Florida Governor Rick Scott ordered to open an investigation to examine the response authorities gave in the Parkland shooting. Republican lawmakers from the state are asking Governor Scoot to remove Broadward Sheriff Scott Israel from the force. He is now under scrutiny for how his office managed the complaints received about the alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz during the years before the shooting.
Reports that claimed deputies had failed to act during the shooting are also addressed to make a case against Sherriff Israel. This last one criticized Deputy Scot Peterson and said he was ‘sick to stomach’ at the inaction showed by the deputy.
Deputy Scot Peterson, who is the school resource officer and was armed with a handgun, was placed on unpaid suspension. He quickly resigned after the video of the shooting showed how he stood outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for approximately five minutes during the disturbance, instead of entering the building to help retain the shooter.
Broward was outside and sent Coral Springs in
As Sheriff Israel criticizes Deputy Peterson for staying outside and not helping to tackle the shooter, Coral Springs police officers told CNN that three other Broward County Sheriff’s deputies were out as well. According to him, he did not enter the building, but hid behind their vehicles instead to draw their guns. Meanwhile, Coral Springs police, with directions from Broward deputies, went into the school, where the shooter was thought to be.
Later, new deputies from Broward County Sheriff arrived on the scene. Two of them and an officer from Sunrise, Florida, accompanied the Coral Springs police as they went into the building. Several Coral Spring police members were shocked and upset due to the four original deputies from Broward County Sherriff, who did not appear to join them as they went in.
However, new sources explain that the shooter could have been long gone when the police came in. Coral Spring officers will release a report on what they have seen so far. Nevertheless, some sources warned that the school tapes are being reviewed, while official reports could differ from data recollected by officers on the scene.
Coral Spring officers stated that the surveillance security teams were watching the tapes during the shooting, hoping to locate the 19-year-old shooter. This means that the recordings were rewound, thus creating a 20-minute delay that made authorities believe Cruz was still in the building – when he was not anymore.
Police vs. Police
On February 15, at the vigil celebrated to honor the memories of the ones left behind during the massacre, the bitterness between Coral Spring Officials toward Broward County officials arose. In front of dozens of people, Coral Springs City Manager Mike Goodrum faced Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. Outstanding the possibility of children being attacked, he explained he was upset that the Broward deputies remained outside the building, while his men went in.
After the incident was addressed to the press by an anonymous source, City Manager Goodrum did not comment on the content of the conversation between him and Sherriff Israel. However, he stated:
“Given the horrific events of that day emotions were running high and the sheriff and I had a heated moment the following evening. Sheriff Israel and I have spoken several times since and I can assure you that our departments have a good working relationship and the utmost respect for each other.”
Coral Springs Chief Tony Pustizzi spoke up about some concerns invading his officers. They decided to write an email that first was thought to be internal. However, it eventually saw the light of the day thanks to CNN.
The email explained that they understand the agency (referring to the Coral Springs Police) provided the most significant part of the rescue efforts. Nevertheless, the focus of them, currently, is to let families and the community – as well as them – heal.
Callings for resignations
As more information arrives and is analyzed by several authorities, besides Deputy Peterson being targetted for not going into the building, some others are demanded to resign their positions as well.
Sherriff Israel was asked to resign by Florida Speaker of the House, Richard Corcoran, who sent a letter to Governor Scott on Sunday asking for Sherriff Israel’s immediate suspension. The Governor ordered opening an investigation. Still, a suspension has not been discussed yet.
Mr. Corcoran sent a letter signed by 73 state House Republicans, pointing out the complaints Broward Sherriff’s Office received about the shooter in recent years. The letter states nothing was done.
“Failed to maintain a culture of alertness, vigilance, and thoroughness among his deputies,” the letter reads on the Sheriff.
Governor Scott, however, asked for FBI Director Christopher Wray resign. The agency received a tip given by a female caller who warned it about Cruz back in January, providing specific details. The FBI did not correctly address the call, and it recently apologized for the mistake, claiming it is its job now to avoid letting something like that happen again.