A Florida sheriff responded to Al Sharpton after he criticized his office for not arresting a white man who shot and killed an unarmed black man in a parking lot confrontation.
Sharpton criticized Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri for not filing charges against Michael Drejka, the man who shot Markeis McGlockton, according to TampaBay.com.
Gualtieri said that Drejka wasn’t arrested because of Florida’s stand your ground self-defense law, but the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s office is reviewing the case to determine whether charges should be brought against the man.
“It’s a bunch of rhetoric. I don’t pay much attention to it to tell you the truth,” the sheriff said in response to Sharpton’s remarks. “I wasn’t there, and I don’t really care what Al Sharpton has to say. Go back to New York. Mind your own business.”
“If you got to the scene, Mr. Sheriff, and Markeis had been standing over the white man, you would have cuffed him and taken him to jail,” Sharpton had said during a rally on Aug. 5. “Drejka killed an unarmed black man who was standing up for his family. Lock him, or give up your badge.”
After Gualtieri’s comment, Sharpton issued a statement via a spokesperson comparing Gualtieri’s comments to “those of sheriffs out of the 1960s that used to call civil rights leaders invited in by victims, ‘outside agitators,’” according to TampaBay.com.
In response, Gualtieri said there’s no evidence that race was a factor in the McGlockton case to show race was a factor, adding that his comments were directed at Sharpton’s remarks.
“It’s really easy to go around throwing wild allegations that have no basis in the air and inflaming people when there’s just no basis for it,” he said. “That’s wrong and irresponsible.”
“The facts and the law matter,” he said regarding the politicization of the incident. “Learn the facts and learn the law, and then you can opine.”
A legal analyst, Anthony Rickman, told Fox that “when a prosecutor looks at this case, they’re not looking at it as to whether it will be popular. It’s whether or not they can prove this charge.”
“They’re going to take their time,” said Rickman of the prosecutors. “They will base their decision on the facts, the evidence, the video, and more importantly the law.”