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Michael Drejka will be shown in court on Friday, before the jury was sent for deliberation. He refused to testify

A Florida man on trial for homicide for killing an unarmed black man in a & # 39; Stand Your Ground shooting & # 39; from 2018, chose not to testify on Friday, the last day of testimony.

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Michael Drejka is on trial for the death of Markeis McGlockton, an unarmed black 28-year-old who he shot in May 2018.

Drejka, 49, had argued with McGlockton's girlfriend about parking in a handicapped place outside a food store in Clearwater, Florida. He had no one in his vehicle and was not handicapped himself, but he said seeing people abusing disabilities made him upset.

When McGlockton came out of the store, he pushed Drejka down. Drejka reached for his weapon and shot him in the chest and killed him.

On Friday, his lawyers argued that he thought he was in danger and that he should therefore be found innocent.

However, prosecutors said that surveillance footage of the incident showed that he was not in danger and that he shot too early without properly assessing the risk.

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Michael Drejka will be shown in court on Friday, before the jury was sent for deliberation. He refused to testify

Michael Drejka will be shown in court on Friday, before the jury was sent for deliberation. He refused to testify

& # 39; This is really an open and dry business. There is no misinterpretation that Markeis McGlockton went backwards, & he said, referring to the fact that McGlockton ran away from Drejka when he was shot.

Drejka, 49, shot and killed Markeis McGlockton, 28, in July 2018 in a fight over a parking lot

Drejka, 49, shot and killed Markeis McGlockton, 28, in July 2018 in a fight over a parking lot

Drejka, 49, shot and killed Markeis McGlockton, 28, in July 2018 in a fight over a parking lot

& # 39; Did Michael Drejka reasonably believe that he was about to die? Did he believe he was about to be beaten up? No, & # 39; Scott Rosenwasser told the jury.

& # 39; You cannot shoot an unarmed retreating man, whether or not he pushed you, & # 39; he went on.

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Prosecutors said he considered himself a & # 39; civil guard & # 39; who have a & # 39; pet peeve & # 39; talked about able-bodied people who parked at handicapped places.

& # 39; He has a pet … he takes it upon himself to be the enforcer. He is a vigilante, & he said.

He also criticized the way Drejka used police terminology while being interviewed by investigators while he had no law enforcement background.

& # 39; How many citizens walk around and say & # 39; neutralize & # 39; and & # 39; negative & # 39 ;. These are law enforcement and military conditions. Nobody talks like that. But he does.

& # 39; He is going to force a place in a neighborhood store, not as if it is his own, and then he says: & # 39; I can't believe she would talk to me like that. & # 39;

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& # 39; That's his mentality, & # 39; he said.

Drejka's lawyers presented expert witnesses to try and hold his Stand Your Ground Defense.

This is the moment when Drejka shot the unarmed black man after he had pushed him to the ground

This is the moment when Drejka shot the unarmed black man after he had pushed him to the ground

This is the moment when Drejka shot the unarmed black man after he had pushed him to the ground

In his final argument, one of his lawyers told jurors to use & # 39; your common sense & # 39; and said it was perfectly reasonable to assume that McGlockton would hurt him.

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& # 39; He didn't go there to hug him. Come on! Use common sense, & # 39; said lawyer John Trevena.

& # 39; Your fundamental right is to stay alive, & # 39; he said.

He also broke away from characterizing the prosecutor of him as trigger happy and said he legally owned a gun without firing it for 25 years.

& # 39; You would think that if someone had itching to use a firearm, if that was their agenda, you wouldn't have found someone within 25 years? & # 39; he added.

& # 39; No one disputes that he shot this man. It's all on video, & he said. He added that he felt that prosecutors had manipulated the jury members & # 39; & # 39 ;.

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The defense focused on the term deadly force and how it applies to civilians and not just to law enforcement.

They asked the jury not to consider whether McGlockton was actually a threat, but whether they thought it reasonable that Drejka assumed that he was and signed his weapon.

