powered rifles. It’s also refuted by such things as the concussion problems we’re seeing presented by striking someone in the head even once.
Nice try. but it fails the test of statutory language.
There was no evidence that any furhter attack was imminent. So, there was nothing to stop. And, even though a nearly insignificant number of fist fights result in death, or even great bodily harm, fists are still considered to be non-deadly weapons, under the law. If they were not then everyone who punched another person would be charged and convicted of a felony, aggravated battery. But, this is not the case.
In this case, all you had was a shove. The aggressor backed off and then, after doing so, the man, who was shoved, shot him in the chest[i.e. he used deadly force]. The fight was over with. This was simply NOT justified under statute and the man should be charged.
true, true, but the question in my mind is, why did he feel so threatened that he shot him?
Though it legally may be so, I don’t think this will be about stand your ground to jurors. Remember, the shooter is the defendant. Why did he pull the trigger? Is he just an evil a$$h***, or is there more to the story?
It seems odd he would fire under the circumstances presented here. The must be more to the story.
“There was no evidence that any furhter attack was imminent”
There was no evidence that McGlockton was going to forcefully shove Drejka onto the pavement, until he did.
I would also point out (as the sheriff did) that the standard isn’t objective by design; rather it’s the subjective belief that one is in fear of imminent danger. Since McGlockton had already demonstrated that he was not only capable of, but willing to use deadly force, I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility that he feared another attack, McGlocktons actions after the initial attack notwithstanding.
The Sheriff is mistaken on the law on this point. Under Florida law the decision to use force must be subjectively held in good faith, but it must ALSO be OBJECTIVELY reasonable.
What Mr. Branca said. The Sheriff is incorrect. The statute does not say that deadly force is lawful if a person simply BELIEVES that it is necessary to prevent great bodily harm or death. The statute requires that the person using the defensive force REASONABLY believe that such force was legally necessary. This “reasonableness” is determined by the “reasonable man” test. In this case would a reasonable man, faced with an attacker who had not continued the assault after the initial hit and had retreated, believe that another attack was imminent? One would hope not.
Mr Branca, how far does someone have to “back off” to be out of threat range, particularly in light of the oft demonstrated 21 foot rule?
“The statute requires that the person using the defensive force REASONABLY believe that such force was legally necessary. This “reasonableness” is determined by the “reasonable man” test. In this case would a reasonable man, faced with an attacker who had not continued the assault after the initial hit and had retreated, believe that another attack was imminent? One would hope not.”
Do you consider most commenters here to be reasonable? Because from my angle, I’m seeing about 8 for every 12 jurors
1) skeptical that the deceased was retreating and
2) agreeing that the shooter had a reasonable fear of “grievous bodily harm or death”.
Else, what is your Reasonable Man test?
He’s justified in presenting the weapon. He’s in fear of grievous bodily harm. Assuming that he’s the one that is handicapped and not another person in that vehicle he was driving.
McGlockton does shove him pretty hard to the ground and then keeps moving towards Drejka. I’d say that’s enough justification to present the gun.
Where I agree with you is that Drejka is probably not justified in shooting. McGlockton did stop and then step back. We don’t know what he said to Drejka as he stepped back however but I still think Drejka will face charges.
It is equally arguable that Derjka’a “belief” that he was in imminent danger of great bodily harm or death was not reasonable, given the circumstances. If it was not, then he can neither shoot nor threaten to shoot McGlockton.
See, in 2014, gun rights activists forced a change in Chapter 776 of the Florida statutes. They had the wording changed to equate the threatened use of force with the actual use of force. What this did was to establish the same requirements for displaying the weapon in a threatening manner as were necessary to actually use the weapon. Prior to that,the display of a deadly weapon, in necessary self defense, was governed by FSS 790.10. This was the only place this was addressed in statute.As the wording of that statute is much more forgiving, than that of Chapter 776, as amended, it was possible to produce a weapon, in a threatening manner, in almost any self defense situation.
A man who has just been surprised and viciously assaulted and knocked to the ground is supposed, according to the law, be in a “reasonable” state of mind two seconds later? Seriously???
You don’t know the health of the person who was knocked down. For instance, I have a herniated neck. It’s documented in my medical record that I cannot take a blow to my head without potential fatal reprecussions. The doctor has told me that even a simple headlock can be a lethal situation for me. Yes, anyone “knocking me down” has put me into a potential lethal position. That HE does not know this is meaningless. I know it. That is all that counts.
Violently blind-siding someone and knocking to the pavement has reasonable potential to cause great bodily harm. People have died from head injuries after falling with less force. If a stranger suddenly and without provocation knocks me down like that, I’m going to assume they mean to harm me.
There is no indication the shooter knew the attacker was with the woman he was arguing with. So, from his perspective, the attack was unprovoked. The reasonableness of self-defense is judged from the perspective of the person using self-defense, not of those watching video of the event.
If a man, 20 years my junior, runs at me and shoves me to the ground, you can bet your ass I’m not going to lay there and wait for him to commit further acts of violence.
Well, if I had been pushed violently to the ground, I know tha there is a moment of disorientation. As I grab my gun, and look at my aggressor through tunnel vision, damned right I am going to shoot.
If they try this guy, I hope they lose. You can’t assault someone without consequences.
Yeah, I think too many are ignoring the known evidence of Adrenalin rush and flight or flight. That guy got hammered to the pavement. He has seconds to deal with ” am I ok ? ” , ” is there a threat?” . On the ground like that, he did not have the option of retreat, regardless of the statute. So… cops and infantry train… a lot , in scenarios to mimic this rush and quick threat assessment.
Joe blow citizen isn’t expected to, nor required to. A armed citizen therefore has a LOWER threshold to make their subjective assessment or their situation. He now faces a civil suit. That’s appropriate and goes with the territory. That’s the check on being a gunlust and shooting up folks.
All to say, 2 seconds on your ass seems like a lot of time to make your decision, but in the heat of the incident, I betcha it wasn’t so easy. Let the system work. See if he gets billed at a GJ or not.. and then the civil suit.
Sorry, diminished capacity due to adrenaline rush does not do too well as a defense for homicide. I under stand why peolpe want to defend this action. That is because most firearms carriers are not trained sufficiently, and many not at all, in the lawful use of deadly force. But, statutory language still rules the legality of a person’s actions.
If my attack stuns you, who is responsible for the actions you take while stunned?
You ever had your bell rang hard? Pulled yourself off the ground with your ears ringing and every other sense dialed up to 11? Your entire body shaking and your brain overwhelmed with Fight Or Flight signals?
I so dislike the term “adrenalin rush”. The SCOTUS has chimed in on this topic and I prefer their term “heat of combat”.
I have to say, all this back and forth, even I as a lawyer, hesitate to carry because when you have to make split second decisions, I don’t want to be second-guessed.
Maybe better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6, but for it to be so involved is contrary to the need of self-defense.
You start a physical fight, then you get what you’re asking for. You want niceties, then argue with words not fists.
As the late firearms lawyer Jim Jeffries advised us frequently, the only thing you win in a gunfight is the right to walk away.
Personally, I always weight the upside/downside before opening my mouth. It isn’t a case of whether I’ll win or lose the confrontation, I’ll win, but more is it worth the paperwork. If I went around correcting all of the miscreant behavior in my Hawthorne neighborhood in PDX, I’d get even less done, and as a retiree I don’t accomplish much each day as it is.
The initial confrontation was a verbal reprimand, which stupid boyfriend decided to escalate with physical violence. If the boyfriend had come back with a verbal response, then there would be no way a shooting could be justified. BUT, boyfriend decided to take it to the next level, having obviously not done an upside/downside assessment of the situation. And by making the game stupid, he won a stupid prize.
We only saw 1m05s of the footage. There may be more to it at the beginning. For all we know, the shooter may have had a handicapped sticker and the woman may have been parked in the only available space. Sadly, I do see that frequently at my local store. The action that we saw took place in a couple of seconds. Guy has been blind-sided and knocked down, from his perspective a big guy who did it is still looming over him, and another person is approaching. In that case, the tried by 12 rather than carried by 6 decision would be made. Perhaps the boyfriend got more than he had coming, but there is NO question of him asking for it. At least the shooter didn’t make the mistake of putting 4 more in his back as he ran away.
I predict a “no-bill” in this case. In a civil matter, perhaps 50/50, depending on whether the jury pool is composed of future lottery-winning hopefuls.
I am reminded here of the Bernie Goetz effect, wherein it was reported that muggings in NYC dropped dramatically in the week before Bernie turned himself in, because the muggers now had to run their own upside/downside analysis when looking at a potential victim. If the shooter is indicted, then it becomes more of a free-for-all in FL because potential victims become more hesitant to act. But if the shooter is not indicted, then maybe the miscreants will act with a bit more civility in the future knowing that being stupid could result in an extended dirt nap.
when you have to make split second decisions, I don’t want to be second-guessed.
Good point. Once you pull the trigger, the next battle is to get the DA, judge and jury to agree with your analysis. And that’s just for the criminal trial.
I need to see a higher threat level before I would shoot, because I don’t want to give them any wiggle room.
So, summary execution is now acceptable? What about a person’s day in court? In your world is it acceptable to shoot someone because they push you out of the way in the grocery store? I can live with that, as long as you do not mind warming a slab in the morgue.
