CLEARWATER, Fla. – The NAACP Florida State Conference is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to open an investigation regarding the "stand your ground" case of a white man who fatally shot an unarmed black man.
Officials with the NAACP said Michael Drejka, 47, was not arrested or charged by Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri based on the sheriff's acceptance of his claim of the right to kill Markeis McGlockton, 28, according to the "stand your ground" law.
"We know the misapplication of this horrendous idea of a law of standing your ground was an excuse to allow George Zimmerman to get away with murdering a young Trayvon Martin; and now it's being used as an excuse for the murder of Markeis McGlockton -- a loving father who only sought to defend his family," NAACP chairman and Florida native Leon W. Russell said.
NAACP officials said the National Office of the NAACP joined the NAACP Florida State Conference and the NAACP Clearwater, Florida Branch in demanding the Department of Justice step in and investigate.
"In cases like this, where local law enforcement fails to protect its citizens equally, it is the duty of the Department of Justice to step in and provide those protections," NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said. "We call on Jeff Sessions to do his job and to forcefully and clearly counter the growing attitude among many that it's open season on black lives."
The Associated Press reported this week the Pinellas County State Attorney said Thursday that there's no time frame for how long it will take the to review the case and determine whether charges will be filed.
Authorities said Drejka shot and killed McGlockton on July 19. Drejka said he was defending himself against McGlockton and said he was in fear for his life, the Associated Press reported.
The NAACP will participate Sunday in a rally, which will feature the Rev. Al Sharpton, NAACP officials said.