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What they're saying: Reaction to the arrest of Michael Drejka in Markeis McGlockton shooting

Civil Rights attorney Benjamin Crump speaks to protest the killing of Markeis McGlockton at a rally Aug. 5. OCTAVIO JONES | Times
Civil Rights attorney Benjamin Crump speaks to protest the killing of Markeis McGlockton at a rally Aug. 5. OCTAVIO JONES | Times
Published Aug. 13, 2018

The arrest of Michael Drejka in the controversial shooting of Markeis McGlockton drew loud approval Monday as a welcome development for family, advocacy groups and local elected officials in Florida.

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Here's a selection of what people closest to the case — or those most vocal about its political ramifications — had to say:

"This is exactly what I wanted. This is exactly what me and my family wanted was to get this guy behind bars." — Michael McGlockton, father of Markeis McGlockton

"I support the State Attorney's decision and will have no further comment as the case continues to work its way through the criminal justice system." — Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who initially declined to arrest Drejka, citing stand your ground

"This self-appointed wannabe cop attempted to hide behind stand your ground to defend his indefensible actions, but the truth has finally cut through the noise." — Benjamin Crump, lawyer for Britany Jacobs, Markeis McGlockton's girlfriend and a witness to the shooting

"This is a big step forward in the direction of justice, not only for Markeis' family but also for society as a whole." -- Michele Rayner, lawyer for Markeis McGlockton's parents

"Today's charges offer a ray of hope — but our work is not done." — The Rev. Al Sharpton, who spoke at a rally in Clearwater against stand your ground

"I support the State Attorney's decision. The process worked." — Adam Putnam Florida commissioner of agriculture and Republican candidate for governor

"We commend the State's Attorney for indicting this man in the brutal murder of a husband and father, who sought only to protect his family. This law is a shameful tool for vigilantes and cowards." — NAACP Chairman Leon Russell

"Everybody and their blind relative could see that something was wrong on the part of the shooter and a shove should not elevate one to a death sentence." — State Sen. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg

"We need to get a conviction. Arrest does not mean he'll get convicted, but we're praying for justice." — Pastor Carlton Childs, president of the Upper Pinellas County Ministerial Alliance

"I'm relieved Markeis McGlockton's family and the people of Clearwater will be heard in this horrific tragedy. ... I again call on Governor Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency and suspend this law before someone else gets hurt or killed." — Andrew Gillum, Tallahassee mayor and Democratic candidate for governor

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"Today's decision to charge Michael Drejka is a step toward justice for Markeis McGlockton — but it also exposes the fatal issues with Florida's stand your ground law." — Gwen Graham, Democratic candidate for governor and former congresswoman

"I am proud that our voices and calls to action made a difference here — but the fact remains that an innocent, unarmed father was shot to death in front of his children in the middle of the afternoon. Stand your ground is legalized murder. It must be repealed." — Jeff Greene, Democratic candidate for governor

"The State Attorney's Office is doing what Sheriff Gualtieri has failed to do thus far –– seeking justice for the death of Markeis McGlockton." — Chris King, Democratic candidate for governor

"(The arrest is) a first step in the right direction. I'm surprised it took that long." — Philip Levine, Democratic candidate for governor and former mayor of Miami Beach

Times staff writers Emily L. Mahoney and Steve Contorno contributed to this report.