Drejka is shown lying on the floor during his police interview, re-acting shooting the victim

Drejka is shown lying on the floor during his police interview, re-acting shooting the victim

Drejka is shown lying on the floor during his police interview, re-acting shooting the victim

The public prosecutor tore it apart and said the jury should not decide on what Drejka considered a threat, but what a reasonable person would consider a threat.

The defense tried at some stage to use a real gun as support, but the judge did not allow it.

The defense presented only three witnesses. Drejka chose not to testify and told the judge through a statement: & # 39; I prefer not to testify. & # 39;

The public prosecutor presented more than 17 witnesses. They also played a video of his interview in which he told the police: & I am shooting to save my own a **. And that's that. & # 39;

Elsewhere in the interview, he said he thought McGlockton would kick him.

& # 39; When I come out, I start pulling my weapon. Flattening my weapon, he takes his next step towards me and I rule with 21 feet.

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& # 39; It happened so quickly and that was that. … I thought there would be stairs or at least he would sit on top of me.

& # 39; It happened so quickly and that was that. … I thought there would be stairs or at least he would sit on top of me.

& # 39; I think he's coming to do the rest … whatever was right afterwards. If he starts beating me so hard from the start, what else can I expect?

& # 39; He barely took the second step before I pulled the trigger.

At one point in the one-hour interview, Drejka landed on the floor and imitated how he shot McGlockton.

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He said that although McGlockton was unarmed, he didn't know that and thought his life was in danger.

Drejka said he feared that he would finish & # 39; what he started & # 39; when he pushed him over and tried to get ahead.

The recordings were made on surveillance videos & # 39; s outside the store. The images show how McGlockton tore away from Drejka when he was shot.

Britany Jacobs, 26, first spoke in public about the circumstances that led to the death of her long-term friend, Markeis McGlockton, 28, in the parking lot of the Clearwater supermarket on July 19, 2018

Britany Jacobs, 26, first spoke in public about the circumstances that led to the death of her long-term friend, Markeis McGlockton, 28, in the parking lot of the Clearwater supermarket on July 19, 2018

Britany Jacobs, 26, first spoke in public about the circumstances that led to the death of her long-term friend, Markeis McGlockton, 28, in the parking lot of the Clearwater supermarket on July 19, 2018

The first witness in the trial was Rich Kelly, who said four months earlier that Drejka threatened to shoot him for parking in the same spot
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The first witness in the trial was Rich Kelly, who said four months earlier that Drejka threatened to shoot him for parking in the same spot

The first witness in the trial was Rich Kelly, who said four months earlier that Drejka threatened to shoot him for parking in the same spot

When the detective told Drejka that instead of approaching him, he regressed, Drejka said he disagreed.

The detectives found it unusual for Drejka to know so much about the 21ft rule – a term quoted by the police that refers to the distance a suspect can travel to an officer by the time he has identified a threat and has his weapon drawn.

There was also a testimony from a police trainer who was familiar with the 21ft rule.

He said that the Drejka had invoked it incorrectly and said it did not apply in his case.

Among other witnesses was Noel Palma, the medical investigator who performed an autopsy on the victim's body.

The bullet traveled through his left lung and pierced his heart and right lung, leaving him & # 39; fairly quickly & # 39; died.

Other state witnesses were a doctor who determined that McGlockton had ecstasy in his system upon his death.

On Wednesday, the dead man's girlfriend, witnessing his death with her children in the back of her car, said she remembered that she wanted Drejka to give her and & # 39; her baby & # 39; s only & # 39; left behind.

There was also a testimony from another black motorist who threatened to shoot Drejka four months before McGlockton & # 39; s death for parking in the same handicapped place.

& # 39; Parking vigilante & # 39; Michael Drejka had a & # 39; pet peeve & # 39; for people who misused disabled places and regarded themselves as & # 39; the enforcer & # 39;

During the trial, little mention was made of Drejka's background or why he was so furious when McGlockton's girlfriend parked in the handicapped place.

WHAT IS THE & # 39; 21ft RULE & # 39; MICHAEL DREJKA TRYED TO USE TO JUSTIFY KILLS

The 21ft rule, also called the Trueller rule, is invoked by my law enforcement officers and taught in training exercises.

