Adam Putnam slams Ron DeSantis for ‘siding with liberal Democrats’ on ‘Stand Your Ground’ controversy

Adam Putnam Jax

Republican Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam continued Tuesday to stress differences with the other gubernatorial candidates over the justification behind the Markeis McGlockton killing, a potential preview of talking points from his debate with U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis in Jacksonville Wednesday evening.

McGlockton was fatally shot on July 19 by Michael Drejka in Pinellas County in a dispute over a parking place that went from verbal to physical to fatal.

DeSantis and the Democrats have said that they don’t see the killing of McGlockton as a “Stand Your Ground” case. However, Putnam took a different position in a conversation Monday with Florida Politics  in Jacksonville.

“It’s a decision that’s in the hands of the state attorney who has access to far more of the full picture of what went down,” Putnam said, “than just the video that we’ve all seen in the media.”

“I certainly have a lot of respect for Sheriff (Bob) Gualtieri,” Putnam added, “who also has a law degree by the way. And I’m confident that the state attorney will make the decision that’s right in the eyes of the law.”

In a position that diverges from Putnam’s and Gualtieri’s interpretation, DeSantis said in a statement to POLITICO, “It doesn’t seem to me that the law is even applicable in the case of Markeis McGlockton, and I don’t think the Pinellas County sheriff analyzed the law properly.”

Putnam’s campaign amplified differences with DeSantis on Tuesday, with pitched rhetoric: “D.C. DeSantis has betrayed President Trump and law-abiding citizens by siding with Al Sharpton and liberal Democrats to tear down Stand Your Ground.”

Putnam added that DeSantis “ought to be ashamed of siding with Al Sharpton and liberal Democrats instead of standing for Floridians’ constitutional rights.”

Gualtieri, who has endorsed Putnam for Governor, said security camera footage of McGlockton shoving Drejka to the ground before the shooting made the case fit within the framework of the SYG law as written. That’s because, Gualtieri contends, the law was amended by the Legislature in 2017 to require law enforcement to prove a shooter didn’t feel threatened before they may file criminal charges.

“Nowhere else is there anything like this in criminal law, where somebody asserts something, and the burden then shifts to the other person,” Gualtieri said. “So, the law is changed dramatically because you’ve got a situation here where ‘stand your ground’ allows for a subjective belief by the person that they are in harm’s way, they are in fear.”

Where many differ with that opinion is the video clip of the seconds before Drejka fired. SYG removes the “duty to retreat” before lethal force may be used in self defense, but the footage appears to show McGlockton backing away from Drejka, thereby deescalating the altercation, once the weapon was drawn.

Democrats over the weekend appeared with the Rev. Al Sharpton and all five candidates support repeal of the SYG law.

Additionally, the Clearwater branch of the NAACP has called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the case while national racial justice group Color of Change has started a campaign to “Stop ‘Stand Your Ground.” Their efforts include a petition to encourage Bernie McCabe, the state attorney for Pinellas and Pasco counties, to file charges against Drejka and the recent opening of a state-level political committee to raise funds and get their message out.

Drew Wilson contributed to this post. 

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Mike Sigler

    August 7, 2018 at 2:53 am

    Have you noticed every city and state with “Strong Democratic” Leadership have turned into Cesspools and honestly believe that trampling on the law abiding citizens rights will somehow make the World a better place?

    New York and California with outrageous bans on everything from guns to straws. Governors who have completely lost their grasp of reality. They are bordering on Bankruptcy but allow and protect illegals who drain their already limited social services in turn taxing their citizens to death.

    Mayors who have allowed their cities to be turned into Warzones and blame the police for it and not the criminals. Where dozens are shot by criminals and nothing is said but if a police officer shoots a criminal there are protests. Mayors who take guns from honest citizens who have no way to protect themselves from the criminal element making them live in fear.

    Senators and Congressmen who actually not only condone violence and civil unrest but insight it as well. Who promote racism and distrust for votes.

    Yet the media’s number one story is what President Trump had for lunch and whether it was in collusion with the Russians.

    At the rate things are going you will be arrested for having a straw made by a 3D printer in a “Straw Free” Zone. God help us.

    • Kay Evenwel

      August 7, 2018 at 2:16 pm

      Thank you for stating so well what has left me speechless as I have watched and heard these events. I’ve been doing my homework on the candidates and will be ready for the primaries and the November election.

  • Michael Smith

    August 7, 2018 at 3:59 am

    No, sorry, never noticed any of that, comrade. Cool story, though. 👍🏼

  • Dan Lanske

    August 7, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Ron Desantis and the democrats should be ashamed of themselves jumping to conclusions just like Obama did with Trayvon Martin. Adam Putnam is doing the right thing by waiting until ALL of the details are out, and it goes through the proper due process before commenting.

    Bravo Mr. Putnam.

    • Matthew

      August 7, 2018 at 6:42 pm

      It is Sherriff Gualtieri that jumped the gun in this case by stating that he thought this was a case for “Stand Your Ground.” His Job is collect the evidence and report it to the States Attorneys. Then they will decide if an arrest should be made and then his officers will carry out that arrest. That is were it should have been left. Instead I believe he purposely caused this spectacle to purposely bring the “SYG” law into question, which is exactly what has happened. Also for the record, I am a gun owning, Republican voter that believes 100% in “Stand your Ground”, but I don’t believe that this is a clear case of “SYG”.

      • Tim Berton

        August 8, 2018 at 2:36 am

        The NRA came out against the sheriff too and wanted an arrest. It was a GOP governor who appointed a special prosecutor to charge Zimmerman after the sheriff and state attorney refused to charge him.

  • Forrest

    August 7, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    California has a billionaire dollar surplus in its coffers because they taxed their wealthiest in a manner that was fair.
    I have no idea about NY.
    Sigler, I’m betting you believe the lies about Europe, too.
    Destroy public education and a truly free press and this is what you get.

Comments are closed.


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