A Florida sheriff on Monday responded to sharp criticism from the Rev. Al Sharpton for not arresting a white man who shot and killed an unarmed black man during a parking lot dispute last month.
Sharpton criticized Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri at a Sunday rally for Markeis McGlockton.
McGlockton was shot on July 19 by Michael Drejka in Clearwater, according to FOX13 Tampa Bay. Drekja told deputies he feared for his life and police at the time chose not to arrest him, citing the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
“This case should not be tried in a parking lot of a convenience store,” Sharpton said. “It should be tried in a courtroom.”
Gualtieri was asked about Sharpton’s comments Monday during a press conference for an unrelated investigation.
“It’s a bunch of rhetoric. I don’t pay much attention to it, to tell you the truth. I wasn’t there, and I don’t really care what Al Sharpton has to say,” Gualtieri said. “Go back to New York. Mind your own business.”
“Go back to New York. Mind your own business.”
– Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri
In a statement to the Tampa Bay Times, a spokeswoman for Sharpton compared the sheriff’s comments to “those of sheriffs out of the 1960s that used to call civil rights leaders invited in by victims, “outside agitators.’”
Sharpton plans to keep coming back to Clearwater regardless of Gualtieri’s remarks.
Florida prosecutors said last week they will review the case. The Pinellas County State Attorney said there was no time frame for how long it will take to review the case and determine whether charges should be filed against Drejka.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.