Mayor Andrew Gillum called for a State of Emergency on Monday over the Stand Your Ground law until state officials can define how and when the law should be implemented.
The controversial Florida law seems to be working in the defense of white people, but backfiring against Blacks. Gillium’s request comes after the deadly shooting of Markeis McGlockton in July. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gaultieri refused to arrest Michael Drejka for shooting the 27-year-old to death and said the white man acted in self-defense. However, gun lawmakers and the NRA disagreed with Gaultieri’s understanding according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
Gillium said during a news conference Monday night, “It is particularly an emergency in communities of color where we know that multiple studies have shown that homicide rate is going up as a result of these laws… We’ve found a way, at least until the Legislature convenes and deals with these conflicts of interpretation and of law to ensure the safety of everyday people until we get greater clarity.”
He added, “I don’t believe Stand Your Ground has a place in civilized society.”
On July 20, McGlockton walked out of a Clearwater, FL store to find Drejka arguing with his girlfriend over a parking space. The victim pushed the white man and that’s when Drejka opened fired. He fatally shot the 27-year-old in the chest.
The Stand Your Ground law allows citizens to use force to protect themselves if they feel threatened, but the law does not explain what legally constitutes fear.
Gillum called for Governor Rick Scott’s support due to his power from a provision in the Governor’s Emergency Management Powers that would allow Scott to “delay necessary action in coping with the emergency.”
The Tallahassee mayor added, “The consequence of confusion over how Stand Your Ground is applied in this state can result in the loss of life of otherwise innocent people.”
The gun law also failed Trayvon Martin in 2012. He was shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman simply for looking “suspicious.”
Stand Your Ground has created a state of emergency in Florida. That's why I'm calling on Governor Scott to issue an Executive Order suspending the law. If he won't, when I'm Governor, I will.#MarkeisMcGlockton #EnoughIsEnough #NeverAgain pic.twitter.com/V1E7JLztnf
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) July 30, 2018