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“Handicap Spot” Trial Triggers #FakeNews Tsunami

“Handicap Spot” Trial Triggers #FakeNews Tsunami

CNN report about the case gets almost everything wrong.

screen cap okay to use waj

The Florida “handicap parking spot shooting” trial of Michael Drejka starts this week, and accordingly news coverage of the case—by which, of course, I mean “media lying” about the case—can be expected to spike.

An excellent example of such media lying is found in CNN. In today’s post we step through that “news” report and fisk out the many lies within.

I’ve covered this case of the July 19, 2018 shooting and killing of Markeis McGlockton by Michael Drejka, after McGlockton’s violent attack upon Drejka, in some detail in prior posts, both at Legal Insurrection and at my Law of Self Defense blog:

At Legal Insurrection:

Law of Self Defense VIDEO: Just because it’s lawful to present the gun doesn’t mean it’s lawful to press the trigger (7/20/18)

CNN Mangles “Stand-Your-Ground” Law Yet Again (7/29/18)

Manslaughter Charges Filed in Florida Handicap Parking Spot Shooting (8/13/2018)

Law of Self Defense: Detective in “Handicap Parking Spot Shooting” Case Arrested (1/13/19)

At Law of Self Defense:

Examining the Michael Drejka (Handicap Spot) Interrogation (10/24/18)

New Light on Why Michael Drejka Wasn’t Initially Arrested (12/3/18)

The Risks of Being Judged By Strangers (1/10/19)

Handicap Spot Shooter Declines Immunity Hearing (6/10/19)

For those of you who have never seen the surveillance video of this event, here it is for your viewing pleasure:

The CNN news article linked above starts off lying right in the headline, as one might expect. Of course, the journalist who wrote the story is not the person who writes the headline, but as we’ll see the journalist, one Eric Levenson, incorporates plenty of lies in the story himself.

As always, it’s worth keeping in mind that most consumers of news read only the headline and perhaps the first paragraph, so how those are framed is how the story is going to be most widely perceived. Only a small minority of readers finish the whole news report, and only a fraction of those people possess anything like real critical thinking ability.

So how does the headline frame the story?

‘Stand Your Ground’ manslaughter trial begins today in killing over handicap parking spot

First, it’s worth noting that the headline gratuitously begins with the phrase “Stand Your Ground” at the start of the headline. This is purely for purposes of click-bait, as this case has nothing whatever to do with Stand-Your-Ground as a law or legal doctrine, as we’ll discuss a bit later.

Second, what the headline describes is simply not at all what happened—there is no evidence whatever that Drejka killed McGlockton “over a handicap parking spot.” There was a verbal dispute over a handicap parking spot, but that verbal dispute was between Drejka and McGlockton’s girlfriend, not between Drejka and McGlockton. To all appearances, Drejka was never even aware of McGlockton until McGlockton violent shoved Drejka to the ground.

Further, the only person who escalated that verbal dispute to the level of physical violence was McGlockton, not Drejka, when McGlockton blindsided Drejka and violently shoved Drejka to the ground.

The entire body of evidence is that Drejka killed McGlockton only after McGlockton violently shoved Drejka to the ground and Drejka perceived that McGlockton intended to continue attacking him.

Reasonable people can disagree as to whether Drejka’s perception of a likely ongoing attack was a reasonable one—and if unreasonable Drejka’s conduct was likely unlawful and should be punished accordingly—but one can not factually dispute that it was McGlockton’s violent attack that was Drejka’s motivation for shooting McGlockton, not the parking space.

The news story continues:

The Florida man who fatally shot an unarmed black man last summer outside a grocery store, sparking a nationwide debate on the state’s “stand your ground” law, is set to stand trial on Monday for manslaughter.

Here we have the gratuitous “shot an unarmed black man” trope, intended to suggest both that it can never be lawful to shoot someone who is unarmed as well as to imply that Drejka’s motivations in doing so must be racist.

In fact, thousands of bare-handed murders are committed every year in the United States, and there is nothing about self-defense law that requires that the person attempting to kill or maim you must possess an artificial weapon before you are privileged to use deadly defensive force to protect yourself.

The legal condition is that you were facing an imminent threat of deadly force—meaning force that could kill or cause serious bodily injury—irrespective of whether that force was in the form of a gun or knife or bat or any other kind of weapon on the one hand, or the attacker’s bare hands on the other.

In terms of the insinuation of “racism,” when the news media routinely and falsely characterizes tens of millions of normal American citizens as “white supremacists,” it’s safe to say that there no longer exists substantive racism in the United States—if there was any genuine racism of any real import (e.g., absent a handful of crazy people utterly lacking in social standing or authority), the media would simply point to the real thing, rather than have to continually fabricate it.

As Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) so aptly puts it, the demand for racism in today’s America vastly exceeds the supply.

Despite this reality, of course, we know that the national news media intends to attempt to impose a widespread false narrative of “America is racist” on the nation, as revealed by the recent leak of an internal meeting at the New York Times as they explicitly set forth this strategy:

Leaked Audio: NY Times shifts targeting of Trump from Russia collusion to racism (8/16/19)

(Note that although I’m now over 1,200 words into this blog post, we’re still only into the first paragraph of this lie-filled CNN news story. I guess I’d better step things up.)

The next several paragraphs of the CNN story are almost straight news of the old-school variety:

The case dates to last July when Michael Drejka, then 47, got into an argument with Britany Jacobs, then 24, who was parked in a handicapped-accessible spot outside a grocery store, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.

McGlockton, Jacobs’ 28-year-old boyfriend, and their 5-year-old son Markeis Jr. were inside the Clearwater, Florida, store at the time. McGlockton then went outside, walked over to Drejka and forcibly pushed him, causing him to fall to the ground.

While sitting on the ground, Drejka pulled out his gun and shot McGlockton, who had started to turn away, surveillance video shows. The entire incident lasted just a few seconds.

Even in this almost-straight news reporting, of course, bias is evident, and that bias naturally runs against Drejka.

For example, the story notes that McGlockton’s girlfriend was parked in a handicap spot, but doesn’t note she was doing so unlawfully.

The story also uses a passive voice to describe the consequences of McGlockton’s attack on Drejka: “McGlockton then went outside, walked over to Drejka and forcibly pushed him, causing him to fall to the ground.”

I would suggest that any fair-minded person who watched the video would characterize McGlockton’s conduct as violently shoving Drejka to the ground. As phrased in this news story it’s as if McGlockton gave Drejka a shove that no one would expect to cause Drejka to end up on the ground, but Drejka somehow fell, as if he’d tripped over a curb. The actual events were not so passive.

There’s a difference between someone passively falling to the ground on the one hand and someone being violent shoved to the ground on the other, and this news report chose its description of events in a manner less favorable to Drejka’s self-defense claim.

The third paragraph contains a presumption of fact which is at the very heart of Drejka’s justification claim:

“Drejka pulled out his gun and shot McGlockton, who had started to turn away, surveillance video shows.”

Was McGlockton turning away? He certainly didn’t continue distancing himself from Drejka, but rather merely moved a small distance away and then stopped. Was he preparing to re-initiate his attack upon Drejka? A pretty good sign that someone is going to attack you a second time is that they just attacked you a first time. Might Drejka’s reasonable perception of McGlockton’s movements, from Drejka’s position on the ground after being blindsided by McGlockton’s violent shove that put him there, been substantially different than the video taken from the completely different angle and height of the surveillance camera?

These are precisely the questions of fact that a jury will resolve in determining whether Drejka’s use of deadly defensive force was lawful or a crime. If it were already determined that McGlockton was no longer a threat, in an absolute sense, then Drejka by definition had no justification for shooting him. But that determination is to be made by the jury, not by CNN.

Then the story makes a reference to the ludicrous press conference given immediately after this shooting by Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. I won’t rehash that here, as I cover it in a prior post in some detail:

New Light on Why Michael Drejka Wasn’t Initially Arrested (12/3/18)

I’ll merely note here that there’s nothing about Gualtieri’s decision-making or press conference that’s relevant to this trial of Drejka, a point on which this trial judge has already ruled as all evidence of that press conference has been found inadmissible in this case.

Gualtieri does, however, share some of Drejka’s post-arrest explanation for why he believed it was necessary for him to use deadly defensive force against McGlockton:

“He felt, after being slammed to the ground, that the next thing was that he was going to be further attacked by McGlockton,” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said at the time.

Then:

A month later, though, the State Attorney charged Drejka with manslaughter. He pleaded not guilty and was released from jail on $100,000 bail last September.

As I’ve noted here and elsewhere, this is not a clear cut case of either lawful self-defense or an unlawful killing. Reasonable people can look at the same evidence and come to differing conclusions on guilt or innocence. It’s thus perfectly reasonable for some people to believe Drejka was justified in firing that shot. It is also perfectly reasonable for the State Attorney to believe there exists enough evidence inconsistent with self-defense to bring the matter to trial and have a jury decide the matter. This is the system working, folks.

More on Drejka’s subjective explanation for his use of deadly-defensive force:

The trial is likely to hinge on Drejka’s expected self-defense argument. In a jailhouse interview with WTSP last September, Drejka said he was “very scared” during the incident with McGlockton.

“I’ve never been confronted like that, never been assaulted like that, if you will, ever,” Drejka said

The first paragraph starts with a bit of silliness. To say “the trial is likely to hinge on self-defense” is simply poor writing. The trial is a self-defense trial—that’s literally the sole issue in the case. It’s not likely to hinge on self-defense, it will hinge on self-defense.

We also have further statements by Drejka of his subjective fear of harm from McGlockton. These kinds of statements are not, of course, by themselves sufficient to justify Drejka’s use of deadly force, but they do check one of the required boxes—that Drejka had a genuine, good faith belief that he was still in danger of violent assault by McGlockton when he fired that shot in purported self-defense.

At this point, the CNN piece takes a swan dive into the deep end of the lies and misinformation of the news pool.

McGlockton’s death brought renewed scrutiny to Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which says that a person has no duty to retreat and has the right to use deadly force if he “reasonably believes” that doing so will prevent imminent death or great bodily harm.

Almost everything about this paragraph is simply wrong.

The shooting of McGlockton is not a “stand-your-ground” case, because stand-your-ground only applies if the accused who used force had an absolutely safe avenue of retreat at the time they used that force.

Here Drejka fired while still on the ground, having been violently shoved there by McGlockton, and with McGlockton hovering only a few feet away, close enough to attack again. Under these circumstances Drejka did not have an absolutely safe avenue of retreat, and thus would not have been required to attempt retreat in any state, whether that state was a “stand-your-ground” or “duty-to-retreat” jurisdiction.

So, bottom line, this is simply not a “stand-your-ground” case at all, as “stand-your-ground” is irrelevant under the facts of this case.

Further, to say that “Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law … says that a person … has the right to use deadly force if he ‘reasonably believes’ that doing so will prevent imminent death or great bodily harm” is simply to state the normal self-defense law in every one of the 50 states.

That’s not “stand-your-ground” law, that’s simply what the justification of self-defense is—defending yourself against a reasonably perceived imminent threat, and being privileged to use deadly defensive force if that imminent threat is deadly in nature. This is the standard applied not just in Florida, but also in every other state, including every blue state. It’s simply self-defense.

Then we get more lies, with a helpful assist from the badly confused Sheriff Gualtieri again:

In initially not charging Drejka, Sheriff Gualtieri said the law created a very high standard of proof for making an arrest when someone claims they were standing their ground.

“Nowhere else is there anything like this in criminal law where somebody asserts something and the burden then shifts to the other person,” Gualtieri said. “That’s a very heavy standard and it puts the burden on the state.”

The law Gualtieri is referring to is not Florida’s ‘stand-your-ground” law, but rather Florida’s “self-defense immunity” law, §776.032. That statute does, indeed provide that “… the agency may not arrest the person for using or threatening to use force [in apparent self-defense]…” but the statute doesn’t stop there. Rather, it continues: “…unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used or threatened was unlawful.”

So, the standard for making an arrest in a case of claimed self-defense is, explicitly, “…that there is probable cause that the [act] was unlawful.”

Anybody care to guess what the standard for making an arrest for any other purported crime is? That’s right: probable cause that an unlawful act has been committed.

The standard for arrest under Florida’s self-defense immunity law is not something unusual, as this “news” story want to suggest, it’s the normal standard for arresting anybody for any crime: probable cause.

Then we get more lies, unsurprisingly in the context of the trial of George Zimmerman:

The law played a prominent role in George Zimmerman’s killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012. In that case, Zimmerman confronted Martin in a neighborhood in Sanford, Florida, and then fatally shot him in what he said was self-defense.

Because the ill-informed and biased news media invariably conflates the distinct legal doctrines of “stand-your-ground” and “self-defense immunity” it’s impossible to know whether the paragraph’s initial reference to “The law” applies to one or the other.

But it doesn’t matter. Why? Because neither “stand-your-ground” nor “self-defense immunity” were relevant in the case of George Zimmerman.

In the context of “stand-your-ground,” at the moment Zimmerman fired the fatal shot into Trayvon Martin, Martin had Zimmerman pinned to the ground (as testified to at trial by eye witnesses), and Zimmerman had no viable means of retreat while being subject to Martin’s sustained “ground-and-pound” beating.

In the context of “self-defense immunity,” Zimmerman never sought self-defense immunity, so it was never on the table, and so was never relevant in this case. Although Zimmerman had the privilege to seek self-defense immunity, his legal counsel (correctly) concluded that the hyper-politicization of the case would make a fair and just hearing impossible, thus making the effort pointless.

Next, we get to as biased a source of information on any of these cases as could be imagined: Attorney Benjamin Crump, a leading member of what I’ve come to refer to as the racial grievance industrial complex that profits enormously from fostering an atmosphere of racial hatred and division in America.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represented both Martin and McGlockton, told CNN last year that the two cases had similarities.

Drejka was “the initial aggressor” and was acting as a “self-appointed cop wannabe” in hounding McGlockton’s girlfriend about the parking space, even as she had two young children in the car with her, he told CNN.

“We have to remember this is a strange man who approaches a mother in the car with her two toddlers in the back seat,” Crump said last year.

In fact, the cases of Drejka and Zimmerman have virtually no similarities. Drejka initiated a verbal chastisement of McGlockton’s girlfriend. Even that is not sufficient to justify the physical attack by McGlockton but it is still far more than Zimmerman ever did.

In contrast, Zimmerman’s conduct was limited to what he had been trained to do by the local police who trained him as a Neighborhood Watch participant—“if you see something suspicious, call this number”—and in response to an apparent request for information from the police dispatcher with whom Zimmerman was communicating—“where did [Trayvon Martin] run to?”

Further, at Zimmerman’s trial there was considerable evidence of Martin confronting Zimmerman, but none of Zimmerman confronting Martin. (Note: Mere observation, especially under law enforcement instruction and guidance while on the phone with police, is not “confronting.”)

Then we get more explicit lies from Crump himself:

Crump said the “stand your ground” law was troubling for many people of color.

While it’s true that “stand-your-ground” is “troubling for many people of color,” the only reason this is so is because people like Crump lie about what “stand-your-ground” is. In fact, people of color, by far the most common victims of violent crime on a per capita basis, are frequent beneficiaries of “stand-your-ground,” as they defend themselves against these violent crimes.

What kind of lies is Crump telling to foster this false understanding of “stand-your-ground,” you might ask? Well, ask and you shall receive:

“(The law says) that you can pick a confrontation. You can be the initial aggressor. You kill the unarmed black person. And then you say, ‘Oh, it was self-defense. I was standing my ground.’ And you get to go home and sleep in your bed at night,” he said.

No. “Stand-you-ground” merely relieves an otherwise lawful defender from a legal duty to retreat before they can defend themselves. It explicitly does not allow a person to “pick a confrontation.” It also explicitly does not allow someone to be the “initial aggressor” (meaning, of course, physical aggressor in the context of physical violence) and justify that aggression as self-defense.

It also goes without saying that “stand-your-ground” does not privilege white people to simply go around killing unarmed black people, and then escape accountability. Zimmerman, for example, was prosecuted for second-degree murder (and many other charges) … and acquitted by an unanimous jury. That’s not escaping accountability, it is accountability—that’s the system working. (Except, of course, that a properly working system would never have charged Zimmerman in the first case, but that’s a story I’ve already told many times elsewhere.)

Similarly, Drejka is being tried for manslaughter. That also is not escaping accountability. That’s being held accountable.  It’s the system working.

As for “going home to sleep in your bed at night,” this has become a phrase of which Benjamin Crump is particularly fond. The narrative he’s trying to portray is that white people can unlawfully kill unarmed black people with impunity, put that black person in the ground, and then go home to sleep in their own beds.

Sounds horrible, and it would be horrible if it were true. But of course, it’s not.

The truth is that the only circumstance in which anyone who kills anyone is allowed to go home and sleep in their own bed is where there is an utter lack of probable cause that the person has committed a crime–otherwise they’d be arrested. The fact that they’ve shot and killed someone does not by itself mean they’ve committed a crime—not if they were defending themselves against an imminent, unprovoked deadly attack.

Indeed, why shouldn’t a person who has lawfully defended themselves against an unlawful attack be allowed to go home to their own bed? They’ve literally done nothing unlawful. The world Crump is advocating—that, say, a prospective rape victim who fights off her rapist with deadly outcome for the rapist should then also be subject to a night in a jail cell—is a monstrous world.

In any case, the only reason in a use of force event that the police might conclude there was not probable cause for an arrest is where the person who used force stayed around the scene to explain the lawful justification for that use of force. That means the person has self-identified to the police, provided identification, made himself findable. Should the police later change their minds and decide that an arrest is warranted, they know where to find the person.

Just exactly as they did when they changed their mind and decided to arrest Drejka. Was Drejka hard to find and arrest? No. They knew where he was, and the arrest was made. Easy-peasy.

The rest of the news report goes into matters of Drejka’s character, including allegations that he has previously threatened other people under circumstances similar to this case. It seems likely these prior instances are relevant to this case, and of course these claims will now be subject to challenge and cross-examination in the court room (unlike in the media) and also subject to explanation and context by Drejka, should he choose to take the witness stand (which I expect he ought to do).

