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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."

The Conversation (1)
Michael J. "Orange Mike" Lowrey15 Aug, 2018

My wife used to work in parking enforcement, and there is a type of personality who just gets off in being the righteous enforcer of rules, especially handicapped parking; ask anybody with a non-obvious disability! Drejka was just a toxic combination of this with the gun-nut habit. <br> <br> (I will admit, though, that the park-over-2-or-more-spaces-to-protect-my-expensive-car types anger me excessively.)

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Update: Student Wearing MAGA Hat Standing Face-to-Face With Native American Veteran Releases Statement

"I was not intentionally making faces at the [protester]," said Nick Sandmann.

Screen shot of Instagram video by Kaya Taitano

UPDATE: Monday, Jan. 21, 2019 at 7 a.m.

Nick Sandmann, the Covington Catholic High School Junior who stands in front of Nathan Phillips, an elder with the Omaha tribe and a veteran, in a viral video that has sparked outrage, made a statement through a lawyer and spokesman on Sunday night.

Sandmann said the students decided to raise their voices to drown out the comments against them by four protesters who identify themselves as Black Hebrew Israelites. A video has been released of the incident.

"A student in our group asked one of our teacher chaperones for permission to begin our school spirit chants to counter the hateful things that were being shouted at our group," Sandmann said in his statement. "The chants are commonly used at sporting events. They are all positive in nature and sound like what you would hear at any high school," he said.

Phillips walked up to the students and said he started drumming and singing a song to encourage unity trying to quell the argument.

"There was that moment when I realized I've put myself between beast and prey,'' Phillips told the Detroit Free Press. "These young men were beastly and these old Black individuals was their prey, and I stood in between them and so they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for that.''

But said at one point, he claims the teenagers started saying "Go back to the reservation'' and broke into chants of "Build that wall.'' He also questioned why chaperones did not get involved.

"I was scared," Phillips told CNN. "I don't like the word 'hate.' I don't like even saying it, but it was hate unbridled. It was like a storm."

Sandmann claims he was "not intentionally making faces at the [protester]. I did smile at one point because I wanted him to know that I was not going to become angry, intimidated or be provoked into a larger confrontation."

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington in Kentucky is currently investigating the incident.

ORIGINAL STORY Published Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019

Students wearing "Make America Great Again" hats, who attend Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills, K.Y., were in Washington, D.C. on Friday for the anti-abortion March for Life rally. In a video, it appears that Nathan Phillips, an elder with the Omaha tribe and a veteran, was being mocked by the students at the Lincoln Memorial.

The incident occurred as the Indigenous Peoples March was ending. Videos showing their behavior went viral on social media on Saturday.

One of the students, standing less than a foot away, appears to be trying to intimidate Phillips by staring him down with a mocking smirk on his face. Phillips was in the midst of drumming and singing a song of unity:

Kaya Taitano, who shot the video, told CNN that MAGA hat-wearing-students and four Black teens, who'd been preaching about the Bible nearby, started yelling and calling each other names. That's why Phillips started drumming and singing a song to encourage unity trying to quell the argument.

President Trump, whom the students apparently idolize, posted a tweet last week to mock Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who plans to run for president in the 2020 election.

Trump made fun of the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre in response to a video Warren posted on Instagram.

Phillips, a Vietnam Era veteran who said he served between 1972 and 1976, is in tears as he explains in a video how the incident on Friday made him feel:

"I heard them saying, 'Build that wall, build that wall.' This in indigenous land. You know, we're not supposed to have walls here. We never did …"

He continued, "Before anybody else came here, we never had walls. We never had a prison. We always took care of our elders. We took care of our children. We always provided for them. We taught them right from wrong."

He said he wishes the young men who taunted him would use "that energy to make this country really great."

Robert "Bob" Rowe is the principal of Covington Catholic High School (email: browe@covcath.org).

An investigation is now taking place, and the MAGA teens could be expelled. The Diocese of Covington and the high school issued the following statement on Saturday:

"We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students towards Nathan Phillips specifically, and Native Americans in general, Jan. 18, after the March for Life, in Washington, D.C. We extend our deepest apologies to Mr. Phillips. This behavior is opposed to the Church's teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person.

"The matter is being investigated and we will take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion.

"We know this incident also has tainted the entire witness of the March for Life and express our most sincere apologies to all those who attended the March and all those who support the pro-life movement."

More than 10,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org demanding changes at the high school.

Many are saying on social media that the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students mimics how whites tried to intimidate Blacks during the civil rights movement: