Florida Shooter Who Killed Black Man in Parking Lot Has History of Gun Threats
Michael Drejka's "Stand Your Ground" defense in the shooting of Markeis McGlockton buckles.
Trayvon Martin's killer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted, according to jurors on the basis of Florida's Stand Your Ground law. It seems the same law will not work in shooter Michael Drejka's favor.
Drejka, 48, was arrested and charged with manslaughter on Monday for killing Markeis McGlockton, 28, in a store parking lot in July. He had a history of threatening people with a firearm, who he felt violated parking or driving rules.
Benjamin Crump, the civil rights lawyer known for representing unarmed Black men who have died in violent encounters, including Trayvon Martin, signed on to represent McGlockton's girlfriend, Britany Jacobs. He called Drejka a "wannabe cop," and said the killing was "cold-blooded."
Drejka screamed at McGlockton's girlfriend and their children, while they were in their car, over an alleged parking violation. When McGlockton returned to the car and saw his family was being harassed, he came to their defense, shoving Drejka.
He then fired his weapon at McGlockton. The claim was Drejka was afraid for his life, so he stood his ground. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said that Drejka acted within his right to defend himself with deadly force.
However, Drejka also harassed another Black driver, Richard Kelly, threatening to shoot him for parking in the same lot a few months before.
Drejka even used racial slurs and called Kelly's boss afterward (from the name on the truck Kelly was driving) and said Kelly was "lucky I didn't blow his head off."
Additionally, on Monday, the prosecution presented two other incidents when Drejka threatened drivers with his gun over driving too slow or not fast enough.
Dreika is now facing 30 years in prison.
Bernie McCabe, the state attorney for Pinellas County, who after 12 days post receiving investigative reports, announced his decision to file charges that is "consistent with the decision-making process established under Florida law in this case."
Michele Rayner, an attorney for McGlockton's parents, added: "This is a big step forward in the direction of justice, not only for Markeis' family but also for society as a whole."
The family's lawyers showed Drejka was 12 feet from McGlockton when he opened fire, and that McGlockton had already backed up and turned away to make sure his family was okay. They said Drejka had time to steady his weapon in his hands and it took four seconds for Drejka to make "the conscious decision" to shoot McGlockton.
Congress members, NAACP, and Black Lives Matter had been involved in the call for Drejka's arrest.
McGlockton's family and supporters were relieved about the State Attorney's Office finding.
McGlockton's mother, Monica Moore-Robinson said, "I've just been in, I guess, a daze because that was my baby. So today when I heard that he was getting charged ... I could start healing."
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The disruption during a musical that tells the story of a Jewish family persecuted in tsarist Russia, takes place just weeks after 11 people were murdered in a synagogue.
Ranferi Basilo pulled a knife on the teenagers while hurling racial slurs.
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"Black people have always been underestimated. The Black college experience is still an exceptional way to train young people," said Senator Art Haywood, a Morehouse Graduate.
What Kamala Harris, Alma Adams, Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams all have in common, in addition to being influential in U.S. politics, is they're graduates of Historically Black Colleges and Universities ( HBCUs) — Howard University, North Carolina A&T, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, and Spelman College.
Approximately 40 percent of the members of Congress are HBCU graduates, according to the Network Journal, a Black professional and small business magazine. And recipients of The United Negro College Fund and Thurgood Marshall Foundation scholarships graduate from college at rates well above the national average.
"We're producing outstanding leaders in all of the major professions," said Harry L. Williams, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and former Delaware State president.
"Anytime you can look at (HBCU) success stories, it just enhances their relevancy and continues to move them forward in a positive way."
This year, a record 38 women of color were elected to Congress. Many of them are HBCU graduates.
The prospect of so many Black-college graduates being elected to statewide office in the same year is unprecedented, Keneshia Grant, an assistant professor of political science at Howard University, said.
And they are touting their HBCU training. Abrams expressed her disapproval of legislation plans for education that did not include those institutions.
As a Spelman alumna, I share the concern raised by @RepRichmond. HBCUs are vital for economic independence. https://t.co/C5DtYKPukP
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) February 16, 2016
Gillum responded to President Trump's tweet attacking him about his lack of Ivy League education:
Mr. @realDonaldTrump, I am a graduate of THE Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) — an HBCU founded on October 3, 1887. Google it. 🐍 https://t.co/I8uOokptJA
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) October 30, 2018
Art Haywood is one of four Black state senators in Pennsylvania, and one of two from Morehouse.
"If the two Black state senators had come from Harvard or Yale, then those schools would get all the credit," Haywood said.
"Black people have always been underestimated," Haywood said. "I don't think there's any more validation required. The Black college experience is still an exceptional way to train young people."
Of politicians like Abrams and Gillum, the president of HBCU Dillard University Walter Kimbrough said they are sending a message: "It's a reaffirmation, not only for students but for families, that you can go to an HBCU and compete with anyone."
Approximately 13 percent of HBCU graduates are CEOS, 40 percent are engineers and 50 percent are professors at non-HBCUs, according to the Network Journal.
The HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities study shows how the United States economy benefits from HBCUs: $14.8 billion in economic impact. In addition, graduates predominantly come from low-income areas, giving them and the communities the opportunity to break cycles of poverty and open doors to successful and lucrative careers. Individual graduates can earn $927,000 within their lifetime, $130 billion collectively over their lifetime.
"You try to destroy our heritage; you're tearing down monuments!" he screamed.
Mike Espy, a Black man, in a runoff election against Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith said her comment has "no place in our political discourse, in Mississippi, or our country."
U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) will face Democratic candidate Mike Espy, a Black man, in a runoff election. In a video clip, which went viral on Sunday, she jokes about attending "a public hanging" — a method of domestic terrorism that killed hundreds of Black people in the state.
"And for this I'd never forgive him," Obama writes in her new memoir.
Former first lady Michelle Obama is trending on Twitter for what is revealed in her new memoir.
In public speeches, when giving her opinion on the current state of the U.S., Obama never refers to President Trump by name. But in her new 426-page book, "Becoming," she mentions her disdain for Trump.
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"I was looking beyond my own tragedy," Lucy McBath said.
Winning in a district with affluent white voters as the majority, Lucy McBath was advised initially during her campaign not to talk about the details of her 17-year-old son's murder.
Instead, she not only mentioned Jordan Davis' story, she also called attention to the reality of other Black teens like him, including Trayvon Martin.
McBath, a Democrat, defeated Republican incumbent Karen Handel who had been elected to represent Georgia's 6th Congressional District just last year.