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Friday, July 27, 2018

Florida lawmakers call for federal investigation of 'stand your ground' shooting

Posted By on Fri, Jul 27, 2018 at 2:25 PM

  • Photo via U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons
Last week, Pinellas County authorities announced they would not pursue charges against a Florida man involved in a fatal shooting, due to his protections under the "stand your ground" law. Now, lawmakers are asking the Department of Justice to do something about it.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Rep. Charlie Crist are among five Senators and members of Congress who, in a letter addressed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Assistant Attorney General John Gore, called on the department's Civil Rights Division to investigate the shooting death of Markeis McGlockton, a 28-year-old unarmed black man who was shot by Michael Drejka outside a convenience store in Clearwater.

The letter was also signed buy Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Alcee Hastings.

In a press conference Thursday, MckGlockton's girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, stood with civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump who told reporters MckGlockton's death was "cold-blooded murder" and that race was a factor in the case, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Crump, known for his representation of families of slain unarmed black men, said that Drejka has reportedly harassed other black men at the same convenience store in the past.

"It's still ludicrous how you can claim that you have fear of your life, but yet you approach and start the confrontation with the individual," said Crump.

Clearwater police chief Dan Slaughter told the Times that Florida's "stand your ground" law "needs significant improvements," particularly because the law was revised in 2016 to switch the burden of proof on the prosecution rather than the defense.

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