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Monday, Aug 20, 2018
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NAACP to hold vigil for man killed in ‘stand your ground’ shooting Thursday

A local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is holding a vigil Sunday for a black man who was killed Thursday in what authorities are calling a "stand your ground" shooting.

The vigil for the family of Markeis McGlockton, 28, who the Pinellas County sheriff said was killed by Michael Drejka, 47, will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Clearwater, according to a news release. Participants, including members of the South St. Petersburg Democratic Club, will march from the church to Circle A Food Store, the site of the killing.

The death of McGlockton, a father of three, sparked national outrage when Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced Friday his office would not arrest Drejka. The sheriff cited Florida’s controversial self-defense law, commonly known as "stand your ground," in his announcement. The law exempts people who use force from prosecution if they fear for their lives.

"I’m not saying I agree with it, but I don’t make that call," Gualtieri said Friday.

Read more about the incident here: No arrest in fatal shooting during argument over handicap parking space

A video of the shooting shows Drejka initiating an oral confrontation with the occupants of a car outside a convenience store near Clearwater on Thursday. The vehicle was parked in a handicapped spot without a decal while McGlockton was in the store.

The video shows McGlockton exiting the store, walking toward Drejka and shoving him to the ground. After a couple of seconds elapse, Drejka is seen pulling out a gun and shooting McGlockton once in the chest.

Race has long played a prominent role in the perception of the controversial law, which has been on the books in Florida since 2005. In perhaps the most famous "stand your ground" case, a jury acquitted George Zimmerman, who killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager walking inside a gated community in Sanford in 2012, of second-degree murder and manslaughter.

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