CLEARWATER, Fla.— A recent decision not to charge a man who shot and killed another man in a convenience store parking lot because of Florida’s “stand your ground” law prompted protest Sunday night.
Protesters gathered at the Circle A store on Sunset Point in Clearwater — the scene of the shooting — to express their frustration on how the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office handled the case.
It all started when Markeis McGlockton’s girlfriend drove into a parking spot while he walked into the Circle A store.
During a press conference Friday, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri mentioned that a regular customer of the convenience store was frustrated when he saw McGlockton’s girlfriend illegally parked in the handicapped spot.
The customer and the girlfriend started yelling at each other after the customer complained to her about parking there, according to deputies.
Another customer went inside to tell the manager about a disturbance outside. McGlockton walked outside and shoved the customer to the ground.
While on the ground, the man shot and hit McGlockton in the chest. McGlokton was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Britany Jacobs, McGlockton’s girlfriend, told Good Morning America the couple’s 5-year-old son also witnessed the shooting.
The man who shot him is being cooperative with deputies and told them he was fearful for his life.
“After being slammed to the ground, he felt he was going to be further attacked,” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.
More than 20 states have “stand your ground” laws, which generally allow the use of lethal force for self-defense without the duty of trying to escape. “Stand your ground” allows a person to use deadly force if they think they’re about to face, “imminent death or great bodily harm.” The law has been criticized by parents of slain black teens Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin.
Protesters say the circumstances of the incident shouldn’t categorize it as a “stand your ground” case. Hundreds called for an arrest in the case.