TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Critics of Florida's "stand your ground" gun law staged a sit-in outside Gov. Rick Scott's office Wednesday, demanding that he suspend the law in the wake of "confusion" prompted by last month's shooting death of Marquis McGlockton.

  • Sit-in Wednesday over "stand your ground" law
  • Critics want Gov. Scott to suspend it for 60 days
  • SYG is under fire after the death of Marquis McGlockton

McGlockton was gunned down during an altercation outside a Clearwater convenience store. The man who pulled the trigger, Michael Drejka, has so far avoided arrest by claiming he shot McGlockton in self-defense, thus triggering stand your ground's legal immunity protections.

While Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri has decided not to detain Drejka, some supporters of stand your ground say that, based on video of the shooting captured by a security camera, the law shouldn't apply in the case.

"That disagreement has resulted in the loss of life of a Florida resident. The governor has the power to establish a state of emergency, and for 60 days he can suspend stand your ground," said Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate who joined activists -- including McGlockton's girlfriend, Britany Jacobs -- at Wednesday's sit-in.


Gillum went so far as to leap over a waist-high security barrier that was erected in Scott's lobby two years ago. Chanting "we shall overcome," the mayor and two local ministers sat on the floor of the lobby, their backs against the locked double doors leading to the governor's office.
"You refuse to see black citizens who are standing up with a lady whose three children are fatherless?" the Rev. R.B. Holmes, Jr., asked Scott's receptionist at one point.

The sit-in ended when Diane Moulton, the governor's executive assistant, offered the group a meeting with a deputy chief of staff in charge of security policy.


It remains unlikely that Scott -- a fiercely pro-Second Amendment Republican now vying to unseat U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson -- will meet the activists' demand. And it appears even less likely that the Republicans who control the Florida Legislature will move to repeal stand your ground. While the law's been the focus of increasing criticism dating to the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Florida's powerful gun lobby has been successful in beating back attempts to weaken or eliminate it.

But 2018 is an election year and, the activists say, that could make the current backlash against the law politically potent, driving up turnout by African-American and progressive voters and undercutting Republican prospects up and down Florida's ballot.

"It's hard, and you know, I'm still going to stand up and I'm still going to fight for what is right, and my man was right. Marquis was right. He was just protecting us," said Jacobs, McGlockton's girlfriend.