Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel needs to be prosecuted for dereliction of duty, gross negligence, and involuntary manslaughter. Had he and his deputies engaged the shooter, it’s possible that less people would have died. Not to mention the numerous reports and calls his office received prior to the shooting about the troubled teenage boys, Nikolas Cruz and his brother, which his office could have acted on and even prevented the shooting altogether.
- On February 14, Broward deputies did not engage the shooter; they waited outside. Israel said that their inaction was not his responsibility. Israel’s deputies didn’t defend the students, and did not do the job they swore to do. One deputy, Scot Peterson, resigned. (Although, he claimed he was outside because he thought he shots were coming from outside.) Newsflash to Israel: it is his responsibility:
Three high-ranking Florida officials close to the law enforcement response at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School told Fox News that EMS teams who requested to enter the school were told they could not– by Broward County Sheriff’s Office. If EMT could have entered sooner they could have saved lives. One official said, “What’s going to come out is, in the communications on several circumstances, there was the request to enter… the request was denied from Broward County.”
Another official said, “When you have a police agency saying we don’t want you going in, that’s a problem. The training since Columbine has been [that] first responders, police go in immediately with paramedics.”
- CNN reports that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office responded to at least 45 calls about the teenage high school shooter, Nikolas Cruz, or his brother over a 10-year period prior to him allegedly shooting his classmates and killing 17.Call logs from 2008 to 2017 obtained from the sheriff’s office reveal that their office received 45 calls ranging from “domestic disturbance” to “missing person” to “animal abuse” about Cruz. Despite the call log evidence, Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters that his office had only been involved in 23 calls regarding the Cruz brothers.Records show that officers responded to calls after Nikolas Cruz ingested gasoline during a failed suicide attempt, and after he posted on Instagram that he wanted to “shoot up the school.”
- Cover up: Laura Ingraham reported on Fox News of an internal email she received from the Broward County Sheriffs Office that directed deputies to defend the Sheriff, especially after it came out that he would not claim responsibility for his deputies refusal to engage the shooter.
Republican State Rep. Matt Caldwell, and more than 70 state legislators, have requested Gov. Rick Scott to suspend Israel for gross negligence. He said,
The governor has the power to remove people for incompetence. You don’t even have to commit a crime. The Constitution actually gives a very wide discretion to evaluate county and city officials and if they’re just simply incompetent at their job, he can simply suspend them and remove them.
But suspension isn’t enough.
Israel needs to be charged and prosecuted. His failure to do his job cost the lives of 14 teenagers and three adults who were defenseless against a deranged teenager who the Sheriff’s Office knew was a ticking time bomb.
He and his deputies should be arrested and prosecuted. Nothing less will suffice.