Use of deadly force against another person HAS to be done in defense to prevent an imminent attack, Once the attack is over, force can not be used.
Mac, this wasn’t a person cutting in the grocery store line. This was an able bodied young man shoving a middle aged man to the ground where he was prone and subject to being beaten up while down.
Don’t change the facts.
This was not a summary execution. He viciously assaulted his victim then did not disengage. He should have been footing it the other way. Facing your victim from attack distance is not disengaging.
Isn’t is cute the way some people are reduced to making a case.
If Drejka’s drawing and firing are two distinct events, separated by an interval sufficient for re-evaluation of McGlockton’s apparent retreat, that would imply that the shot was not self defense.
However, if it’s one event, stretched out by clumsiness, injury, poor hand/eye coordination, disorientation, poor visibility, etc on the part of the shooter, then maybe it was self defense, since to him, the drawing and shooting were one action, stemming from one decision—the determination to get his attacker off of him.
I can imagine someone who’s not a skilled pistolero having a bit of trouble fumbling for his gun while on the ground, accessing it (possibly with the wrong hand), hunting around for the safety, acquiring his assailant in his sights, and finally getting a shot off.
The shooter MIGHT have an argument if he had pointed the pistol at McGlockton, told him to back off and McGlockton continued to advance on him. This would lend credence to a reasonable man assuming that an attack was imminent. Though he would still have to provide reasonable evidence to suggest that great bodily harm or death would result from further attack. But, this did not happen. Drejka produced the pistol and McGlockton backed off. Then some seconds later, Drejka shot McGlockton, who was standing stationary. Not use of deadly force in lawful self defense.
You sound like a lawyer, so don’t try that in court. As I juror, I would not expect the guy to be act like a police office or combat veteran.
Then charge the man and let a jury decide. fair enough?
Re: Mac and letting a jury decide.
As a lawyer myself, I can say a criminal jury trial – or any trial – is a punishment in itself. The cost? Mortgage your home? Drain your savings? The lawyer. If you’re not in the legal community, you only have word of mouth to judge who is a good trial lawyer and who isn’t. What about jury selection? You want you life to be a crap shoot with 12 people you don’t know, and whether they’re honest during jury selection or not, you don’t know? What about the judge and D.A.? Will they be fair?
No, trials are in effect punishments, and not for the those unversed in them.
Close The Fed, that’s why they have pretrial “stand your ground” hearings. I suspect that the judge in this case would dismiss it at that point.
But, this did not happen.
No, it didn’t.
But it also has nothing at all to do with the speculative scenario I described.
… Second guessing a 2 second response, we’re into tmz kangaroo court then
Not at all. That is how the law works. You have to be aware of what is going on and you have know how you can react legally. If you do not have that knowledge, then don’t carry a gun, carry pepper spray. You’ll get in a lot less trouble that way.
Hindsight is 20/20.
What the heck does that mean? Everything is ALWAYS analyzed using hind sight, and even slow motion.
Drejka had 2 whole seconds to evaluate the situation, after her threatened McGlockton and before he pulled the trigger. That is sufficient time to ascertain the fact that McGlockton had retreated and was not making any threatening moves against Drejka. Drejka waited, with the pistol pointed directly at McGlockton, for those two whole seconds before he fired. It was not a draw and fire fire. It was a draw, aim, hold and then fire. This would indicate the distinct possibility that the shot was not a result of an immediate reaction to being knocked to the ground, but was a reasoned act. So, unless Drejka can convince a court that it was reasonable to believe that an attack which was likely to result in death or great bodily harm was imminent, this action was not justified.
2 seconds is plenty? Sorry, the first time I watched the video, the incident was over in a flash, and I missed alot. I watched it 3 or 4 times, just to follow the aggressor’s hands, then realized part of the problem was I couldn’t see them.
Maybe time in your universe slows down, not in mine. Besides, it seemed like a 1/2 second or a second to me.
“You’ll get in a lot less trouble that way.”
Or beat to death. Don’t want to get shot, don’t violently knock people to the ground.
Guns are the great equalizer, as it was here.
Guns are the great equalizer, as it was here.
I think that’s the question to be decided, and probably will be in court. Was the response equal (proportionate) to the threat? I have a hard time seeing either imminence and proportionality that would justify a lethal force use when the opponent is backing away and is not armed.
He may well have been justified in drawing when he was knocked to the ground and was trying to evaluate the threat. I don’t believe that removes the responsibility to correctly evaluate the situation before you use deadly force.
The instructor in my CHL class said: ‘Leave your testosterone at home and learn to eat shit. It will keep you out of jail.’
For his sake, I hope I’m wrong and that there are facts that justify what he did.
If you are going to a place where you are going to need a gun, then the best option is to not go there. 98% of self-defense happens before a firearm even enters the picture. I am teaching my son right now how to “walk point” by having a good level of situational awareness at all times It may well be the case that Drejka was kind of a dick, and I am sure that he is re-evaluating the choices that he made that day. I don’t think that he factored being attacked by the boyfriend into the picture. I for one am treating this as an additional learning situation. I sure hope that he wasn’t operating on the belief that CHL somehow made him an assistant cop of some sort. My first response to a bad situation is to treat distance as a very good friend. The guy who was just shot by the campus police in Portland made the mistake of intervening in a fight while carrying. I, and my friends, have a good understanding of where our limitations lie, and we don’t have the luxury of acting certain ways when we are carrying. An LEO is obligated to act, but a CHL holder is not, and should not engage in situations beyond their training or capacity. Imagine being a CHL holder near an active shooting situation, and the person that you take down is a responding plainclothes detective, or another CHL doing what you were attempting.
Sorry, but summary execution for being shove to the ground is not acceptable in any state in the Union. It is also not acceptable for a number of other criminal acts.
Thrown to the ground, not merely shoved. A distinction the sheriff carefully made.
I’m open to your line of reasoning but minimizing the threat raises concerns re objectivity.
“Sorry, but summary execution…”
Mac, when you go off the rails you really become a train wreck.
You have no basis, none, zero, for calling this a “summary execution”. That’s just cute wording used to justify a near indefensible position.
has already announced her intention to seek civil compensation for her life (event throwing out the legal term-of-art
This sentence is a bit mysterious. Is something missing?
No, you’re not missing anything, it’s garbled somehow. I’ll fix it.
The implication of the argument here is that if you are married or, even better, a breeder, you are better protected in your unwarranted attack on a defenseless person than if you were a single, childfree guy.
Only if you’re an idiot who sees everything through the warped lense of identity politics.
Living in Florida I can see this being a rallying cry for the candidates running for Governor. The NRA will be put on trial on tv and voters will get excited about guns once again.
As for charging this guy, the video is grainy and a smart defense attorney could convince a jury that what they see is not what they see.
I’d be unwilling to convict on this evidence, and my sympathies are with the fatherless children.
A smarter defense attorney might point out what jurors might not have seen in the video.
1. the second man approaching after shooter is knocked down. He might just be rubber necking, but to a disoriented person on the ground he might look like another attacker coming to help the first.
2. Look at the attacker when he comes out of the store. First thing he does before attacking? Pulls up his shorts. Immediately after attacking, what does he do? Pulls up his shorts. Maybe his shorts are too loose and he’s trying to keep them up. Or maybe he pulls them before exerting himself, like attacking someone.
3. Immediately after pulling up his pants, he squares off. Is he getting ready to attack again? Is he telling the shooter to get up and fight him? He only backs up a little when the gun comes out, is he assessing whether or not he can get the gun away?
4. When she sees boyfriend approaching, she gets out of car. Is she attempting to intercept because she knows what’s coming? Is she planning to attack, but this stranger (to the shooter) beats her to it? Does she know what’s going to happen and plans to join in the attack?
Remember, watching on a video is much different than viewing the same situation on your butt, after having been attacked without provocation, and after possibly being disoriented by the attack. Everyone should try to see this through the shooter’s point of view, not the video camera’s.
Brilliant! I see this 100% differently now. It’s the girlfriend’s body language that changes my mind. Look at her mannerisms before the gun comes out. She’s digging it.
I also find it ridiculous that supposedly no one said anything during this time. Come on. The BS meters are pinging so loud you can hear them in another galaxy.
If you have never been blindsided and knocked to the ground without putting out your hands to break the fall, you do not know the mental state this guy was in. I would bet his ears were ringing and he was seeing stars as he looked up to his attacker looming over him. We do not know what the attacker was saying to him as he lay on the ground but I am sure it was a litany of upcoming threats. Through all of this, the guy who had been attacked managed to draw his weapon and point it at his attacker. The fact that the attacker moved back a couple of feet would have no meaning to this guy. If he had turned and RAN then there might be some case to be made about overkill. But the fact that he was still there face to face with the man tells him that the threat is still there. No case.
Exactly, well stated.
Disoriented, confused, possibly injured, and looking up from a very vulnerable position, the shooter might have very reasonable felt threatened.
Another case where a person, without standing, inserts them-self into a matter that is beyond their ability to remedy.
Here in my small town, I have told several older women that they sure didn’t look pregnant when they took up a pregnant woman parking spot. I’ve never had one argue with me because they have no argument. I NEVER say anything about handicap spots because after I did once the old man told me he had a serious heart condition. That made me realize that there are conditions that have no visual indication but still can be a handicap.