It refers to the distance – 21 ft – a suspect can travel to an officer during the time an officer needs to identify a deadly threat and draw his weapon to stop them.

It comes from a detective from Salt Lake City, Sergeant Dennis Tueller, and has applied it to knife attacks. The detective tested how long it took for people to bridge 21ft and discovered that it could be covered in just 1.5 seconds.

Although it is well known among law enforcement officers, it is not generally known by citizens.

Prosecutors said it was unusual for Drejka to abide by it, since he has no background in law enforcement.

He is not disabled and there was no one else in his car.

But during the investigation it appeared that he had previously told people that he was upset when he saw healthy people abusing the parking spaces.

His mother-in-law is disabled and he had a high school treasure who was also disabled and now dead, he told some.

Prosecutors said he was a & # 39; vigilante & # 39; wash with a & # 39; pet peeve & # 39; for people who had parked inappropriately in the places.

& # 39; He has a pet … he takes it upon himself to be the enforcer.

& # 39; He is a vigilante, & # 39; he said.

Drejka and his wife, who have not been mentioned in public and have spoken only on condition of anonymity after receiving the death threats related to the case, have been married since 2010.

She gave an interview after the shooting last year to say she was with him, but otherwise she didn't speak.

He previously worked as a tree trimmer but stopped when he injured himself. Originally from Delaware, he moved to Florida and married in 2010.

Since then he has worked as an Uber driver, but he gave up that job when his car & # 39; unusable & # 39; was, according to earlier statements by his lawyer.

Drejka was described as a frequent customer of the food store where the shooting took place and the owner, who was among the witnesses of the state, characterized him as a & # 39; curious & # 39; person.

He is never thought to have received police or police enforcement training, but he quickly referred to the 21ft rule when he was interrogated by the police in the hours after the attack.

The 21ft rule refers to the distance that a suspect can travel to an officer when he has identified a threat and has drawn his weapon.

Drejka said he called it in when McGlockton was standing in front of him and said he thought he'd be hurt if he didn't shoot.

But experts chose his story apart and said the rule didn't apply because McGlockton didn't approach him and wasn't 21 ft away from him.

They also wondered if he was a real threat because no weapon was drawn.

Drejka drew his weapon and fired it four seconds after McGlockton pushed him to the ground.

FIND YOUR CONSTITUTION IN FLORIDA

Travyon Martin, 17, was shot in 2012

Travyon Martin, 17, was shot in 2012

Travyon Martin, 17, was shot in 2012

In 2005, Florida passed its law making it legal for a person to practice lethal violence such as;

[I] the person reasonably believes that such a force is necessary to prevent an imminent death or major bodily injury to himself or another, or to prevent the threat of a violent crime; or

II] the person acts with a reasonable belief in the necessity of violence

It was because of this law that the office of the Pinellas County sheriff decided not to arrest Drejka after interviewing him in 2018.

In most cases, self-defense only works as a criminal defense if a person has tried to take himself out of danger and has not done so first. It is known as a & # 39; duty to retire & # 39 ;.

Stand Your Ground states differ because they impose no obligation to withdraw.

George Zimmerman, who shot the teenager, was acquitted after using a Stand Your Ground defense

George Zimmerman, who shot the teenager, was acquitted after using a Stand Your Ground defense

George Zimmerman, who shot the teenager, was acquitted after using a Stand Your Ground defense

In Florida, the law not only protects a person against criminal prosecution, but also against civil proceedings.

It is one of the strongest of the 25 states that have the laws of Stand Your Ground.

Most of them are in the South and 10 actually contain the sentence & # 39; stand your ground & # 39; in the legislation.

It caused anger in 2012 in Florida when a jury released George Zimmerman in the death of teenager Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman, a volunteer in the neighborhood watch in the city of Sanford, followed Martin, who, according to him, was suspicious & # 39; behaved while walking to a 7-Elf to get a snack.

They then argued and Zimmerman shot him in the chest.

The teenager was unarmed and died three minutes later. But Zimmerman said he feared for his life and a jury believed him.

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