A Florida man who was initially cleared of any wrongdoing for shooting another man under the state's "Stand Your Ground" law has been arrested and charged with manslaughter. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gulatieri defended his officer's decision not to arrest Michael Drejka after he shot and killed 23-year-old Markeis McGlockton following a heated argument over a handicapped parking space because he claimed that it was self-defense.
Video captured the entire confrontation and many questioned Gulatieri's decision to cite Florida's controversial self-defense law, when he decided not to press charges. Drejka claimed that he feared for his life after an unarmed McGlockton shoved him to the ground.
After the outcry over Gulatieri's decision not to charge Drejka, he passed the case onto state prosecutors, who decided that Drejka should be charged with manslaughter.
"I support the State Attorney's decision and will have no further comment as the case continues to work its way through the criminal justice system," Gulatieri said in a statement.
Drejka was taken into custody and booked into the Pinellas County Jail on a $100,000 bond.
Benjamin Crump, the attorney for the McGlockton family, applauded the belated decision to charge Drejka.
"This self-appointed wannabe cop attempted to hide behind 'Stand Your Ground' to defend his indefensible actions, but the truth has finally cut through the noise," Crump said. "I have full faith that this truth will prevail to punish this cold-blooded killer who angrily created the altercation that led to Markeis' needless death."
Photo: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office