As I’ve said from the start, I believe a reasonable jury could go either way on this, as the evidence is now known. Of course, that could change based on how the evidence morphs when subject to the adversarial setting of a courtroom.

We will see what we see. Jury selection begins today for Drejka’s trial. Drejka should pray that his legal team is as effective at identifying and excluding viciously-biased and maliciously-intended prospective jurors as was Zimmerman’s legal team.

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Comments

Good shoot. Thank God McGlockton isn’t a menace to society anymore.

While I agree that the CNN report, in this case, is horrible, this surveillance video is pretty damning.

Drejka is speaking with McGlockton’s girlfriend. McGlockton approaches Drejka. McGlockton shoves Drejka, violently. I’ll use your term, though sharply or strongly would be just as accurate. Drejka staggers to his right and falls onto the parking lot. McGlockton takes two more steps toward Drejka, but stops, without attempting to touch Drejka again, as Drejka draws his firearm. McGlockton then takes two steps backward and begins to turn to his right, away from Drejka. Drejka then shoots him.

You can argue perception all you want, but the video clearly shows that McGlockton is not visibly armed with any weapon and is retreating; moving away and turning away from Drejka when Drejka fires. The retreat and lack of weapon pretty much removes Drejka’s use of deadly force from the lawful self defense category. There is simply no evidence that any further attack was imminent. And, that is what the defense has to overcome in this case.

Drejka could probably have justified his threatening of McGlockton with the pistol, following being shoved and falling to the ground. He was not shoved TO THE GROUND as Drejka apologists keep saying. McGlockton pushed Drejka, parallel to the ground, Drejka stepped sideways off the curb and fell to the ground. And, even though Florida state statue requires that the actual use of deadly force be legally justified for self defense before one can use the threat of using deadly force in self defense is lawful, as McGlockton was walking toward him in a threatening manner, Drejka could justify threatening him with his handgun. But, at the point where Drejka produces the pistol and points it McGlockton, McGlockton immediate stops advancing, takes two steps back, away from Drejka, and begins to turn to his right, away from Drejka. At this point, there is no evidence to suggest that any further physical attack is imminent, especially one which would justify the use of deadly force.

We’ll have to see how Drejka explains his actions and if a jury finds that it was justified under the law.

    Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | August 19, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    Correction: Drejka did not step off the curb, he merely staggered sideways and fell.

      inspectorudy in reply to Mac45. | August 20, 2019 at 12:30 am

      I guess you missed the point Andrew made when he said an artificial weapon is not required for a person to fell mortally threatened. I played football as a younger dumber boy and I can tell you from real-world experience that getting “Blind Sided” is a monstrous event. Hearing bells and seeing stars is not a funny sensation. But at least in football, it would end and there with no thought of another hit. In this guys case, he was in shock and probably was suffering from the same conditions that I did many years ago. Except that the perpetrator was standing over him and maybe preparing to do more harm. This guy on the ground was not functioning like you are sitting in your chair typing away. He was dazed, confused, angry, impaired in many ways both psychologically and physically but you pronounce him normal. Thank your lucky charm that it wasn’t you sitting there. BTW, “Blind Side” hits are outlawed in ALL football games, pro, and amateur because of the damage they can produce.

        Feeling threatened and actually being threatened are two different things. And, as distance between to persons increases, the threat of imminent attack is reduced, unless one possesses a distance weapon or a weapon which can be accurately thrown.

        Now, exactly why does everyone automatically assume that Drejka was somehow stunned and unable to function effectively simply because he was shoved and fell to the ground? He did not display any hesitancy when he drew his pistol. He did not lie on the ground for more than a second before he sat up and pulled his gun. He did not immediately discharge his weapon upon pointing it at McGlockton. He watched McGlockton back away and begin to turn to his [McGlockton’s] right, before he fired.

        People are reaching for reasons to excuse Drejka’s actions. Perhaps they are valid. But, then again, perhaps they are just wishful thinking. The problem Drejka faces is that this is not a clean defensive shooting. McGlockton did not use, or threaten to use, any obvious deadly force. McGlockton was in obvious retreat when he was shot. Florida law requires that deadly force ONLY be used to stop the application of deadly force. It requires that an attack must be reasonably assumed to be imminent. Retreat undermines that assumption, unless one has an obvious distance weapon in their possession. In other words, like it or not, it is not lawful self defense to shoot someone for shoving you, in Florida.

          inspectorudy in reply to Mac45. | August 20, 2019 at 4:48 pm

          “He did not immediately discharge his weapon upon pointing it at McGlockton. He watched McGlockton back away and begin to turn to his [McGlockton’s] right, before he fired.”

          That tells me that he was stunned and unable to process what he was seeing. Not what you are inferring. You are saying that he calculated the situation and then decided to fire. If that were the case then he wouldn’t have fired because the perp was not coming at him. However, If he was confused or seeing stars he wouldn’t have been able to think it through and just reacted at a dark figure looming over him.

      aka Hoss in reply to Mac45. | August 20, 2019 at 10:05 am

      Picking nits, but he was shoved off of the curb. I too thought the threat was over when he backed away from Drejka.

      Moral of the story: Be prepared for anything when you put your hands on people.

        Ulysses in reply to aka Hoss. | August 20, 2019 at 10:35 am

        Would you have bet your life that McGlockton — still in striking distance was not going to reengage?

          Mac45 in reply to Ulysses. | August 20, 2019 at 11:14 am

          You have to do just that. Drejka had his pistol pointed directly at McGlockton, after M had backed up. If M had made a movement toward D, at that point, D might, only might, be able to justify a reasonable fear of continued attack. However, that did not happen. Also, McGlockton, advancing on D empty handed, does not automatically translate to a threatened use of deadly force. There has to be some evidence that M was intent upon using deadly force.

          If people intend to use deadly force in self defense, they had better know what constitutes the lawful use of such force.

      cucha in reply to Mac45. | August 20, 2019 at 10:44 am

      Are you auditioning for CNN? Wrong website.

      PapawR1 in reply to Mac45. | August 20, 2019 at 1:05 pm

      Correction: He did NOT just “stagger sideways and fall”. He was shoved forcefully with the intent to put him on the ground.

      The most important thing that neither you, I or anyone else can tell from this video is this: There is no sound. We have no idea what McGlockton was saying, threatening or promising to do to Drejka. I agree with Mr. Branca on it being likely that Drejka will have to take the stand since the only other witness who heard anything was McGlockton’s girlfriend & I’m going to go out on a limb & say that she isn’t about to say that Drejka was acting justifiably because her boyfriend was threatening to kill him if he got up.

      What is also of note in the video that no one addressed is that the girlfriend remained in the car until her boyfriend came outside. Why did she get out of the car then? Was it to try to calm him down knowing he was prone to violence or was it to encourage him to commit violence? Those are questions the defense needs to ask, making certain to remind her that she is under oath, to then help determine if they even need to place their client on the stand. The video, by itself, doesn’t show everything, since we are only watching a short clip of it instead of the entire video from the moment she parked until the moment the shooting happened…what Drejka did, said, motions he made or anything towards the girlfriend to display his possible aggressiveness…but none of the video comes with sound which is most assuredly relevant here on whether he felt a continued threat or not.
      I wasn’t there. I don’t know. I don’t know what other, if any, evidence the prosecution will offer other than the video so trying to make a decisions of guilty beyond a reasonable doubt based on 1 minute of silent video is a fool’s bet. The boyfriend may very well have a history of violence which would then be up to the judge on if that is even admissible or not. Why was she driving rather than him? Was his license suspended or revoked? Was he too impaired to drive which would also have an effect on his actions? None of that or anything else is mentioned in the article & most certainly cannot be determined by the video. It sounds like the prosecution, defense, judge & jury all have their work cut out for them which should always be the case especially when we are talking about a case of deciding if it was justifiable homicide or not. Depending on an article written by a biased media & the only notable statements being made by the deceased’s attorney, who has no role in this case at all since he is strictly looking at the civil suit portion down the road if it applies. He most certainly is biased & not a reliable source for the media to consult with to begin with.

        Mac45 in reply to PapawR1. | August 20, 2019 at 9:11 pm

        Wow, you can divine that McGlockton INTENDED to knock Drejka to the ground simply because McGlockton shoved Drejka and Drejka fell down. Amazing. Now, if McGlockton really wanted to knock Drejka to the ground, why didn’t he simply grab him, lift him into the air and bodily slam him to the ground? If I wanted to take someone ti the ground I would certainly TAKE HIM TO THE GROUND, bodily. And, McGlockton was certainly bugger, stronger and younger than Drejka.

        Look, In the state of Florida, verbal threats are not sufficient justification to use deadly force against another. A simple shove, into an open area, is not sufficient justification to use deadly force, even of the person shoved falls down. And, a person who has committed a simple battery who is not making any movements which would indicate that any attack was imminent is not sufficient justification to use deadly force.

        Simply, Drejka screwed up. He either overreacted to intentionally shot McGlockton in retaliation for being shoved. now, he will have to attempt to justify his actions to a jury. This is a steep uphill battle for he and his defense team. But, all Drejka had to do was to hold his fire until McGlockton actually made a movement in his directions which could be reasonably interpreted as signifying an imminent attack. Of course, in Florida, unless a deadly weapon is involved in the attack, or the physical actions reasonably suggest that if deadly force is not used to stop the attack, then great bodily harm or death will result. That does not exist in his case.