AFAIK, it’s not illegal for someone who is not pregnant to park in a space designated for expectant mothers.
Something like that happened to me once. I saw an able-bodied man driving a convertible park in a handicap spot, nearly running me over. Then he vaulted over the door and ran in the store. I was incensed, so I grabbed a trash can, stood inside the car, dumped garbage all over the seats, smashed the windshield, ripped off the headrests and threw them out of the car, and peed in the gas tank.
Then the driver came out of the store — assisting a severely handicapped older man to the car! You can imagine my embarrassment!
Porsche with ski rack in handicap parking place = justified homicide.
So many times I have seen people complain about others over-reacting, but then turn the drama up to 11 when it’s THEIR ox getting gored.
Remember those people that cluelessly say “you don’t an AR-15 to defend yourself”? Its like that – people who don’t really understand the issue speaking authority.
We used to own a townhouse with no garage, it had a reserved parking spot instead. Pain. In. The Ass. Once a week there was also some entitled asshole who “was just going to use it 5 minutes”. Meanwhile, I’m walking door to door asking 20 neighbors if they have a guest with a blah blah make and model, while my dinner gets cold, because there is nowhere else to park. Or my wife has to park a block down and walk up the hill with groceries, after chemo. Had one guy park there for 3 days, and the HMO won’t allow you to tow them (so I stole his plates, so he wouldn’t do it again).
And you have to police it regularly, even if you aren’t currently using it, because the moment you start letting people get away with it, you lose it to a dozen more who see weakness to take advantage.
Best part? The assholes give you attitude when (as pissed as you are) politely ask them to move their car from the spot you own.
Justified shooting? Put me on that jury and he walks.
Ok, this is petty but I think that letting the air out of his tires is a pretty good way too.
True but I wanted him to move.
And to compound the frustration, it’s my spot so my car would be a sitting duck for retaliation.
But I misspoke earlier. I didn’t steal the plates I stole the screws to them and placed both plates on his windshield. Minor pain in the ass for him but also an Object Lesson (hey there’s that word!) for the neighborhood that the next ass would likely spend the day at the DMV getting new license plates.
Agreed. Anyone who initiates a blind side in a concealed carry state is on the short list for a Darwin Award.
The shooter may also have been in fear of being knocked unconscious and murdered with his own weapon, as many police officers have been.
No Darwin for McG. He seems to have reproduced at least three times, unfortunately.
I own guns. I support the 2nd. I support Stand Your Ground. Hell, I think Stand Your Ground should be in the Constitution. I also live in Florida.
I’m not seeing a justification just by looking at the video. The gun comes out and the guy steps back. Is there something else that hasn’t been reported? Is the guys handicap such that he didn’t even realize the guy stepped back? Did the guy threaten as he stepped back? Maybe both?
I have no problem with the person pulling out the gun as there is a disparity of force in play but there doesn’t seem to be anything that makes me think it’s justified to shoot since upon presentation of the gun the dead guy doesn’t continue the attack and actually steps back.
I think Drejka will be charged with 2nd degree murder.
Actually, yes the guy did step back, but after looking several times, it looks like the guy stepped back much more then he really did.
He shoved the guy so hard he flew about a couple of yards, then he halved the distance and started hovering. Then about one second before the shot, he starts backing away.
Stepped back? What, two or three feet? Do you know how long it takes to cover the infamous 21 feet used in armed defense cases? !.5 seconds! That’s 21 feet! This guy is still on the ground and his buddy is coming around the other side of the car and you think three feet is going to save him? The guy should have put his hands in the air and ran! Then if he got shot it would have been in the back and many feet away from the shooter. But he didn’t.
Tueller the defender is starting with a holstered weapon, which is not the case here. He already had the target in sight (as the shot proved). Also, most of the distance covered in Tueller is covered in the last .5 sec, since the attacker is accelerating. Because the circumstances are so different, I don’t think Tueller applies here.
I’m wondering what McGlockton had to say when he saw the gun come out? Maybe he said something that caused the guy to shoot?
That’s easy to say watching the video. But would you feel the same way if that was you just violently knocked to the ground for no apparent reason? Add to that, the attacker looming over you, a second man approaching, and the woman you were just arguing with getting out of her car? Add to that, you have a handicap or a disability that makes it difficult to get up, much less fight off an attacker if one of those three decided to take advantage and attack again?
I don’t think so.
The Sheriff’s press conference is a damn good watch IMO…
Pretty well laid out by the Sheriff. I came away with the clear intent of the Florida legislature to eliminate loop holes and stand behind their armed citizens. I appreciate that Sheriff’s demeanor and his clarity. Nice to see a professional. We’ll see what happens.
Trayvons just can’t be civil, can they? That’s a well-deserved bullet.
Olinser basically got the tactical situation correct.
The deceased guy did not stop, he paused. He loomed over the guy then toke a step back and stopped. A person who has completely disengaged does not just stop there. He could easily have been evaluating what attack options he had. Or waiting for his friend to sneak up on the guy.
One other thing on the tactical situation. The deceased blind sided the guy. I am not saying that being blind sided justifies shooting a guy. What I am saying is that when he blind sided the shooter, he demonstrated total disregard for any rules of behavior for fighting. Or that he showed that he simply should not be trusted, and that the danger is over only when there is absolutely no possibility of further attack. At no point was the attacker out of easy striking distance.
As for Mac45, I have a simple question. How many people do you think are in jail right now for killing someone by hitting them like that? I bet it’s more then zero. Probably a lot more. yes it was deadly force.
And even if it was clerly over to us. To quote precedence “Moreover if the last shot was intentional and may seem to have been unnecessary when considered in cold blood, the defendant would not necessarily lose his immunity if it followed close upon the others while the heat of the conflict was on, and if the defendant believed that he was fighting for his life. ” I would say the heat of conflict was still on.
All that being said, next time instead of arguing over the parking spot, take a picture of the car and send it to the police. That’s what the left does , and we should learn to do it too.
the shooter is clearly a feeble person, likely upset about the handicapped abuse because he needs the spots and is tired of people abusing it. The boyfriend could see he was feeble and yet did what he did. It speaks volumes to me.
Here is the 800# gorilla in the room. The fight was over, when Drejka pointed his pistol at McGlockton. McGlockton had backed off. he was not making any threatening moves toward Drejka. Get it? There was nothing to reasonably suggest that an attack wa imminent, especially one which was likely to result in great bodily harm or death. Yet, Drejka still shot McGlockton, who had retreated.
I understand that is how you see it. I don’t see it that way.
He paused his attack. The fights not over until he’s out of attack range. He’s still well within range when he’s shot. If he wanted to get away with assaulting a handicapped guy he should have run the other way. Instead, he stayed in range for an attack.
Sure, if we follow your advice we will not have to worry about charges from the state.
Because we’ll likely be dead or severely injured.
“McGlockton had backed off”
He initiated the attack witb stealth and deception.
He is “tricky”.
If you are going to employ deceptive tactics, you better put both hands high in the air and keep walking backwards if you intend to surrender. It is not reasonable for the victim to give you the benefit of doubt after you have demonstrated that you fight dirty, especially if he fears his very life is on the table.
I think the aggressor stepped back to weigh the odds, do the math (21 foot rule?) and do a quick mental Rolodex of other deceptive attacks that might counter the threat of the gun now pointed his way.
Or maybe he just froze.
But what a cowardly pussy, blindsiding without provocation a feeble man he could have restrained with one arm tied behind his back. That’s a Thug Move.
A predator. I’d like to see his police record, his behavior here reveals good odds he has a criminal history.
On a related note. The Curtis Reeve trial will start mid February finally. Unless the SCOFLa makes some kind of ruling which may mean that Reeves may never stand trial.
The popcorn shooting? That’s still going on? I had almost forgotten about that!
Florida juries have a history of giving the benefit of the doubt to the person first attacked. Sometimes to extremes.
Mr. Branca’s analysis is, as always, astute.
I guess my take on this particular incident is that, although I understand with, and, agree with the underlying logic that the right to use deadly force dissipates/ends when/if the threat retreats in a clear and unambiguous manner, in this particular situation, with the shooter’s adrenaline rushing just after he was violently attacked, I think it begins to approach the unreasonable/impossible to demand that the victim of a violent battery make such a nuanced determination, in the heat of the moment. Sure, with the benefit of hindsight (and, a good deal of speculation), one can posit that the victim (the man who was battered) could have/should have perceived that the attacker was retreating, but, I think that, in the moment, this is an impossible calculus to achieve, with adrenaline rushing, etc.
I also don’t have much sympathy for the man who died, inasmuch as he initiated violence and escalated the situation by making the exceptionally ill-advised decision to violently attack a total stranger, without any justification, in a state filled with concealed-carry holders.
Shades of St. Trayvon’s similarly ill-advised and criminal behavior, here.
“I think it begins to approach the unreasonable/impossible to demand that the victim of a violent battery make such a nuanced determination, in the heat of the moment”
In “must retreat” states like Massachusetts prosecutors often take the position that if there’s any avenue of retreat you overlooked you’re not entitled to a self-defense instruction from the judge. Whether it is reasonable to demand you be aware of escape routes that are visible to a Monday-Morning quarterback doesn’t seem to matter.
