CLEARWATER, Fla. — The fallout from the guilty verdict in the Michael Drejka manslaughter trial continued Saturday afternoon with reaction from the family of the man shot and killed.
Britany Jacobs, the girlfriend of Markeis McGlockton, joined others to share their thoughts about the verdict. Among them were lawyer Ben Crump and attorney Michele Rayner, who represented McGlockton's parents and family.
"It is not just an important verdict -- a historic verdict -- for Markeis McGlockton's family. It's not just an important verdict for African Americans. It is an important verdict for all Americans," Crump said. "For all of America because it is important to know that equal justice is possible for black and brown people in America.
"It happens very infrequently but we can proclaim from the top of the mountains and, Britney you can tell Markeis' children, that today we saw justice happen in America. Equal justice."
A jury found Drejka, 49, guilty of manslaughter in the July 2018 shooting death of McGlockton. He was shot and killed by Drejka during a dispute over a disabled person’s parking spot at a Clearwater convenience store. The two argued over a parking spot that Jacobs pulled into. It was a space meant for customers with disabilities.
Drejka admitted to shooting McGlockton last year, but his defense team was arguing self-defense at trial.
The trial began Monday with jury selection and wrapped up right before the weekend.
"Thank God for this verdict," Crump said.
Immediately after the shooting, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said he didn’t arrest Drejka because of Florida’s “stand your ground” law. Drejka did not seek “stand your ground” immunity from a judge. He was arrested on Aug. 13, 2018, and charged with manslaughter.
"It was unbelievable to me that a man could kill someone in broad daylight, take his life and still walk around free," said Raynor, referring to the period from when the shooting happened to Drejka's arrest.
Crump, a well-known civil rights attorney, represented the family of Trayvon Martin, the Sanford teenager shot and killed in 2012 by George Zimmerman.
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