          PapawR1 in reply to Mac45. | August 20, 2019 at 11:00 pm

          Hey, I get it. You have decided that McGlockton can do no wrong. You are not required to take a beating from anyone before you can defend yourself. Fear of death or great bodily harm is the standard. Thousands of people have been killed by bare hands. It doesn’t matter what you consider Drejka’s reasonable fear to be, it matters what he considered it to be. You are certainly free to allow someone to beat you to a pulp if that is your choice. No way would I ever demand that you defend yourself if that is your choice. I am 64 years old, not in great health & not going to take a beating from anyone to make those like you happy. I don’t believe you will find 12 members of the jury to decide beyond all reasonable doubt to agree with you either. I have read all your comments through this thread. No one seems to be able to convince you that McGlockton was responsible for his own death. That’s fine. I really don’t care & I’m tired of wasting breath on you.

          Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | August 21, 2019 at 12:27 pm

          This has nothing to do with whether McGlockton was right or wrong. In fact, he was clearly wrong and his shoving Drejka was itself a crime, a simple battery.

          The whole point is that the State of Florida only allows one to use deadly force against another human being, legally, in very narrowly circumscribed circumstances. That is what I am trying to get across to people. Florida state statutes do not allow Drejka to legally shoot McGlockton under the circumstances existing at the time of the shooting. It is against the law to use deadly force in self defense except when it is reasonably necessary to stop an attack which will likely result in death or great bodily harm or to stop a forcible felony. In this case, a shove does not constitute a forcible felony. Also, there is no clear evidence that McGlockton was going to continue his attack on Drejka, let alone that such an attack was likely to result in death or great bodily harm to Drejka.

          Get it? You are not legally justified to use force, which is likely to kill another person, to stop a misdemeanor battery or even because you fear a future attack, for which no evidence exists.

          If you choose to carry a defensive firearm, you had best understand exactly under what circumstances you can draw it, use it in a threatening manner and, most importantly, when you can discharge it. Or you end up in court like Mr. Drejka.

    Paul in reply to Mac45. | August 19, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    One quick skipping front kick to the face and the old dude on the ground is dead. The aggressor is maintaining a fighting stance and thus is still a threat. Live like a thug, die like a thug.

      Mac45 in reply to Paul. | August 19, 2019 at 8:49 pm

      Sorry, this is wishful thinking, on your part. It is more likely that McGlockton was simply turning away to leave, not execute a side straddle kick to Drejka’s face. In fact, if McGlockton wished to kick Drejka, he was much more likely to do so, when he was within a couple feet of Drejka as Drejka was in the act of drawing his pistol; not after he has backed off a distance of ~8 feet.

        Paul in reply to Mac45. | August 19, 2019 at 9:19 pm

        You’re always so cock-sure of you opinion, aren’t you? It must be nice to be so certain of everything all the time.

        The point is that the guy is within striking distance. He’s in a stance where he could be ready to attack. He has not backed off, and he is NOT 8 feet away. The old man’s head is likely swimming from the violent throw-down. In my opinion I can easily imagine how the man perceived him to be a threat.

        But the only thing that matters is what the jury decides. So we’ll see how right you are soon enough.

          Mac45 in reply to Paul. | August 19, 2019 at 10:04 pm

          You can make all of the assumption that you like. But, they have be supported, at least a little bit by facts.

          Fact 1) McGlockton had moved away from Drejka and was NOT in any traditional fighting stance.

          Fact 2) There is no evidence that Drejka was impaired from falling to the ground.

          Fact 3) While Drejka could have felt threatened, he could just as easily have decided to shoot McGlockton in revenge.an attack. The determining factor will be the reasonable man standard. And, usually courts expect that a reasonable man would not assume an attack was imminent, if the “attacker” has stepped back and is not advancing on the person who uses force to prevent

          Yes, the judge or jury will make the final determination as to guilt or innocence. And, a jury could find the shooting justifiable self defense. I doubt that a judge would so rule. Otherwise, Drejka would have requested an immunity hearing. Good luck to him.

          RodFC in reply to Paul. | August 19, 2019 at 10:21 pm

          @Mac45
          Remember Zimmerman didn’t ask for an immunity hearing also.
          There is a problem with using the immunity law. If you ask for a hearing and the judge does not grant it, then if you are acquitted and sued you cannot ask for another immunity hearing. It’s like the instant replay red flag in football. You keep it in your pocket for when you really need it.

          OrJustThink in reply to Paul. | August 20, 2019 at 11:16 am

          It must be difficult to feel so personally attacked by any opposing thought stream…

    RodFC in reply to Mac45. | August 19, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    1. Yes. It’s not like there are not hundred of examples of boxers, MMA fighters … taking two steps back then continuing to attack. It quite common in street fights to step back. To catch your breath, to access the situation to lull your opponent into a false sense of security.

    The thing that is quite clear. McGlockton maintained a fighting stance and he stopped after a brief retreat.

    2. It doesn’t matter what a camera from a different angle and distance shows. It matters what a reasonable man in Drejka’s situation perceives. As we have seen from football replays different perspectives show different things. From his perspective the step back may not have been so obvious. On top of which, after being knocked down, Drejka was probably dazed at least a little bit.

    So far the only evidence we have from Drejka’s perspective is that he saw McGLockton’s leg going forward when he shot. Unless they can show that a reasonable man in a dazed condition could not possibly have perceived the leg going forward they have to acquit. That’s the whole point of Brown v United States.

    GWB in reply to Mac45. | August 21, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    McGlockton is not visibly armed with any weapon
    Again, that is totally IRRELEVANT to the necessity for self-defense.

If only politics could be left out of these affairs, but egged on by an almost evil media, it becomes problematic on getting a fair trial. The ‘we’re going to riot if you don’t convict’ crowd will be out in force, count on it.

I didn’t remember how aggressive Markeis McGlockton had been. Without trying to learn anything about what was going on, Markeis McGlockton gave an unprovoked shove resulting in Drejka falling backwards to the ground. But after that shove there was no follow-on, maybe some yelling, but no further aggression to the guy on the ground.

To be sure Drejka did take out his gun pretty quickly which of course gave McGlockton pause. But despite the pause and McGlockton’s actually taking a step or two back Drejka pulled the trigger.

The shooting was not justified.

Trayvon Martin II. I think without the racial angle.

Regardless of the jury verdict, I’m inclined to think a lot of folks, rightly or wrongly, will look at the video and mutter under their breath, “That black guy assumed he could shove an older white guy with impunity because, hey, maybe he’d done it before to someone else. If he assumed that, that was his first and last mistake.”

    Mac45 in reply to MarkJ. | August 19, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    See, that is the problem the people run into when they carry firearms without adequate training.

    The statutes on self defense are usually pretty clearly written. And, they only allow for the use of deadly force to stop An imminent attack. A person moving away from another person is not in a position to launch an immediate attack.

    Noe, what your post does is make it seem that the shooting was not lawful self defense, but revenge or retribution. And, as we all know, individuals have no authority to engage in revenge or retribution. If Drejka had held his fire, McGlockton would be in court, instead.

      cucha in reply to Mac45. | August 20, 2019 at 10:49 am

      You are going full AOC? Never go full AOC.

        Mac45 in reply to cucha. | August 20, 2019 at 11:59 am

        WTF are you talking about?

        Do you learn the traffic laws before you drive a car? Do you learn the rules of football before you play the game> Of course you do. However, a significant number of people carry a firearm in public and have little or no knowledge of the laws under which they can use the weapon. A number of them can not even effectively use that weapon. The idea that the mere possession of a weapon somehow imbues the possessor with ability and knowledge to use the weapon effectively and legally is stupid.

Up to the point he pulled the trigger Drejka was lawful. He’d been shoved and pulled his pistol out to protect himself.

Why he pulled that trigger will be the focus of this trial. Did McGlockton say something? Was his buddy moving up the sidewalk somehow a threat?

McGlockton moving back from Drejka after seeing the pistol is the key. From what’s visible, Drejka had no reason to pull the trigger at that point.

    guyjones in reply to jakee308. | August 20, 2019 at 10:48 am

    You are attempting to divine a subjective mindset and fear, which could only be ascertained by someone in the victim’s shoes. You don’t know the victim’s physical condition or possible physical limitations, disabilities, or frailties.

    It is easy to opine, with hindsight and a safe distance, that there allegedly was a “safe” distance between to the two actors. Personally, I will not question that a reasonable fear of imminent physical harm existed in the victim’s mind, him having just been subjected to a violent and sneak physical battery.

I understand the standard to be whether the person had a reasonable fear of serious bodily injury under the circumstances–the defendant said he was afraid for his safety–isn’t the issue then whether his fear was reasonable under the circumstances, and not whether he was objectively correct?

I think it’s easy to say in hindsight that his fear was not correct, but most people only have a few seconds to make a decision under those circumstances.

I think this is probably a tough case for the jury to decide.

    guyjones in reply to rochf. | August 20, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    It is a tough case, which is why I believe that the benefit of any doubt should be resolved in favor of the victim, and not in favor of the aggressor-decedent, who stupidly escalated events by engaging in undeniably criminal conduct by needlessly sneak-battering the victim.

I am a “local” to this incident, know the area well where it happened and have seen the video literally 100 times or more on local TV. Were I on the jury I would find it to be a good shoot. McGlockton was a thug, but you also have to look at the 2nd man in the video who, until he saw the gun, was going to join into the whooping. McGlockton was not done with him and I believe was going to kick the crap out of him. You have to consider past performance of McGlockton as a thug – granting you that Drejka is a jerk, just like George Zimmerman was, but both feared for their lives.

The Packetman | August 19, 2019 at 9:41 pm

“Might Drejka’s reasonable perception of McGlockton’s movements, from Drejka’s position on the ground after being blindsided by McGlockton’s violent shove that put him there, been substantially different than the video taken from the completely different angle and height of the surveillance camera?”

This. 1000X this.

Drejka wasn’t mounted on an eave with a passive view, he was on the ground, after having been shoved there by a much larger, younger, and stronger assailant. Probably a bit dazed, no?

If I’m on the jury, he walks.

Alex deWynter | August 19, 2019 at 10:18 pm

It’s not cut and dried either way. Drejka was attacked by a man who was acting like a violent thug. When confronted with a gun, that man stepped back and pivoted to his right, blocking Drejka’s view of his gun hand. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight we know McGlockton didn’t have a gun for that hand, but Drejka didn’t know at the time, and a violent thug equipped with a firearm is not exactly implausible.

My only question about this is why did McGlockton turn to the right, when his car with girlfriend were much closer on his left.

I am very pro self defense however, I just can’t get there in this case, but that is working strictly from the video. Yes, McGlockton did stop moving back, but even slowing the video down to frame by frame he never advances on Drejka after the initial shove.

However, to this fantasy that the shove didn’t cause Drejka to fall to the ground…well of course it did, unless you believe that Drejka would have fallen to the ground without being shoved. “Well the curb is what made him fall.” Seriously? So if I push someone over a cliff it’s alright because it was really the cliff that made him fall?

That’s the same logic Tom Cruise gave to Jamie Foxx in the Movie Collateral (Great movie btw);

“Foxx: You just killed that guy!

Cruise: No, I shot him. The bullets and the fall killed him.”

    Let me address the fall issue.

    Defenders of Drejka’s actions characterize the shoving action by McGlockton as shoving Drejka to the ground. This is inaccurate. McGlockton shoved Drejka sideways, with the force being parallel to the ground. This caused Drejka’s body to tilt to his right. If he had managed to move his right foot to the right, quickly enough, he would not have fallen.

    Saying that Drejka was shoved to the ground is pejorative. The more accurate summation of the incident would be that Drejka fell to the ground after McGlockton shoved him.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Mac45. | August 20, 2019 at 5:29 pm

      Yea and if there had been a rock or a slick spot where he moved his foot he could have fallen anyway. Now you are just being obtuse because you want to win an argument. No jury is gonna look at if the force was parallel to the ground.

      The simple fact of the matter is if McGlockton hadn’t shoved Drejka wouldn’t have fallen, therefore yes the force McGlockton applied was the reason he fell, because without that force he would not have fallen. You can argue the semantics all you want but it’s still the same logic as “I didn’t kill him, I just shot him the bullets entering his body killed him.” and it is flawed logic.

      guyjones in reply to Mac45. | August 21, 2019 at 7:07 am

      It isn’t “pejorative” at all to describe a man falling to the ground as a result of a violent attack. In the context of a criminal trial, it’s simply factual. Or, is it supposedly more ideal to state that the victim of the aggressor’s attack reached the ground because of gravitational force?

      Get real – – your analysis is silly and totally obtuse.

        Mac45 in reply to guyjones. | August 21, 2019 at 12:33 pm

        I have to disagree. Words mean things. When you say a person was shived TO THE GROUND, this infers that he was shoved toward the ground. If Drejka had seen McGlockton coming, shoved him in the chest and M had fallen backwards to the ground, no one would be saying that Drejka shoved him to the grounnd. The phrasing here is done to imply that Drejka was violently thrown to the ground, intentionally, in order to make Drejka’s actions following the shove more justifiable. This is an old trick of lawyers and politicians.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Mac45. | August 21, 2019 at 1:33 pm

          “this infers that he was shoved toward the ground.”

          What? I can tell you from almost 45 years in Martial Arts this is just untrue. Besides the result of the shove is what matters not the intent. If you shove someone even with, force parallel to the ground, and that person falls a distance sufficient to end their life does that mean that the person doing the shoving isn’t responsible? No, it doesn’t.

          Also you know as well as I do that 99% of people are going to only see that he “shoved him to the ground”. Even if the opposing legal teams brought in experts and started discussing “shoving with parallel force” most jurors are just gonna go glassy eyed and still just go with “M shoved D to the ground”.

          I like that you play devil’s advocate but come on.

          Based just on the video what I see is a man who actually looks fairly calm being surprised attacked by a bigger opponent who has another person behind them, possibly backing them up. That attack caused D to fall to the ground. I see no obvious signs of M disengaging since even with his backwards motion he still is well within striking range and makes no other sign of disengaging (i.e. raises hands palms out or significant motions of retreat.

          I also take into consideration what D sees. He is on the ground, he has been attacked from surprise by an unknown attacker, he falls and is possibly disoriented, his attacker he sees is much larger than him and possibly has a friend (another potential attacker), so he pulls his gun and fires.

          D doesn’t have the benefit of taking minutes of check the video frame by frame.

          Was it a good shoot? No, at best it was a questionable shoot in my opinion, from just the video.

          It is however that question that gives me the thought that I would have to vote to acquit. Because in our legal system it is the prosecutor that has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that D is not protected by Self Defense law, not the other way around. Basically I would have to vote in favor of D, not because I think he was “right”, but because I have a reasonable doubt that he was wrong.

I was taught that, if your defense of your actions relies on interpreting facts and the law in a way most favorable to you, you are likely to go to trial. Conversely, if your defense stands when interpreted in the least favorable way, you are likely to go home.

IMO and ignoring the question of whether it was smart to start the dispute, Drejka has good case all the way through drawing and covering his attacker. After that, you have to interpret everything in his favor. There were 3 possibles at this point:
1- his attacker was going to continue the attack.
2- his attacker was deciding whether to continue the attack.
3- his attacker was going to break off the attack.

Only condition 1 leads to self defense. Since his attackers intentions are not clear, for that to be valid you have to believe that Drejka couldn’t wait to find out because he couldn’t fire fast enough to defend himself if he waited (ie the target could move faster than he could pull the trigger on his already targeted gun). A reasonable assumption that there might be a continuation of the attack is not the same thing as a reasonable assumption that there is a continuation of the attack. Here’s my evidence that he might have further attacked me is not equal to here’s my evidence that he did further the attack. While Drejka’s supporters are arguing that the might have been a continuation, no one has proof that there was a continuation. Also, in drawing and covering his attacker, Drejka changed the calculus. It’s reasonable to assume that his opponent was also re-thinking his next action. The situation was on hold until he shot; bad move.

IMO, For Drejka to get a pass on this one, he’s going to have to be very lucky – Powerball Winner lucky.

    VaGentleman in reply to VaGentleman. | August 19, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    The situation was on hold until he shot; bad move.

    The situation was on hold until he shot and became the aggressor; bad move.

    You’re logic mirrors mine in the next post in all but one point.
    To find Drejka guilty. They have to find that 1. is impossible beyond a reasonable doubt.

    1 may not be the case is not good enough.
    1 probably is not the case is not good enough.

    The prosecution has to show 1 is not the case, beyond a reasonable doubt, and I do not see that.

      VaGentleman in reply to RodFC. | August 20, 2019 at 12:18 am

      RodFC,

      IANAL, but I was taught that in claiming self defense, you are admitting to the crime, but asking to be excused. The reasonableness test for self defense burdens the defense. The defendant has to be able to state why his actions were reasonable and the jury has to find his actions reasonable. You have admitted to the crime and beyond a reasonable doubt no longer applies. The Law of Self Defense, as usual, has a great chapter on reasonableness in SD. There are both objective and subjective standards, but they appear to be burdens on the defense. From LOSD, FL appears to have a statute that gives a presumption of reasonableness to the defense, but only in your home, business or vehicle. Since that doesn’t apply here, I think the burden is on him to prove that his actions were reasonable.

        tom_swift in reply to VaGentleman. | August 20, 2019 at 12:55 am

        I was taught that in claiming self defense, you are admitting to the crime, but asking to be excused.

        You’re agreeing that the event happened.

        You’re not agreeing that it was a crime.

        The defense has to make a prima facia case for self-defense ( I think the shove is good enough), but then the prosecution has to show beyond a reasonable doubt that it was not self defense. Ask Mr.Branca.

          RodFC is correct. Under Florida law (and now in every state, with the recent change in law in Ohio), the defense bears the nominal burden of production on self-defense (and here the shove to the ground would be sufficient for that purpose), but the ultimate burden of persuasion is on the state.