For once I disagree with Mr. Branca.
Years ago, I got into a (defensive) fight with a guy and knocked him down. Even though I moved about six feet backwards in those first seconds after the blow, I was ready to take his head off had he tried to get up.
In other words, even though I was farther back than the shooter, and though more than two seconds had elapsed, whether my attacker knew it or not, he was still in real jeopardy.
Fortunately for him, he must have sensed that he was, and just laid there til my fears abated.
OK, but from what you said, your trigger to engage again would have been an overt move by him (getting up). What was the overt move here?
That may be mochava’s trigger, but this guty already demonstrated that his trigger is much lower.
To be clearer, that an unarmed aggressor takes a few steps back does not necessarily mean the threat is over.
The argument against that is:
But it could mean that the fight’s over. And if it’s over, you aren’t justified in shooting. Therefore, you need to wait for more information.
Different people have different thresholds for betting their lives on an aggressor’s good-will.
True, but whatever your threshold is, it has to meet the legal requirements for self defense to keep you out of trouble.
Excellent observation, and the attacker had zero credit in the good will bank, having just blindsided Michael Drejka.
From Mr. Branca’s analysis – and the girlfriend of McGlockton, with whom she had three children, has already announced her intention to seek civil compensation for the killing of her children’s father (even throwing out the legal term-of-art “wrongful death”).
I also thought that Florida Law precludes a Civil Suit for damages in cases where a claim of Self Defense has been accepted.
Am I wrong about this?
I believe declining to prosecute is a different matter than accepting a claim of self defense – only a Judge can do the latter.
Declining to prosecute can be nothing more than a belief that there’s isn’t quite enough evidence to convict. Ie, not beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is very interesting from a legal and political perspective and could possibly have major implications. Gun control people will seize on it and many will entertain the legal implications. But it is just a tragedy, like a car accident. I see two people making very stupid, rash decisions that resulted in a horrific outcome. Very sad for all concerned.
Agreed, also if I remember correctly, if he wants to protection from the civil suit he will have to go to a judge and have that judge declare this incident self defense.
I think the problem here is in the way the story was presented. It reads as if he won’t be charged at all. Reality is that the Sheriff has decided that the guy shouldn’t be charged and that would be his recommendation to the prosecutor but ultimately the prosecutor could still bring charges against the shooter.
So a possibility of a lawsuit still exists.
She says that he is the father of her three children, but that is a fact not in evidence. I wonder what DNA tests would reveal. Her lawyer needs to ask “what part of STFU wasn’t clear?”
Allow me to jump in as a detective from Florida (now retired) that is versed in this here.
1. All lawyers, even the author, LOVE to operate in a vacuum so they can divine the perimeters of the argument. Here the assumption is the bad guy backed up, thus a crime. But that is not always the case. There are realities to look at.
2. First reality. Blacks in America have been overtly violent, especially since 2014. That is not an unknown. And they will beat you to death for nothing. Everybody, including the guy push violently to the ground in a SURPRISE ATTACK FROM BEHIND knows this. So does the Sheriff.
You now and I know this. We know about the “knock out game” and “polar bear hunting games”. So in the moment, what does the shooter fear? What does he see?
3. The dead man (not victim no more than Trayon Martin was a victim) decided not to deal with this in an adult, mature, civilized manner. He attacked the man arguing with his female companion. That was his DEFAULT action. Does he have a right to violently push down an older man to the ground without taking a moment to see what was going on? He didn’t know the man was armed or he would not have attacked him in that way. Also, as it has been pointed out, we don’t what the attacker said to the older man. “I’m gonna kill you?”
It certainly wasn’t “Sir, I apologize for abusing the law, and thank you for pointing it out.”
4. There were going to be multiple attackers. How many the shooter cannot know, but he sees two as he rises from his prone position in shock. Are there more? History of incidents like these would indicate yes. I’ve seen more ganging up fights than some kind of fight with rules involving black people.
5. Here in Florida, we tend not to try people who are doing their level best not to get killed. We also tend not to convict people of deaths if the other guy started it. I had a case where two drunks got into a fight and one beat the other to death, stomping him after he was down. Pretty clear cut right? The jury came back saying “The victim should not have started a fight he couldn’t win.”
6. Lastly, how old or feeble was the guy? If he was older and or handicapped and couldn’t defend himself, then the Sheriff is right not to arrest. If you note, the man laid on the ground after the shot, either unwilling or UNABLE to get up. That changes everything. If he had a bad hip or leg or some other malady, his ability to defend himself against an unarmed attack is defined differently.
You know, the author knows, the two guys at the scene and the guy on the ground know this was a beating that was just starting. A gun stopped it. That’s the truth of it.
Welcome to post Obama America.
So, let’s examine your points.
2) This sounds as though you are justifying shooting McGlockton simply because he was black. he had shoved Drejka who fell down. He had also backed off when threatened with the pistol. If McGlockton was white, would that make the shooting any less justified?
3) A simple battery, especially one involving a single shove with no follow-up attack, does not warrant the death penalty. McGlockton was wrong, in his actions. However, Drejka could have filed criminal charges against him and allowed the criminal justice system to do its job. He has NO authority, under the law to summarily execute a person for shoving him. Also, according to the Sheriff, in his press conference, no words were reportedly exchanged between the parties.
4) How do we know that there were going to be multiple attackers? Also, if Drejka somehow “knew” this then he deliberately shot McGlockton, who had retreated. in fact, under Florida law, McGlockton would have been legally justified in shooting Drejka in self defense.
5) No, in Florida, LEOs tend to enforce the law, not make unilateral decisions in a potential felony murder case.
6) He was 47 years old. And, as he was no longer being attacked when he fired the shot, he was simply not justified. As to sitting on the ground after shooting McGlockton, I would say that was a reaction to the knowledge that he had just shot a man, not as a result of some pertinent disability. he seemed to get to his feet with little difficulty when he finally decided to do so.
Finally, without any evidence to support this, you unilaterally and arbitrarily decide that the violence was going to continue. And you were a LEO?
He did not retreat. Retreating means still backing up not positioning to loom over a cripple you’ve just beat to the ground.
Give it up you’re wrong. If he were retreating be would have been backpedaling not looming over the guy.
I’ll break this up into two replies.
First an overview. There are three types of people in the world- wolves, sheep and sheepdogs. Wolves know who they are and do what they do. Sheep often don’t know they are being sheep they are just being themselves. The last thing that passes through their minds just before they are eaten is the shock of the event and the “Why me?” in their eyes. I’ve talked to them and worked their cases when they were no longer able to speak. Sheepdogs know better. They are dedicated to protecting themselves and others from wolves. And they are able to see wolves as what they are, not what some hope they might be. My point? Don’t let PC get you killed.
I say that to say this. I taught civilian class and often had to explain profiling to black citizens. My explanation was simple, you don’t profile the color, you profile the behavior of a group. My best example is what I called the “blue haired, club footed midget” situation. A good cop can identify with good probability, from past contact and experience, that a certain thing appears to be what it is.
I would tell the people let me give you two examples. You are a police officer on patrol. You know the following facts. A. a group of GTA gangs are operating in your area. B. the gangs are made up of young black males from 14 to say 17 yrs old. C. Their MO is to steal cars from one city, drive those cars into another and then steal a car there and go home. The operating hours are from about 11pm to 3am. D. You also know that a favorite vehicle is the Chrysler because it is easy to steal using just a screwdriver. E. In addition, the favorite travel corridors into your city are limited to two ways- One north and one south ends of the city.
One night at 2am you are driving east, away from your city when you notice a Chrysler driving west into the city. As you pass you see the car is occupied by five young black males around 16yrs old. They look at you and their collectives eyes bug out. At this point, based on the known facts and behavior of a specific group of people (blue haired, club footed midgets)would it be prudent to turn around and at least run the tag on that vehicle? Would it be derelict of your duty to keep driving?
Can a black teenager be out a 2am with his friends in his new Chrysler? Sure. And if the tag comes back to him, you turn back around and let it go. But if it comes back to Sister Mary O’Donnell, a nun at the local church, born in 1941, you have a stolen car.
When I paused I would ask the class as a police officer sworn to interdict criminal activity are we racist here when reacting to facts created by others? By and large, everybody in the class would say no. Then I say same situation. But this time the car is driven by five gray haired old ladies and they wave as they go by. Do you turn on that car? Why not? Because facts and reality have shown you that gray haired 75 yr old ladies of any color or race, do not steal cars for fun.
So no, I’m not saying because he’s black. What I am saying is there is plenty of evidence of past behavior BY black men that they can be violent without provocation. You have to factor that in. Now that alone isn’t enough. If McGlockton just walked up and said pi** off and leave my woman alone, the other man has no right to even pull a gun, much less fire it. But that is NOT WHAT HAPPENED! What McGlockton did
was confirm what is simply in the back of the minds of many.
Jessie Jackson once “There is nothing more painful to me than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, and then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved” He’s not racist, he’s aware of events and history. If he saw a black kid he CANNOT nor should not assume a robbery is going to occur. But if the kid runs up and knocks him down- then the assumption is probably a good one.
