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Pinellas Sheriff Blasts Sharpton Over Stand Your Ground Criticism

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieiri spoke to reporters in St. Petersburg about the Rev. Al Sharpton during a news conference on the arrest of 30 unlicensed contractors Monday.
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is firing back at the Reverend Al Sharpton for speaking out against Florida's Stand Your Ground law.

The MSNBC host and civil rights leader was in Clearwater Sunday with the family of Markeis McGlockton. The 28-year-old black man was fatally shot last month in a parking lot dispute by Michael Drejka, who is 47 and white.

The Republican Sheriff spoke at an outdoor news conference on an unrelated matter in St. Petersburg Monday. He had strong words for Sharpton, who said Gualtieri should either arrest Drejka or give up his badge.

"Bunch of rhetoric. I don't pay much attention to it, to tell you the truth," said Gualtieri. "I wasn't there, don't really care what Al Sharpton has to say. Go back to New York, mind your own business."

Gualtieri also had strong words for the five Democratic gubernatorial candidates who attended Sunday's rally against Stand Your Ground.

"It's called politics and they're polticking. The facts and the law matter. Learn the facts and learn the law and then you can opine," said Gualtieri. "But, again, in politics, that's what you're gonna get."

The Sheriff has already endorsed Republican Adam Putnam for Governor.

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Mark Schreiner has been the producer and reporter for "University Beat" on WUSF 89.7 FM since 2001 and on WUSF TV from 2007-2017.