          –Andrew

          Attorney Andrew F. Branca
          Law of Self Defense LLC

          Mac45 in reply to RodFC. | August 20, 2019 at 11:30 am

          The problem that Drejka faces is not whether a self defense issue existed. It did. When McGlockton shoved Drejka, this authorized Drejka to use force in self defense, if it reasonably appeared that further attack was imminent. When McGlockton was advancing on him, this reasonable threat of imminent attack existed. Now, whether that threat rose to the level which justified the threatened use of deadly fore, is another question. But, when McGlockton retreated, this reduced or eliminated the threat of imminent attack and the increased distance without the exhibition of a distance weapon by McGlockton, significantly lessens, if not eliminate a reasonable fear of imminent attack and the use of deadly force by McGlockton.

          Use of defensive force is complicated. There are strict circumstance under which defensive force can be used. There are also strict circumstances under which certain levels of force may be used. All of these circumstances have to be met to justify the lawful use of deadly force. If they are not clearly met, then you can end up charged with a crime and pleading your case in court.

        Milhouse in reply to VaGentleman. | August 20, 2019 at 6:40 am

        What you were taught was the law only in Ohio, but they changed it a few months ago, so now it is not the law anywhere in the USA.

      Mac45 in reply to RodFC. | August 20, 2019 at 11:39 am

      Actually, when you look at the video, McGlockton retreats. This makes it unlikely that a valid assumption of imminent attack exists. When McGlockton begins to turn away from Drejka, this reduces that assumption even more. And, nowhere in this scenario is there a valid assumption that McGlockton will use deadly force, which required for Drejka to use deadly force, IF he does attack. So, based upon the video footage, I would hazard a guess that the prosecution will have little trouble proving that there was no reasonable fear that a further attack was imminent and/or that McGlockton was going to use deadly force.

      A jury might find Drejka a sympathetic defendant and rule in his favor. But, I wouldn’t want to bet the ranch on that.

There are two arguments that the prosecution can provide to the jury.

1. In a drug induced haze causing the prosecution to channel Bernie de la Rionda, they could argue the shooting was a foreseeable consequence of the verbal altercation and therefore manslaughter.

This is just ludicrous. If a shooting were the foreseeable consequence of a verbal altercation, then we would see a hundred shootings a day in New York (city).

2. That in the instant that Drejka fired, he knew that McGloughton was not a threat.

I think it is clear that there are really two possibilities for the shooting.
a. Drejka thought he was being attacked.
b. Drejka was pissed off by the shove and shot out of anger.

The question then is this, can the prosecution prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that Drejka did not fire from a belief that that McGloughton was about to attack.

To do that Drejak virtuallly has to testify to b.
Frankly I’m not even sure Drejka knows which option is true, and maybe just isn’t good enough for a conviction.

Is there any audio to accompany this video?

Absent audio, I might infer a few things from the characters in the video …

The guy who gets shot walks out of the store and makes a bee-line for the shooter. 3-4 seconds later he’s followed out by another man who also walks directly toward the shooter until he sees the gun and turns between the car(s). The wife/girlfriend exited the car when she sees the boyfriend coming, a few seconds before the forceful shove.

Is it reasonable for the shooter to have concluded the threat was bigger than just the person who shoved him? Also, the simultaneous convergence of 3 on 1 suggests perhaps some pre-coordination. Did the woman call/text the man who was shot? Did the man who was shot say something to the man who followed him out of the store – as in – ‘I’m going to put the hurt on that guy’ and the other guy came out for the show, or to assist?

That the attack was appears to have been precoordinated and premeditated – does that weigh on the decision? It does not appear that the 3 people ceased their advancement on the shooter until the gun presented. And without audio, we don’t know whether verbal threats continued after the shove.

I’m sure the case will come down to the shooter and the victim, but there were 3 aggressors and I would be hard pressed to find against the shooter. Would like to know what precoordination / text / phone conversation occurred before the shooting. Seems like that would go to intent for premeditated assault or worse.

    Mac45 in reply to MrE. | August 20, 2019 at 11:47 am

    According to the reports of this case, A man entered the store and mentioned the somewaht heated verbal exchange between Drejka and McGlockton’s girlfriend. McGlockton then exited the store and approached Drejka. The second man who exited the store might have been the man who told everyone about the altercation or someone who knew McGlockton.

    Now, there exists no evidence which would lead a reasonable man to assume that he was under attack by more than one person. And, if he had a reasonable fear of imminent attack by the second man or McGlockton’s girlfriend, he should have engaged one of them, not McGlockton, who had retreated.

      Think38 in reply to Mac45. | August 20, 2019 at 2:43 pm

      There are a lot of questions here:

      A half step backwards is not a very clear retreat. A clear retreat would be going to the other side of the parking lot. Of course, McGlockton didn’t have the opportunity to do that, and in fact, may have done so if not shot. We don’t know. Neither did Drkjka.

      From the distance at which he was shot, Drkjka was not clearly in a “safe” distance. At a range of less than 10 feet, that distance can be covered in less than a second. Drkjka was betting his life that, if McGlockton advanced, he would recognize it in time, fire and hit McGlockton. Hitting a moving person, even at close range, is very hard.

      Not readily apparent is the size of the pistol used. Did Drkjka have an idea of the stopping power of his weapon? A 9mm may not sufficiently disable an attacker. That fact is demonstrated by the video, in which McGlockton ran into the store after being shot.

      Drejka was blindsided once. Was he in part afraid of getting blindsided again? Once he drew his gun, the situation escalates. Being unaware once got him blindsided. Getting blindsided a second time after pulling a gun substantially increases his chances be being dead after the encounter. The stakes go up.

      Drkjka sure didn’t look very mobile after shooting. He stayed on the ground for a while. Nor did he appear to exhibit good situational awareness.

      After getting decked, we don’t know what his situational awareness was. In his vision there are two other people approaching him. It doesn’t matter whether they were friends of McGlockton or not or what the text messages between them were. What matters is his perceptions (and those of a reasonable person in that situation). Being attacked and approached by multiple unknown individuals adds to the perception of danger. Not necessarily dispositive, but a contributing factor.

      There is no audio on the video. We don’t know what anyone was saying. Verbal threats, if any, would be relevant.

      There are a lot of factual questions here. Lots of reasons a jury could acquit here, but enough uncertainty that I can see why a prosecutor would put this in front of a jury.

        Mac45 in reply to Think38. | August 21, 2019 at 12:54 pm

        First of all, M took two steps toward D, following the shove and stops. Then he backs up two steps, all the way to the side of his girlfriend’s car, as D is drawing his gun. M can not retreat any farther. So, he almost immediately turns to his right, away from D, possibly to continue retreating. And D fires. This action takes about 2 seconds. And, it may indicate that D had already decided to shoot M when he pulled his pistol.

        Could D have been stunned because of the fall? Possibly. though it does not appear that he struck his head on the pavement nor do his movements suggest impairment. Remaining seated after shooting can just as likely be the result of the shock of having shot someone, as some kind of mental impairment at the time of the shooting.

        What this looks like to me, is that Drejka’s use of deadly force mindset was that if he was attacked, in any manner, he would use his firearm to stop any further potential attack. This is a common mindset among untrained carriers, as can be seen by many of the posts on this thread. He did not exhibit the mindset which comes with training and experience. He used deadly force in a manner not consistent with justified use of such force under state statute. And, now he has to rely upon a defense of he was either impaired or made an assumption which is not borne out by other evidence. If he had held his fire until McGlockton that actually moved in his direction, then McGlockton would be in court now, not Drejka.

          Think38 in reply to Mac45. | August 22, 2019 at 12:53 am

          Is a step or two backwards a clear retreat? Is that step or two backwards enough to indicate that M is no longer a threat? Is turning your body and putting your hand around your waist a clearly an unthreatening act? While we can see in the video that M does not have a weapon, that may not have been clear from D’s vantage point. Numerous police officers have shot suspects for doing similar moves of not keeping their hands visible, and are fairly routinely found justified in such circumstances.

          Until D draws his gun, M is continuing to advance on D. Committing a battery on D and continuing to advance on D is very strong evidence of an imminent threat to D. Is even two seconds enough to over come that? Note too that when D brings his gun up, there is only a very small pause before shooting. Not even 2 seconds. Do the actions in that very brief segment of time really change what D’s reasonable beliefs were?

          You are correct that is possible that D had already decided to shoot M when he pulled his pistol. At the moment he pulled the pistol, he had just been assaulted, and M was coming towards him, while he is on the ground in a vulnerable position. Two other people were advancing on him as well. Had he fired immediately, I don’t think you could even take this case to the jury. But of course, there is a small pause. That pause is what this case hinges on. Where the events in that 1-2 second window enough to change his reasonable beliefs? Here, the burden proof is on the State to prove he did not have a reasonable belief. The State needs to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt.

          In your justification, you keep trying to show whether he acted with “the mindset which comes with training and experience.” That’s a false standard inconsistent with Florida law. The Florida standard is whether he had a reasonable belief of an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm. Again, the State needs to prove he did not have such a reasonable belief. That’s a tall order here.

I believe a reasonable jury could go either way on this

I don’t see it.

Looking at the video, I can see reasons why Drejka might well be justified in shooting, and reasons why he wouldn’t.