That is my point on your point about blacks and crime.
If you can’t see it, or PC prevents you from accepting it, then stay with the flock and hope numbers will keep you safe.
Another great example of your “blue haired, club footed midget” theory is the article “Racist Elephants” by Neal Boortz. Even animals identify threats based on group behavior. In the article, a some elephants have learned to identify two different groups of tribesmen. One group routinely kills elephants, while the tribe likes elephants and rarely bothers them. The elephants not only avoid the first group, but they become very defensive if they see one of the tribe near. The elephants ignore the men in the second tribe.
Avoiding threats based on group behavior is a survival instinct.
That should read “One group routinely kills elephants, while the *other* tribe likes elephants and rarely bothers them.”
:There are three types of people in the world- wolves, sheep and sheepdogs.”
And Labrador Retrievers.
As to the other points.
3. That is not a simple battery. I’ve arrested many people in Florida for simple battery- that is not one. When Drejka is knocked off his feet and into the pavement with that level of force, and if he suffered an injury, that is felony battery. If the force were lighter or maybe not an ambush, then yes- misdemeanor. So the rest of your statement is invalid.
4. Remember, it is what we see, and what the shooter “sees” that often determines intent. I see, and many others here have seen two males approaching the shooter, who is unaware of their approach. A sneak attack. We see a woman get out of her car, a man approach and a second man also approach. That is now three people in contact, all hostile.
The “intent” of the rear person does not matter, his approach is all the shooter can perceive. You don’t ask, “Sir!What are your intentions?” Especially when you just got bounced off the pavement by the first guy. You can pretty much assume at that point you are in physical danger. And it is going to get worse.
As for your armed so the other guy has a right to shoot Drejka, is that before or after McGlockton was shot? Because you might have a point. Both could have exchanged fire. However, the aggressor is McGlockton. So he would lose any legal argument. The matching level of violence for violence theory comes into play. One guy is arguing the other guy is knocking the first guy off his feet in a blitz attack.
5. Not sure your point. But in Florida, LEOs do not make the final say on this kind of case, but are often told by the SAO to make the public statement of the decision the SAO agreed on. We had a case where we had enough evidence to charge in a murder- for YEARS- in our opinion. But the SAO had lost a big case and did not want to take the risk on another weak one. So they refused to file charges on the case. Annually, the media would ask for an update and the SAO would refer them to our department, saying they weren’t involved. That’s the politics of it. So add that into this situation.
6. What you say will get you killed if you end up in a similar situation. It makes me want to ask,with respect, if you have ever been jumped, been knocked down and stunned, or beat up. If any of those things happen you learn a very valuable lesson- DISTANCE is key.
McGlockton did take a few small steps back, but he did..not…retreat. Hell pull a gun on me and you are shooting me in the a**! Because I am leaving the area! However, in one leap McGlockton could have been on top of the sitting man. Now we do not know the conversation. But what if McGlockton- being in front of his offended girl – boasted he was going to take that little gun from Drejka and beat him to death with it?
What reasonable person would say that you ask? Mac45 I have seen some seriously stupid things said by people who should have known better. But they say it, and bad things happen.
McGlockton reacted to the gun by taking only a few steps back, not a person seemingly impressed with the weapon or the person holding it. If he threatened to continue to harm the man, the man has the right to believe the threat was ongoing. And again, where did the other guy go? At this point, under stress, everything goes into a tunnel vision and hearing condition.
That’s why I always suggested to people involved in shootings to not talk to the police until you talk to a lawyer. You’ll say some stupid stuff trying to sort out what really happened in your mind. And the police will write that stupid stuff down and use it against you in court. Not that they want to or not, but it is their job.
Finally, there is plenty of evidence and experience that indicated REASONABLY that violence was going to continue.
We had a young officer get jumped while jogging one night. Two WHITE guys just decided to beat him up. He warned them he was LEO and that didn’t make a difference. They beat him and broke his face. He managed to get his pocket knife out and cut one pretty good. It was only then they retreated. During the fight, they attacked and retreated and attacked. So yes, assume it will continue until the wolf is done eating you. Anything less and you are done for.
Lastly, I served with honor. I did my best, used my discretion and common senses to help people, who depended on me to do just that. Most people are decent, most cops are good because they are simply regular folks like anyone else choosing to do a job many other people will not do.
We keep the lid on society and clean up the stuff you don’t want to see or deal with. That’s the job. In life, nothing is clean cut, it is always messy. This case is an example, but our society seems to demand because of race or other issues we see things as they are not to suit an agenda.
I hope this case is settled. I wish Mr. McGlockton had chosen to deal with a conflict without defaulting to violence. And I would be curious if he had a record of that prior to this incident. (Not just police contact but in general) Because most decent people don’t shove another person down from behind.
“2) This sounds as though you are justifying shooting McGlockton simply because he was black”
No. He is explaining why the victim may have been in fear of grevious bodily injury or death, and whether that was a reasonable fear.
If Asian women had a history of over-reacting to heated rhetoric by teaming up to beat to death anyone who disrespected them, and you had just been ambushed and slammed to the ground for disrespecting a 2nd one… would you have a reasonable fear you were about to get beaten to death?
You have 1.6 seconds to decide. You may not calm down. You may not research Florida Law. You may not second guess yourself or engage higher level cognition. And your left knee hurts like a bitch.
Your comments win the thread and I thank you for posting the truth. We’ve all read the statistics on black violence and seen it on TV. Even Jesse Jackson knew::
Drejka wasn’t prone. He was supine.
Likely that the victim’s bell was rung when he hit the ground and that he was feeling even more vulnerable to further attack.
The question now is: Will that woman ever park in a handicapped space again now that her baby-daddy is gone?
Every single handicap parking space she ever passes by is going to remind her of what happened that day.
I do hope she gets some counseling.
Hating on the police and/or second guessing their every waking moment is just ever so hip, chic, and trendy these days. Profitable, too.
The person/victim that was suddenly and violently attacked without warning by a large male suspect whom essentially appears out of nowhere [and who knows what the suspect was saying other than those who were actually there at that precise moment] was certainly able to cogently, distinctly, and convincingly articulate his absolute fear of impending death and/or impending further violent bodily injury to the INVESTIGATING HOMICIDE DETECTIVES . . . and that sure as heck is good enough for me. In fact, that should good enough for everybody, including Mr. Branco.
If the District Attorney/Prosecuting Attorney for Pinellas County, Florida decides differently and pursues prosecution, then that shall be a significant turn of the worm. Until then, though, the victim was well within his rights, and Florida law, according to Police.
That’s all I need to know about that. Period.
The Sheriff was justified in not making an immediate arrest, in this case. He can justify it by simply point to the language of 776.032, which prohibits an arrest unless probable cause that lawful self defense does not apply is determined. When Drejka claimed self defense, this statute was activated. And, as Drejka claimed a “reasonable” fear of imminent attacke which would have resulted in death or great bodily harm, the Sheriff was well with his authority to not make the arrest and refer the case to the SAO for action.
One of the big tip-offs that an LEA is stretching to justify their actions, in these cases, is when they start throwing the term “stand your ground law” around. In this case, it is not applicable to the situation in any way.
Now about fear, absolute or otherwise. People have all kinds of fears; some are reasonable and others are not. In order for a fear to be used as the basis for lawful self defense, the fear has to be reasonable. A fear of spiders does not justify burning down the local mall. A fear of enclosed spaces does not justify opening the door on an airplane at 30,000 feet. What the law does is to apply the reasonable man doctrine. In this case would a reasonable man, having al of the knowledge possessed by Drejka at the time have reasonably feared that an attack was imminent? If McGlocklin had charged at Drejka, or merely continued to stand over him in a threatening manner, we might easily conclude that it was a reasonable fear. But, as McGlockton had backed off and was not visibly armed, the reasonableness of that fear become suspect.
“But, as McGlockton had backed off and was not visibly armed, the reasonableness of that fear become suspect.”
It is the job investigators to suspect, but as the sheriff said, that after consideration, that the shooting fell within the bookends of the SYG law, though right at the edge.
I happen to agree with him.
Except that as Andrew pointed out, SYG had nothing to do with this. It is important to use the term correctly. What the Sheriff should have said was it fell within the bound of lawful self defense. SYG only affect the Duty to Retreat Pillar of Self Defense.
Re: Flatfoot, agree with most of what you said, except concerning Mr. Branco. His niche is self-defense law so of course he’s here to analyze it, and I appreciate his learned analysis whether I would be able to adhere to it in a threatening situation or not.
I disagree with everyone who says the old man should have known better. First of all, anyone who shoves a feeble old man like that (at least that what he appears to be) is by nature a very violent person. The old guy is as aware of that as you and I are. Also, he looks up and sees the friend coming at him as well. The friends intentions don’t matter, only that the old man saw that.
I see two people making equally stupid decisions, but one was aggressive and one was defensive.
To be clear, I’m not defending the shooter’s decision to shoot.
I don’t see this on Huffpo or Drudge, which tells me that either that are going to splash it all at once, or they’ve already decided this isn’t the high ground they want to fight on. The boyfriend violently pushed a feeble old man who was just verbally chastising his girlfriend for selfishly parking in a handicapped space. I repeat…he violently pushed a feeble old man knowing full well it could cause serious bodily harm – for no reason.
