Following the fatal shooting of Markeis McGlockton, Democratic lawmakers have called upon the Department of Justice to investigate the convenience store shooting that claimed McGlockton's life.
NBC News reports Florida congressmen Charlie Crist and Alcee Hastings, California Sen. Kamala Harris, New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker and Florida Sen. Bill Nelson signed a letter demanding the DOJ look into the shooting.
The letter, addressed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore, of the DOJ's civil rights division, asks whether or not criminal charges should be filed against 47-year-old shooter Michael Drejka, who has been protected by the "Stand Your Ground" law.
I am calling on DOJ to investigate the shooting that took place in Clearwater last week and determine whether any criminal charges should be filed. pic.twitter.com/Uorw92y7hF
— Senator Bill Nelson (@SenBillNelson) July 27, 2018
Drejka has had a history of harassing Circle A customers in Clearwater, Florida over the use of a handicap parking spot in front of the store, reports the Tampa Bay Times. On July 19, he was caught on security cameras harassing a black family who pulled into the space. When McGlockton left the store and confronted Drejka, the white man pulled a gun and killed him in front of his girlfriend, Brittany Jacobs, and the children.
Hastings and others have pointed out that the law has only protected white Florida residents, all the while black people and other people of color die without justice.
"The Justice Department must actively investigate violent crimes with potential racial undertones to determine if charges should be filed," Hastings said in a statement. "Florida's Stand Your Ground law has created a culture of impunity where communities of color are disproportionately affected.
The controversial law first made headlines in 2012 when George Zimmerman killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. However, it is not clear what it truly means. The Florida Legislature defines the law as such:
“A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person using or threatening to use the deadly force is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.”
State prosecutors are in the process of deciding if charges are warranted for Drejka, but for the moment he is safe.
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