If I had to assign a probability value to each, I’d give it only 20% that he should have shot, and 80% that he shouldn’t. (Pure subjective guesswork, of course, even though based on fact as revealed by video.) So he’s 80% likely to be guilty.

But that only means the jury verdict could “go either way” if the standard for conviction were preponderance of the evidence (or, more exactly, my guess about the relative importance of the various factors). 51% probability of being guilty? That’s enough for preponderance of the evidence (or preponderance of the guesswork).

But that’s not the standard for a jury trial; that is “reasonable doubt”. I’d consider 20% well within the realm of “reasonable doubt”. I can’t see voting to lock somebody up in a cage if the odds are twenty percent that he’s not guilty of the crime.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to tom_swift. | August 20, 2019 at 3:29 am

    I think one of the biggest hurdles is going to be the Deadly force vs what would typically be considered a non-deadly force attack.

      One thing to point out. A ‘deadly force’ attack need not be a lethal one. IIRC an attack that can cause ‘serious bodily injury’ also qualifies.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Miles. | August 20, 2019 at 5:33 pm

        Yes, but as far as I understand the serious bodily injury and deadly force are basically one and the same as far as the law is concerned.

Here too:
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/florida-stand-your-ground-trial-for-michael-drejka-begins/ar-AAG1e6Z
How is it that the MSM universally and in nearly identical fashion gets this so wrong? Collusion? An agenda? Coincidence? I think not!

Humm, can we start calling these situations where the person has no way to retreat like this guy and Zimmerman “On the ground” cases?

My only real life experience with criminal law is being on a jury in a rather simple case. From my perspective as a possible juror, the question to be answered is what was the defendant thinking at the time.

You are being asked to read the defendant’s mind. Did he act in anger, or in fear.

That’s a tough one, and I wouldn’t want to be on the jury. But the standard is not, what is true from God’s perspective. The standard is whether criminal intent is proved.

The judge’s instructions may differ on this.

I’ve stated this before — I cannot summon sympathy for a person who initiates unwarranted, criminal violence (battery) upon someone and then ends up dead, as a result of the victim’s defensive response.

This applies as much to sociopath Trayvon, as it does to the victim in this case.

As a juror, I am not going to second-guess the mindset of a person who has been attacked with a blindsided attack that is totally unjustified, without any sort of preamble or interaction. The victim foolishly escalated a purely verbal dispute with violence, and, paid a steep price for his hot-headed action. An acquittal is totally appropriate, here.

    “sociopath Trayvon??” Exactly what data are you drawing on that shows that child to be a “sociopath?”

      1. Sundry social media video clips of Trayvon engaged in fights, as well as video clips of him bragging about fighting people, and, extolling his fighting prowess, as though these were laudable activities and traits. All content that was held from the jury.

      2. Martin’s initiating a criminal act of violence upon Zimmerman (attempted murder via slamming his head into concrete) that was totally unjustified, the latter having stated to the former that he didn’t have a problem with him, when they exchanged words.

      In sum, behavior brimming with hostility, lawlessness and a penchant for inflicting violence upon others, all properly characterized as the behavior of a sociopath.

        Not to mention being suspended from school–not a crime, but not socially acceptable behavior–as well as found with stolen property–stealing the property of others is decidedly anti-social behavior.

        We could also note Trayvon’s apparently intense homophobia, but I’ve a busy day.

        –Andrew

        Attorney Andrew F. Branca
        Law of Self Defense LLC

          The way Trayvon blind-sided Zimmerman and then repeatedly slammed his head into the concrete persuaded me that Trayvon was a person that did not belong in any society. A thug, a thug, a thug.

          I would not call Martin a sociopath, but only because of his age. A 25 year old who acted like him would have at least an “Antisocial personality disorder”, which is low-grade sociopathy: a long term pattern of disregard for, or violation of, the rights of others. A 10 year old acting like that probably just needs time to develop a conscience and the habit of thinking ahead to the consequences of his actions, but most 10 year olds cannot do much damage to a healthy adult. As a 6-foot tall 17 year old, Martin was in-between – big enough to play high school football, plenty big enough to beat a man to death, but his brain was not yet fully developed. If he had simply gone inside his home (of that week) instead of heading back to beat down a smaller man, he might have lived to become a good citizen, or he might have chosen to become a thug.

Noodle McFoodle | August 20, 2019 at 8:28 am

While watching the video after someone mentioned the second guy moving up I noticed something else no has mentioned.

Drejka, keeps his firearm trained on McGlockton until he goes to enter the convenience store. There was no wavering. That could go to his perception of threat.

“An excellent example of such media lying is found in CNN. In today’s post we step through that “news” report and fisk out the many lies within.”

You would expect something different of the Communist News Network……….

Another Trayvon down. Why are these animals so violent?

Let’s look at McGlockton’s criminal record. That will determine how much ofva thug he was.

Something tells me this was another Gentle Giant.

I commend both Mac45 and tom_swift for a summary of the pros and cons for the state to prove a bad shoot beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, I have concluded ….

Hung jury.

    Ulysses in reply to Redneck Law. | August 20, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    You are just violently assaulted. Three people are coming towards you. Could a “reasonable man” so attracted believe further deadly attack is imminent?

    With just the video, a determination is impossible. Impossible means not guilty. Further evidence is needed for a judgment of guilty.

      Mac45 in reply to Ulysses. | August 21, 2019 at 1:06 pm

      Not so. The crime is the use of deadly force against another human being resulting in his death to which lawful self defense is a defense.

      So, Drejka shot and killed McGlockton. Now, Drejka has to present reasonable grounds to resonably believe that his use of deadly force was lawful self defense. The prosecution then has to convince the jury, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a reasonable man, in the same situaton, would not reasonably believe that the ue of deadly force constituted lawful self defense. On the prosecution’s side are witness statements and a surveillance video. The video clearly shows M moving away from D, as far as possible and turn away from him, when he is shot. There were no reported witness statements which indicated that McGlockton made any verbal threat to D. On D’s side, is his testimony. Now, sometimes a defendant can turn out to be a sympathetic witness and one or more jurors will simply accept what he says as the truth. Or vote to acquit for other reasons.

      What people are basing their support for D on, in this thread, are the fact that M shoved him and he fell down. They are attributing motivations to his actions which are totally unknown. And, at the same time, ignoring video evidence which shows M retreating, not attacking.

        Think38 in reply to Mac45. | August 22, 2019 at 1:09 am

        Technically, the State needs to prove (beyond a reasonable doubt) that (1) D did not believe the use of force was necessary to prevent an imminent threat (great bodily harm or the forceble commission of a felony), or (2) that such a belief was not reasonable.

        markm in reply to Mac45. | August 27, 2019 at 7:03 pm

        Moving away a few feet might be backing off from the fight, or positioning himself to kick the Drezka was down – with a pretty good chance of the kick going home before Drezka could pull the trigger, especially if Drezka was dazed by the fall. Moving away a short distance and turning so his right hand was concealed from Drezka and near his waist could look like positioning himself to draw a gun.

        If you don’t want to be shot in self-defense,
        1. Don’t assault people.
        2. If you ignored rule 1, make it _clear_ that you are disengaging. Back away slowly with your hands up and visible.

Wouldn’t want to be on this jury.

I’d watch that tape all day and night trying to decide and my decision would probably wreck my conscience.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to healthguyfsu. | August 20, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    Yep, it’s like everytime I watch the video I see it differently. Which I guess means that if I were a juror I would have to vote to acquit since I can’t get rid of that doubt.

WhisperinPints | August 20, 2019 at 11:18 am

Looks like Drejka took no more time than necessary to flick the safety off and attain center mass, assuring no one else would be harmed. Given his mental state from just having been attacked from out of the blue, it looks like a solid self defense case.

from the article: “it’s safe to say that there no longer exists substantive racism in the United States—if there was any genuine racism of any real import (e.g., absent a handful of crazy people utterly lacking in social standing or authority), the media would simply point to the real thing, rather than have to continually fabricate it.”

Andrew Branca, while I appreciate your analysis of the fallacy of declaring “unarmed” as relating only to weapons and I appreciate your analysis of this is not qualifying as “stand your ground,” and as well I appreciate your take down of CNN’s patterns of bias, I am stunned that you could write the above sentence. until such time as you are walking around brown or black, you simply are not qualified to declare that “there no longer exist substantive racism…” Plus, to go to the objective as opposed to daily reality of those subject to racism, statistics on police shootings in the back of unarmed black people compared to police shootings in the back of unarmed white people would indicate disproportionate reaction, to name just one set of statistics. Sentencing statistics show a similar pattern, suggesting that bias against black people as “thugs” is one factor in convictions for the same crimes get tougher sentences if you are black. Instances of racism do not have to be “fabricated,” they are well documented. Racism is not simply lynchings and cross burnings, which is what I conclude you are assuming within your reference to “a handful of crazy people utterly lacking in social standing or authority.” (for example, the guy convicted of driving with deadly force into the crowd of protesters, killing one). We should be looking at the abundance of institutions that have full authority to manage disparate outcomes.

    Almost 300 words, and not one actual example of substantive societally acceptable racism.