According to news reports, Drejka was not a “feeble old man” but was, in fact 47 years old. There is no indication that Drejka is infirm or handicapped.
Also, he was arguing with a woman, McGlockton’s girlfriend, and a customer had entered the store and said that there was an argument and the clerk should call somebody, which the Sheriff took to mean the police.
So, this is not a simple case of Drejka walking down the street, minding his own business, or having a quiet conversation with a woman in public.
He may be 47, but he clearly looks feeble, like an old man.
“and a customer had entered the store and said that there was an argument and the clerk should call somebody, which the Sheriff took to mean the police”
Can you confirm that was BEFORE burly man knocked feeble man down? And even if true, so what? If the feeble guy is an a$$hole, how does it change the following sequence of events?
Two people – stupid decisions. One aggressive, one defensive. Horrific outcome. Not defending the shooters decision to shoot, just saying I don’t think it is as simple as, “He should have known better.”
I would not convict.
“There is no indication that Drejka is infirm or handicapped.”
Someone upthread claimed he had a handicap sticker on his car, assuming that’s why he was concerned with others hijacking the parking spot to begin with.
Nobody upthread made such a claim. You imagined it. and if someone had claimed it, it would have been without any foundation in the cited news reports, so you should have challenged it, not taken it as the truth.
And to the argument that leaving is tantamount to reducing a threat in a black male attack, I give you this murder for no reason.
Had the store owner shot him, the store owner would be alive.
Not that lawyers or activists or politicians can count.
That was the Black dude’s last round of fun playing “Knockout”.
This is a very disturbing video. I can’t see how this was a justified shooting, but as others noted, we don’t know what said or what the guy behind the victim was saying (his body language does seem to suggest he’s gearing up to join the fray until he sees the gun and runs between the two vehicles).
The shooter had been shoved to the ground by one guy who appears clearly bigger and much younger, there was another guy behind this bigger younger guy coming toward him . . ., but it is also clear from the video that the victim was backing away. He took several steps back. He didn’t have his hands up as if to fend off the bullet, so it’s hard to say what happened without audio.
The shooter, though, was reportedly a trouble-maker at this convenience store, so I’m not inclined to be too sympathetic with someone who routinely “polices” the handicapped parking spot at a local store. https://youtu.be/-EwnQW3tUpc He was looking or a fight, and he was picking on the woman in the car, not her husband, who was in the store at the time.
I don’t know if his history of picking fights over that handicapped parking spot would be admissible, but for me, that’s a huge problem. He wasn’t just having a bad day and barking at a woman over parking in a handicapped spot without a permit; this was his usual, self-appointed “beat.” And he was carrying, as he is entitled to do since he is apparently licensed, but who routinely picks fights but someone intending the situation to escalate at some point? I wouldn’t want to be the attorney defending him in a trial.
That said, two seconds isn’t very long to assess the situation and to take in all that is occurring (being shoved to the ground, a guy looming over him, another guy approaching, whatever was said by all parties, legal ramifications, etc.) and make a decision.
The act of drawing his weapon caused one man to flee and the other to back away, making no attempt to make any move suggesting he would draw a weapon of his own (he didn’t have one on his person at the time he was shot). Based on what we know now, I don’t see this as justified use of deadly force.
He either shouldn’t have assaulted his victim orhe should have run like his buddy. Instead, he was well within attack range of a man he’d already blindsided. You’re going to trust a guy that has already assaulted you and doesn’t run instead looms waiting to attack to not attack?
He’s already proven violent and he’s obviously not afraid of your gun.
I hear you, forksdad. The shooter wasn’t blindsided, though. The victim came at him head on and didn’t seem to be violent until something was said (either by the girlfriend or shooter) that prompted him to shove the guy to the ground. He could have punched his lights out, jumped on him while he was down, and beat him into a bloody mess if he wanted to; the shooter wouldn’t have had time to draw his gun in the face of such an attack. And if he did somehow manage it during such an assault, the shooting would be far less murky.
I think it’s a difficult situation to judge, but I’m not sure that I agree the victim was within (unarmed) attack range of the shooter. I’m not a great gauger of distance, but he appears to be at least five feet from the shooter when he’s shot. When I hear “attack range,” I think within arm’s length, particularly when only one of the parties has a gun drawn.
The victim was afraid, he backed up. We don’t know what he was saying, though, so that is something that would need to be known for a fuller picture. For example, if he was saying, “Look, no big deal, it’s cool, it’s cool” that’s one thing, but if he was backing away saying something like “I’m going to blow your head off so you better shoot me first,” that’s another. In the former instance, his backing away is a clear sign of retreat and an attempt to defuse the situation. In the latter instance, his backing away could be understood by the shooter as an attempt to get to his car and retrieve a weapon.
My personal sense based on what we know is that the former is most likely.
In the press conference, the sheriff says no words were spoken, according to witnesses. I find that hard to believe, but he mentioned it several times.
That is odd, hrhdhd. How can a confrontation like that take place without any words being exchanged? I don’t just find it hard to believe, I find it impossible to believe (unless the victim was a deaf mute, but even then, the shooter, the girlfriend, and the guy behind the vic . . . someone must have said something, even “oh SH*T!” when the weapon was drawn).
This reminds me to add “there is no reason to ever stop at a convenience store for anything” to my list of sage advice and rules to live by. And if you combine convenience store with 2AM you end up like Devyn Holmes.
It is true he did not look like he respected the gun or the guy behind it.
Dumb. Even Barney Fife had one bullet.
“The shooter, though, was reportedly a trouble-maker at this convenience store, so I’m not inclined to be too sympathetic with someone who routinely “polices” the handicapped parking spot at a local store.”
uzzy, respectfully, I disagree he was a trouble-maker. Perhaps because as a male I am constantly expected by society to be a policing influence. Or maybe due to a Marine Corps culture that teaches “if you see someone doing something wrong and you don’t stop them, you are complicit”.
Hypothetical. Latino gang moves into area. I see one smack a business woman on the butt in 7-11 parking lot. I go over to have words with him, his buddy jumps me and I an beat to death.
Next month, gang sexually assaults businesswoman in 7-11 parking lot. No one intervenes. They don’t even look up. They’ve gotten the message. And now a pack of thugs destroys the neighborhood.
It’s akin to the broken window policy. Shrug of the illegal use of handicap parking and next it’s blocking the fire lane, then shoplifting, then robbery, and devolves and spreads from there.
Maybe you’re right. But consider that women tend to check their surroundings to ensure their own safety, while men tend to check their surroundings to identify and sheep dog predators – we are conditioned to police each other.
Maybe that’s an outdated sexist view, but this guy was born in 1971.
Where and who says the guy was a troublemaker at the store? Do you have a link?
Not that it matters. If he is telling someone not to park illegally in a handicapped spot, that is not justification for beating him.
Fen, if you go accosting people for using handicapped spots or for cutting you off in traffic or for smoking in a no-smoking area, more power to you. If you get into an altercation for your trouble and it results in a fatality, that’s all you.
While I personally don’t feel compelled to police the public in most cases, I certainly have a time or two. 😛 One time that stands out in my memory was about ten years ago when I was at the check-out line in a Walgreens. The woman ahead of me left her hand-basket on the floor at my feet and, after paying for her stuff, headed for the door. I called her back and told her to pick it up and put it where it belonged. She did. She wasn’t happy about it, but she did. That said, had she pulled a gun on me, I so would have told her to put her darned basket anywhere she wanted.
But that’s the thing, this Walgreens thing happened so long ago. Would I now confront anyone in that manner today? No, I don’t think I would. People are on a short fuse these days.
Fuzzy Slippers, read your thoughtful posts and agree with much of what you wrote, though my opinion would not change if they were arguing over who makes the best coffee. and a customer had entered the store and said that there was an argument and the clerk should call somebody, which the Sheriff took to mean the police
I see two people making very stupid decisions. One overly aggressive, one overly defensive. A horrific outcome.
Some things can’t be neatly solved in a court of law.
oops..somehow entered previous cut and paste. Should have reread before hitting submit. Oh well.
Fen, if you go accosting people for using handicapped spots or for cutting you off in traffic or for smoking in a no-smoking area, more power to you. If you get into an altercation for your trouble and it results in a fatality, that’s all you.”
Accosting? That implies a physical attack that I did not support in my statement.
If I tell someone to put away their cell phone so the rest of us can enjoy the movie, and he responds with lethal force, it’s somehow *my* fault if he kills someone or someone kills him in self defense?
In many ways, debates over issues like this one remind me of gun control debates: Far too many people develop their opinions coming from a place of ignorance.
“I think it’s a difficult situation to judge, but I’m not sure that I agree the victim was within (unarmed) attack range of the shooter. I’m not a great gauger of distance, but he appears to be at least five feet from the shooter when he’s shot. When I hear ‘attack range,’ I think within arm’s length, particularly when only one of the parties has a gun drawn.”
“I agree that the victim made at least one fatal mistake, but I still don’t think this shooting was warranted (they weren’t more than five feet apart, so a shot to the thigh would have sent the message, I think).”
First, what is referred to here as, “attack range” is not hard to research; there’s boatloads of information on le sites, for example. Although the Tueller or “21 foot” rule is debatable, that five feet is well within attack range is pretty darn clear.
