CLEARWATER, Fla. -- A pair of rallies Sunday called for justice for a man fatally shot outside a Tampa Bay convenience store last month and the repeal of Florida’s controversial ‘stand your ground’ law.
Rev. Al Sharpton led one of the rallies, which was held at the St. John Primitive Baptist Church in Clearwater. In the other, Black Lives Matter marched through the streets nearby calling for change.
This all stems from the July 19 shooting of Markeis McGlockton by Michael Drejka. Video shows Drejka arguing with McGlockton’s girlfriend about her parking in a space for a disabled person. Then McGlockton comes out of the store and pushes Drejka to the ground. Seconds later, Drejka pulls out his gun and shoots McGlockton.
McGlockton would later die.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri didn’t arrest Drejka, citing Florida’s “stand your ground” law. The case has now been turned over to the state attorney’s office.
"The law in the state of Florida today is that people have the right to stand their ground, and have a right to defend themselves when they believe they are in harm," Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri had said during an earlier press conference.
During his rally Sunday, Rev. Sharpton said Drejka should have been arrested.
"It is not the sheriff's job to determine whether “stand your ground” applies. That ought to be decided in a courtroom and the state attorney's office," says Sharpton.
He also had strong words for Sheriff Gualtieri.
“Lock him (Drejka) up or turn in your badge,” said Sharpton.
Also joining Sharpton on stage were the Democratic candidates running for governor in Florida. Each of them addressed the crowd before Sharpton.
Meanwhile, outside the church, Black Lives Matter held a march through the streets of Clearwater, calling for justice for McGlockton.
5:35 p.m.:-- Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, took the podium to speak.
5:25 p.m.-- Rev. Al Sharpton says this situation was personal to him. His daughter told him three weeks ago she was going to have his first grandchild.
5:11 p.m.-- Reverend Al Sharpton took the podium to rally for Markeis McGlockton.
Sharpton to Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri: "Lock up shooter Michael Drejka or give up your badge." The crowd cheers in support.
Sharpton: We need to repeal "stand your ground."
"It is not the sheriff's job to determine whether 'stand your ground' applies. That ought to be decided in a courtroom and the state attorney's office," says Sharpton.
Sharpton says that if Markeis had been standing over the other guy, and if it had been the other way around when deputies arrived, they wouldn't have asked questions. "It would have been a different story."
5:00 p.m.-- Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represented the family of Trayvon Martin, is speaking now.
"Stand your ground is a racist, Jim Crow law that gives white people a license to kill unarmed people of color."
4:45 p.m.-- Black Lives Matter protesters started marching from the church to the convenience store parking lot where Markeis McGlockton was shot.
4:30 p.m.-- People were being escorted away from the rally being held outside of the church. Protesters filled the street outside waiting to march to the start.
4:00 p.m.--Democratic gubernatorial candidates Philip Levine and Chris King speak, talk about repealing or changing Florida's "stand your ground" law. Rev. Al Sharpton says he is there to raise awareness. President Trump was in Tampa speaking, right down the road and did not mention this at all when he was here.
Sharpton says he will work with attorney Crump to bring this national attention. "I will work with attorney Crump to make sure the nation knows about this. This is a disgrace."
"This case should not be tried in the parking lot of a convenience store or a gas station. This case should be tried in court," Sharpton said.
Sharpton: "The signal sent by not arresting him tells the next guy in the next parking lot that he can go and do the same thing."
3:45 p.m.-- The St. John's Primitive Baptist Church in Clearwater was filled leading up to the rally for Markeis McGlockton.
3:25 p.m.—Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump arrived at St. John Primitive Baptist Church in Clearwater. Crump is representing Markeis McGlockton’s girlfriend, Brittany Jacobs.
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