    Which is exactly my point. For all the screaming about racism, actual substantive societally acceptable racism is pretty darned hard to find.

    Fortunately, it’s a free country, and you are thus privileged to indulge in whatever cultish delusions you wish. I don’t expect it will work out well, but who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky.

    –Andrew

    Attorney Andrew F. Branca
    Law of Self Defense LLC

      Almost 300 words, and not one actual example of substantive societally acceptable racism.

      I can give an example of societally acceptable racism: In some circles it is socially acceptable to hate whites, Jews and Asians–no social consequences for such hatred, and in fact the public expression of such hatred can be a route to political and economic success.

    bias against black people as “thugs”

    The only people I have ever seen wearing t-shirts announcing that they are thugs, or love the “thug life” or are “mommy’s/daddy’s little thug” were black people.

Teyuna: You are wrong about the crime statistics regarding shootings and sentencing.

As for institutions and disparate outcomes, does that mean you believe in the myth of “institutional racism” explaining disparate outcomes?

The local newspaper has an article about jury selection in this case. The comments are worth reading:

http://www.tampabay.com/news/pinellas/2019/08/20/trial-in-the-clearwater-parking-lot-shooting-day-2-the-jury/

Interesting that they managed to save this trial until such a time as the democrats, having had an epic fail on Russia! have determined (as per a politico article several a day or two ago) that their number one issue for the election will be gun control (and racism)… 24/7/365 at 100%.

Dem’s think it’s a winner for them. Good. It’s a big giant loser.

An old man defends the handicapped and for no apparent reason he gets violently shoved to the ground and the attacker continues to advance until he sees the gun. This isn’t about justice. It’s about headlines and politics.

I don’t know enough about the incident to have a confident opinion of whether or not the shooting was justified. I would want to watch every bit of video that is available, in the highest resolution, at various speeds, and with advice from experts on self-defense.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to pst314. | August 21, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    As long as you remember while you are watching the video that D didn’t have the luxury of frame by frame when on the ground after being attacked from surprise.

BerettaTomcat | August 20, 2019 at 10:36 pm

If it’s true the jury could go either way, then, at this point, one must assume the proper verdict is “Not guilty,” as reasonable doubt exists.

Great follow up article. Bottom line up front; the jury will hear the evidence presented, deliberate and reach a verdict.

I wonder if there is audio available either from camera’s or someone’s go pro or witness testimony. If shooter was issuing clear commands; show me your hands, kneel down or whatever and shootee refused or if the shooter was not coherent enough after the above and impact on concrete. If available that audio would do a good bit to clear this up for me was I on the jury.

As it was the shootee decided to take a quarter turn away from shooter which seems to mask the motions of his right hand from the shooter’s vision, all while simultaneously a second potential additional attacker seems to be moving into position for a blind side attack from the shooter’s right side. Considering the shooter was already attacked with enough force to cause his impact on the concrete parking lot, all the above, his level of training (likely low due to his poor situational awareness demonstrated by allowing a blind side attack in the first place), and he was more than likely still jacked up over the argument with the driver plus getting knocked on his rear end….

This didn’t have to happen. But layer built upon layer, decisions by all parties were suboptimal.
So since everyone else has given an opinion my take is the shooter will walk at trial.
As for the events, it is tragic that the shooter didn’t just go inside and tell management about the illegal handicapped space parking and take a photo of the car plate in the spot to call the PD. It is likewise inexcusable for anyone to place their hands on another without consent, much less with enough force to knock them to the ground.

Real moral of the story is in this type of situation when someone has a weapon pointed at you the person pointing the weapon is now in charge; do what they say, don’t feel ‘disrespected’, don’t try to play this off because you are being embarrassed in front of your girl or your friends. If a weapon pointed at you can’t change your attitude towards the reality of the situation then you may not in fact deserve to be shot, but you probably will be. Is your pride worth that?

    Mac45 in reply to CommoChief. | August 21, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    Wow. All I can say is wow.

    First, there is no evience to assume that McGlockton was armed iin any way. And, you can not shoot someone simply because they may be armed.

    Second, where is any evidence that the man who ducked and moved to his right between the parked cars, was circling the cars to attack Drejka? His actions would be wholly in keeping with someone who wished to avoid getting hit with a wild shot.

    Now, unless we hve a surprise witness at the trial, all witnesses have said that niether M nor D exchanged any words at all. M came out of the store, saw D arguing with his [M’s] girlfriend and shoved D. D fell sideways onto the parking lot, as M took two more step toward him and stopped. D began to draw his pistol, at which point M backed up two steps, to the side of his girlfriend’s car. As D pointed the weapon at him, he turned to his right, possibly to walk away, and D shot him.

    So, there is no evidence that any attack, by M, was imminent. There is no evidence that, even if such an attack was imminent, that there was any likelihood of great bodily harm or death. There is no evidence that M had any deadly weapon in his possession. And, the shoving of D did not constitute a forcible felony, which would have allowed D to use deadly force against M. Besides that, even if the shove WAS a forcible felony, it was already over and the statute only allows the use of deadly force to prevent or stop a forcible felony.

    Drejka might be acquitted. If so, as an all white jury was seated, this might cause problems later on. But even an acquittal does not mean that Drejka did not violate the law. There is a very good reason why this case is before jury and not a judge. If Drejka had simply said, “Back off,” rather than pull the trigger, he would not be in court at all.

      CommoChief in reply to Mac45. | August 22, 2019 at 8:16 pm

      Mac45,

      I want to reiterate that I believe the shooter walks at trial. That is my opinion based on what I have read and observed. You are welcome to disagree.

      For the events of that day, tragically poor decisions made all around. A man was shot and killed in no small part due to his naked aggression demonstrated by the forceful and unprovoked shove. A shove with enough energy to knock a grown adult man on his rear end. I hope you agree that the jury will decide if the above sentence is accurate.

      Finally the point I attempted to make in the final paragraph of my above post is that ethics, morality and the law did not stop the shooter from pulling the trigger on his weapon and a man died. That is an irrefutable fact.

      So yes you can indeed shoot and kill an unarmed attacker. That is not a physical impossibility. The circumstances of that action will definitely be reviewed by the DA, maybe a grand jury and perhaps in front of a jury at one’s trial. None of that prevents someone from pulling the trigger. That said once you have a weapon pointed at you please understand that the person holding the weapon is in charge, because that person is the one who decides whether or not to fire. The legal aspects follow from that person’s decision, but do not prevent it.

        markm in reply to CommoChief. | August 27, 2019 at 7:14 pm

        “And, you can not shoot someone simply because they may be armed.” Tell that to the hundreds of cops that got away with shooting someone because they imagined they might have a gun – and none of these cops had just been knocked to the ground. Drezka was the victim of an assault – which could have killed him on the spot if his head had hit the pavement – and he had no reason to expect it was over.

It doesn’t matter what you consider Drejka’s reasonable fear to be, it matters what he considered it to be.
_____________________________________________________________

precisely–M, without apparent warning or provocation, had already assaulted D, to my mind proving that he had no qualms against further use of deadly force against a man knocked to the ground–can’t say from the video alone whether would have fired myself but, as happens in these events, things proceed very quickly indeed–whether D was stunned or experiencing ” slow time ” as is typical, not easy to determine from the video

because believe jurors could not honestly say whether, given similar conditions, they definitely would/would not have fired, the benefit of the doubt extends to D

he walks

    This is why people get themselves into problems with use of force situations. They doo not understand how the cdriminal justie system works.

    The level of fear, experienced by Drejka is irrelevant, in and of itself, unless he claims that he was not experiencing any fear at all. It has to measured against the level of fear which a reasonable man would be expected to experience in a similar situation. Now, this is a rather vague standard, but, never the less, it is the standard used in trials. Now, McGlockton dod shove Drejka and this cause Drejka to fall onto the ground. This action would be expected to generate a reasonable level of fear of continued attack. However, when Drejka drew his pistol, McGlockton immediately backed off and turned to leave. The question then becomes whether a reasonable man, in Drejka’s position at that time, facing those circumstances, would be expected to have a reasonable fear that McGlockton would continue the attack. And, as M had retreated to his girlfriend’s car and was turning away from D, that is going to be a hard sell for the defense.

    In fact, it is already such a hard sell, that supporters of Drejka’s actions are attempting to imply that D was not mentally coherent at the time and therefor incapable pf making an informed decision on whether to fire his pistol. It will be interesting to see if the defense attempts to portray Drejka in the same manner or not.

      Think38 in reply to Mac45. | August 22, 2019 at 1:20 am

      “The question then becomes whether a reasonable man, in Drejka’s position at that time, facing those circumstances, would be expected to have a reasonable fear that McGlockton would continue the attack. ”

      Not a bad summary. The follow on statement though is the problem. It’s not defense’s story to sell, it’s the procsecuton’s story to disprove. That is a crucial difference.

      Last, I don’t think many commentators are arguing D was not mentally coherent (at least I’ve not). Rather, the disorientation that goes with being knocked down is a contributing factor to what he believed and what a reasonable person would believe in similar circumstances. Disorientation and confusion make things considerably harder for a person to process what is happening in real time. For a case in which the timing is crucial to the prosecution, that creates a difficult fact for the prosecution to address.

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