Second, if one decides to shoot, one aims for center mass. Period. There is no “shoot to wound.” Again, look to le sites if interested in seeing the stats on the accuracy of firing at close range.
As for what should happen, I think guyjones upthread said it best:
“But, at the end of the day, the underpinning of the lawful use of self-defense is a “reasonableness” standard, viewed from the standpoint of an objective person standing in the shoes of the victim. Viewing the facts of the situation, I think that it is near-impossible to contend that the victim’s (the shooter) conduct here did not meet a standard of a reasonable use of lethal force justified by a fear of suffering additional, and, imminent, serious bodily harm.”
I disagree, Anonamom, that this shooter was justified in the use of deadly force. Shooting to kill someone who has shoved you to the ground but made no other move to continue an assault is simply a bridge too far for me.
While you are disturbed by my ignorance, I find it disturbing to read so many people suggesting both in this thread and in the update post thread that illegally parking in a handicapped parking spot is somehow a justification for the use of deadly force. This line of reasoning (they committed a crime by parking illegally, and so took their lives into their own hands) plays right into the left’s hands. We do not go around shooting people for parking violations; we do not go around shooting people who shoved us and caused us to fall to the ground. Arguing that either is acceptable makes no sense to me. I’m with Mac on this one.
Thank you for your reply.
“While you are disturbed by my ignorance, I find it disturbing to read so many people suggesting both in this thread and in the update post thread that illegally parking in a handicapped parking spot is somehow a justification for the use of deadly force.”
Again, your firm conviction that this is a bad shoot is based not on the facts related to the legal issues but upon your dislike of the circumstances. But that’s not how legal analysis works. (It is, however, how most civilians view and form opinions on these cases, which makes these booger bears to try. I can certainly understand not filing this criminally and allowing the civil court to handle it.) Go back and re-read the posts above; you will find that the rational ones are NOT saying, “illegally parking in a handicapped parking spot is…a justification for the use of deadly force”; there’s quite a bit more to it.
Unfortunately, when a person has a strong emotional reaction to a situation, those emotions tend to color one’s thoughts.
Interestingly, those strong emotions will also influence how one sees the “facts.” Please note how you, an intelligent, educated woman, describe the distance between the shooter and the deceased. When arguing that victim was not in danger, you say, “he appears to be at least five feet from the shooter when he’s shot.” However, when you suggest that the victim should have aimed for an extremity, you say, “they weren’t more than five feet apart.”
Unfortunately, juries often include people who view cases this same way, and who cheerfully disregard the court’s instructions not to do so.
This is a sad situation, but controversial cases almost always are; that’s what makes them controversial. And also makes them notoriously hard to prove.
First impressions after viewing the video and reading previous comments.
1. Deceased park in handicapped spot willingly as driver or passenger. Poor decision one.
2. Shooter confronts girlfriend at the car.
3. Empty parking spaces appear available.
4. Girlfriend does not acknowledge error of illegally parking in designated handicapped spot and move car to available empty space. Poor decision two.
5. Deceased exit store, moves rapidly toward shooter and initiated blind side attack. Shooter knocked to ground. Poor decision three and second most important action.
6. Shooter draws weapon taking aim at deceased.
7. Deceased briefly remains in a menacing posture. Poor decision four.
8. Despite a weapon aimed at him the Deceased does not place hands up palms out and move slowly backward; which is the universally recognized action that demonstrates intent to stand down. Poor decision five and IMHO, the most important decision of the sequence.
9. Shooter fires.
Those are the facts that the video displays. All else is conjecture.
To those who believe one shouldn’t confront others who engage in minor incidents of lawlessness; littering, failure to pick up dog poop or illegally parking in a designated handicapped space, your opinion is noted. I and many others are likewise entitled to our opinion.
Finally, as a 100% disabled combat veteran I can tell you that it is annoying in the extreme when folks illegally take a designated handicapped space. I will continue to politely ask offenders to move and or tell store management or call the police myself. Mostly folks sheepishly just move the car, sometimes they decide to teach me new combinations of profanity.
My two cents for what it is worth.
Great points, CC. I don’t like to see people without a handicap sticker / hanger / etc. park in handicap spaces, either. Heck, when I drove my mom’s car for her, she’d often urge me to use the handicap spot because she had the requisite rear-view mirror hanger for when she was able to drive, but I told her that I could never do that because there are people who actually need those spaces (i.e. not me). I’d drop her off out front and then go park in whatever space I could find (that wasn’t for handicapped people). Since I was the one driving and was capable of walking, I could not justify using it even though I had it right there in the car and no one but me and my mom would know.
That said, I do not stake out the local convenience store to berate people for using the handicap spots without the required designation, nor would I dream of doing such a thing even though I feel very strongly that no one should use those except those who actually need them. What would be the point? Someone who doesn’t care that they are potentially depriving a handicapped person of a parking space simply won’t care that I think they are selfish creeps and heartless scofflaw losers.
You do make a good point that is potentially relevant to this case. The woman was still in the car, in the driver’s seat, so if someone had come along who needed that spot, she could have “sheepishly” moved the car. The shooter doesn’t appear to be asking the woman to move her car or explaining that he needs that spot because he is handicapped. Maybe he did need it, though, who knows?
None of this is relevant.
Right you are, mochajava. I was simply responding to CC’s post with my thoughts on his thoughtful comment. I didn’t realize that I had to meet a relevancy bar to post comments at LI. How does that work? For example, does your noting the irrelevancy of my not-strictly-relevant comment count as irrelevant since it has less to do with the OP than my own comment? 😛
If someone wants to police the handicapped parking spots, that’s fine, but in Georgia, we frequently have way more than we need and they sit empty. Perhaps it’s the demographics compared to Florida where they have more oldsters.
Regardless, the aggressor made fatal mistakes.
Most of our handicapped spots in my area (NW Florida) stay empty all the time, too, even during “snowbird” season.
I agree that the victim made at least one fatal mistake, but I still don’t think this shooting was warranted (they weren’t more than five feet apart, so a shot to the thigh would have sent the message, I think). What the law/courts say is a whole other thing. 🙂
Nothing personal, but when you’re in the middle of a heated situation, on the ground, that you even get a shot off, much less hit a THIGH, is impressive. You aim for the chest because it’s a WIDE target. Miss that thigh and you’re no better off. Besides, being hit in the thigh doesn’t mean the aggressor won’t come after you, he’ll just limp.
“so a shot to the thigh would have sent the message,”
That’s not advisable. Talk to anyone who trains civilians about how to use firearms in self-defense. They will tell you the “disabling trick shot” is a high risk (to bystanders as well) high miss probability, no matter how tight you group your shots on the target at the pistol range (because of adreniline and stress).
Aim center mass. Aim center mass. Aim center mass.
Personally, in a similar situation and that close, if I had to shoot I would aim for the stomach. It’s very painful (thus, incapacitating) but the chances for survival are very high. Stops the threat without the high fatality rate of a chest shot.
Thanks for calling my post thoughtful. We seem to agree, as most do, that only authorized folks are allowed to park in handicapped spot. We appear to disagree on what to do if we observe this or other like minor crime. You seem to be stating that you do not choose to confront offenders because, having offended they will not respond positively or reasonably to someone politely confronting them and pointing out the offense. That has not been my experience, most folks can still be shamed into correcting their behavior if approached with the right attitude and tone of voice.
Even though we disagree on what course to take I see your point of view that it is not worth the effort. Please take note that I deliberately used the word confront, that choice no matter how polite could go sideways and lead to a bad end. No one should ‘stake out’ a particular handicapped spot as the self appointed constable of that handicapped space. Such is lunacy.
That said the Police have bigger fish to fry, the store owners or store management are, like the man in the video, disinterested in asking unauthorized folks to move from the handicapped space. So what to do? Ignore the minor lawlessness or politely intervene?
Based on the outcome of this video I can certainly see a valid case to ignore and walk away. My personal viewpoint remains that a polite and tactfully phrased comment will usually work. If not then I simply disengage, refusing to escalate and walk safely away to contact the police.
Pointing out minor lawlessness to offenders may not save civilization but if everyone ignores it, including the already overwhelmed police, then we have collectively agreed to a new and lower standard of behavior.
Another two cents worth.
Hey CC, you’re right, I wouldn’t confront them, but I’m a girl. We’re not all that confrontational to begin with, so yeah, getting in a fight over a parking spot when there is no handiapped person there who legit needs the spot . . . that’s a man thing. It just wouldn’t even occur to me to confront someone about it unless I saw that there was someone waiting for the spot. In this case, I would ask the driver to move her car so the person who can rightfully use that space can get in it. If someone were there who needed the spot, and I asked her to move the car for him/her, my guess is that she’d move it. Why else did she stay in the car but to move it if need be?
Fuzzy, might she have stayed in the car with the kids?
The shooter might have been a loose cannon, he had a road rage incident previously and he also threatened another customer at the same store:
From Tampa Bay Times https://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/No-arrest-in-fatal-shooting-during-argument-over-handicap-parking-space_170174041
“At the convenience store Friday, customers filed in and out, buying cigarettes, lottery tickets and sodas, many of them familiar with details of the shooting. Mustafa Hashen, a clerk and witness, said both men were regulars.
