You may have heard last week that the Florida man who shot and killed an “unarmed black-man” in July of 2018 after being violently assaulted has been convicted of manslaughter. Clearwater, Florida Police did not charge Michael Drejka at first believing he was within his rights under Florida’s stand your ground law. The manslaughter charge carries a maximum of thirty years. Drejka has not yet been sentenced.
It’s hard to imagine how a jury convicted Drejka who verbally confronted Markeis McGlockton’s girlfriend for parking in a designated handicapped space. When McGlockton came out of the convenience store he violently attacked Michael Drejka shoving him to the ground. Drejka responded by pulling a gun and shooting McGlockton inflicting the injuries that proved fatal.
Florida’s law states that if a reasonable person is in fear of injury or loss of life they can defend themselves. There is no clause stating that the attacker must be armed. It is perfectly reasonable to believe that Michael Drejka, who was then on the ground with McGlockton postured within feet, would assume he might again be attacked, maybe with a forceful kick to his head, or even a weapon as yet revealed.
Florida’s law also states the individual defending himself cannot have instigated the confrontation. It doesn’t seem reasonable that a verbal rebuke for abusing a handicapped parking space would be considered an “instigation.” A reasonable person would think a violent act or otherwise threatening behavior would only be considered instigation.
This conviction brazenly violates Florida’s stand your ground law. But more egregiously it gives license to trample on the rights of handicapped people and to engage in physical violence toward anybody with virtually no fear of reprisal. I have very vocally supported the Black Lives Matter movement but, black people don’t have a right to ignore the law, especially when it violates another individuals civil rights. It’s a sad truth, but my observations also tell me that the “black community” is often especially insensitive, indifferent and lacking in compassion for those people, even in their own “black community” that are somehow challenged, handicapped, infirm or otherwise undesirable.
The conviction really does beg the sensibilities of a reasonable person, so much so, I begin to wonder if there was more posturing during the trial and jury selection than is usual or obvious. I begin to wonder if the defense, for whatever reason and motivation, actually stacked the jury against their own client so that he would be convicted. In short, it seems possible that a conspiracy evolved to sublimate BLM with a shooter conviction since in other cases it has proven virtually impossible to impose responsibility on law enforcement when they use excessive force.
I don’t know how the jury arrived at their outrageous decision, but it is obvious at face value that the conviction is diametrically opposed to Florida’s law, and the reasonable judgment of any person violently assaulted and legitimately in fear of injury or loss of life. This conviction is a mistrial. When it comes time to mete out the sentence, hopefully, the judge will also be a reasonable person and throw the conviction out.
©2019 – Jim Casey