It wasn’t the first time he saw Drejka in a fight with another customer. A couple of months back, Rick Kelly stopped by the store, parking his tanker truck in the same handicap spot.
The details to Thursday’s incident are similar: Drejka walking around the truck checking for decals, then confronting Kelly, 31, about why he parked there. The fight escalated, and Drejka threatened to shoot him, Kelly said.
“It’s a repeat. It happened to me the first time. The second time it’s happening, someone’s life got taken,” Kelly said. “He provoked that.”
“Jacobs parked in the handicap spot, she said, because the parking lot was busy and they were just stopping for a minute.”
Well, there is lie #1.
“I minded my own business … I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Before this is over she might talk herself into a felony.
It’s a shame you can’t bill this by the hour!! 🙂
“Fen, if you go accosting people for using handicapped spots or for cutting you off in traffic or for smoking in a no-smoking area, more power to you. If you get into an altercation for your trouble and it results in a fatality, that’s all you.”
Accosting? That implies a physical attack that I did not support in my statement.
If I ask tell someone to put away their phone so the rest of us can enjoy the movie, and he responds with lethal force, it’s somehow *my* fault if he kills someone or someone kills him in self defense?
I agree with the retired cop’s comment, above — the attacker is an utterly unsympathetic figure, here, in a manner very similar to that of St. Trayvon. Let’s examine his behavior:
1) The man exits a store and sees a total stranger engaged in a strictly verbal (key element) argument with his girlfriend.
2) The man decides — without any hint of justification, legal or otherwise — to escalate the situation, by violently attacking this complete stranger, by blindsiding him, sending him to the pavement in likely pain and shock.
3) The attacker is shot by his victim.
This really is a great example of “hindsight is 20/20.” Of course we can all engage in post-hoc analysis and debate, ad infinitum. It’s educational and intriguing, from jurisprudential and ethical standpoints. But, at the end of the day, the underpinning of the lawful use of self-defense is a “reasonableness” standard, viewed from the standpoint of an objective person standing in the shoes of the victim. Viewing the facts of the situation, I think that it is near-impossible to contend that the victim’s (the shooter) conduct here did not meet a standard of a reasonable use of lethal force justified by a fear of suffering additional, and, imminent, serious bodily harm.
I think brandishing & aiming the gun was completely justified. Firing, not so much, at least not until the attacker approached again, which he didn’t before being shot.
However, its easy to make that call sitting safely at home watching it on video. It might be a whole different story if that was me on the pavement. If someone attacked me, unprovoked (there’s no indication the shooter knew the man attacking was with the woman in the car), and I saw a second man walking up behind my attacker, and the woman I saw just arguing with getting out of her car, all three in close proximity and closing in, AND I was unable to get up because of a disability or handicap and possibly disoriented by the fall, I might be in fear enough to fire off a round.
Plus, we don’t know if anything was said after the gun was pulled out and before the shot was fired. The shooter could have been telling the attacker to get away, but the attacker was very slow and hesitant. From the ground, and under the circumstances I described above, those little hesitant steps might not have even been noticeable to the shooter.
People under extremely stressful situations, even trained professionals like police, get tunnel vision and its hard to distinguish threat levels. While the attacker’s behavior may not have seemed overly threatening to us on video, it might have been very threatening to someone knocked to the ground.
Does anyone know what injuries the shooter suffered from being knocked down? If he hit his head he could have been close to being knocked out. This would likely have resulted in his murder and that would have justified the shooting.
Given that he’s handicapped and just been shoved to the ground he may have lost his balance and inadvertently squeezed the trigger as he tried to regain it.
It would be a better scenario if he’d shot sooner but the movement backwards also may have startled the shooter into firing.
As an aside the whole reserved parking spaces for the handicap is a pain in the ass and a constant irritant for the public.
Sure the handicap might deserve some special treatment but what we essentially have is the reservation of parking spaces that may hardly ever be used that amounts to thousands of spaces because of the mandated levels per store.
Also how many of us have watched someone get out of a handicap marked vehicle who doesn’t appear to be handicapped in any way at all? This happens because ppl get the placard for a relative and then use it even when the relative is not aboard at the time. Which by the way is a violation of the law but who’s going to enforce that.
I think maybe fewer slots would be a better answer or some other way or placement for the slots would avoid the irritation and anger at some being given special treatment even when they aren’t there.
Where did you get the idea that the shooter is handicapped?
Good question. Here and elsewhere, I’ver read comments saying that he was “handicapped” and “elderly”. Elderly at 47 is a new one on me!
He may have been disabled, and he may have been injured by the shove to pavement. We just don’t know yet.
He did look stoop-shouldered, and seemed to stand bent and flat-footed, so I doubt he was as strong and fit as the man who slammed him to the pavement, but calling him “handicapped” and “elderly” is a stretch, given what we know so far.
First off, I accidentally “down-thumbed” your comment as I was trying to hit “reply”- sorry! Second, I was going to say that I have no idea why people are claiming the middle-aged shooter was “elderly” &/or “handicapped” either. I think it’s just a narrative some people are trying to float. In an article about one of the people he’d threatened in the past for parking there:
So he’s taking (repeated) offense on behalf of his mom, who isn’t even there. Sounds a bit unstable.
None of this is relevant.
It’s only relevant to the comments, not the case, in that so many readers here are trying to justify the shooting based on the fact that the shooter was a frail elderly handicapped old man and thus had more cause than most to fear for his life. But he’s a very well-nourished looking 48 year old man whose weirdly persistent obsession with parking spaces is based on the fact that his mother (who was not even there and was in no way inconvenienced by this young woman) is handicapped.
He’s not elderly. He’s not frail. He’s not handicapped. To cling to this narrative is CNN-level delusion. Fake. News.
The shooter’s purported obsession with handicapped parking spots is utterly irrelevant to this use-of-force event, yet you keep talking about it.
Is there a reason you are apparently unable to recognize this? I don’t want to inadvertently challenge someone who has some cognitive disability. Are you perhaps just drunk?
“I find it disturbing to read so many people suggesting both in this thread and in the update post thread that illegally parking in a handicapped parking spot is somehow a justification for the use of deadly force.”
Well, I have good news for you – no one in either of these threads believes that stealing a handicap parking spot justifies the use of deadly force.
It was the violent attack coupled with the attacker’s refusal to retreat (he stopped) that have us pondering whether deadly force was justified “to prevent grievous bodily harm”.
If the attacker hadn’t stopped backing away, or had at least put his hands up in the universal sign for “I surrender, don’t shoot” I think he would be alive and making bail today.
And yay Instalaunch! If someone could please gin up the legal definition of “retreat” I would be grateful. I can’t find it, but I suspect it involves more than “step back a few paces and hover”.
Take a look at Mr. McGlockton’s rap sheet, he was no Boy Scout. 23 records, 5 felonies including Resisting an Officer with Violence and Aggravated Domestic Battery. Yeah, Mr. McGlockton was definitely just looking to further “discuss” the situation with Mr. Drejka…
McGlockton’s criminal record would almost certainly be inadmissible in a trial of Drejka for this shooting, unless Drejka could document that he possessed personal knowledge of that criminal record at the time of these events.
Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC
David French in NRO:
“An armed citizen should not be mall-copping his way through life, initiating confrontations. And that’s especially true if you’re a grown man interacting with a young woman.”
I’m wondering whether this wannabe parking enforcer would have even initiated this conflict in the first place had he not been armed.
If I wouldn’t go out in the street and confront someone about their loud music unarmed, I certainly wouldn’t grab my gun and go do it armed. Why? Because the mere fact that I thought I might end up needing to shoot someone over a confrontation over loud music in the street would tell me that my brain is acknowledging that I’m about to put myself in a dangerous situation over something fairly petty, and it’s not worth putting myself in a dangerous situation over something fairly petty. Not every battle needs to be fought – and certainly not every battle is worth killing or being killed over.
Although Drejka had the RIGHT to confront the woman about parking in the handicap spot, it’s not a smart thing to do. I’d have either called the cops privately, or just gone about my business. People who park in handicap spots without a tag aren’t civilized, so there’s no point in trying to persuade them of the error of their ways.
Just the other day I was at the convenience store and there was a car with loud, obnoxious “thump thump” music blaring. I guess I could have gone all “hey you kids turn down that noise!” on them, but the kind of kids who do stuff like that are not the kind of kids who are going to go “oh, gosh! we’re so sorry, we didn’t realize we were disturbing anyone” and then turn it down. So what, really, would be the point? So I went in, got my stuff, got back in my car, came home, and that’s why you’re not hearing about me on the 5 o’clock news.
I also found Archer52’s assertion in comments above a bit problematic, especially given his appeal to authority as a (retired) Florida law enforcement officer.
“I had to shoot him, Sheriff… he was black, and you know what THEY’RE like!” just strikes me as a really poor defense strategy for a middle-aged guy who’s angrily confronting a young woman over her choice of parking spaces and then gets decked by her husband.
And again I’m left to wonder if the middle-aged self-styled parking enforcer would even have initiated that confrontation had he not been armed. If he wouldn’t have, he probably shouldn’t have. That’s not a legal judgement, but just from a common sense standpoint. If common sense is even a thing anymore.