CONDEMNS NRA, GUN OWNERS AFTER DEPUTIES FAILED TO TAKE ACTION
by Sharon Rondeau
On Friday, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel announced during a press conference that Deputy Scot Peterson, the school’s assigned resource officer, remained outside of the school for about four minutes as the rampage took place unfettered, ultimately killing 14 students and three educators plus injuring at least 14 more.
In 2014, Peterson received a commendation for his performance as school resource officer.
At Thursday’s presser, Israel said he was “devastated” and “sick to his stomach” after learning that Peterson did not attempt to stop the shooter and that Peterson should have entered the school to “address the target.” Israel did not mention the possibility that Peterson was not the only deputy from his office who arrived at the school as the rampage was taking place and failed to apprehend the perpetrator.
The 19-year-old former student accused of committing the murders was questioned by police in November after he was reported to have threatened a 22-year-old acquaintance with gun violence. News reports also indicate that an online threat apparently posted by Nikolas Cruz reported to the FBI in September and a second report made on January 5, 2018 were not acted upon properly by the federal law-enforcement agency.
Las Friday, the FBI acknowledged its mishandling of the reports it received about Cruz’s alleged propensity for committing violence.
Several outlets have reported that Cruz was the subject of police visits 39 times dating back to 2010 but was never arrested nor prohibited from buying a gun.
CNN’s Friday report said, in part:
With direction from the Broward deputies who were outside, Coral Springs police soon entered the building where the shooter was. New Broward County Sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene, and two of those deputies and an officer from Sunrise, Florida, joined the Coral Springs police as they went into the building.
Some Coral Springs police were stunned and upset that the four original Broward County Sheriff’s deputies who were first on the scene did not appear to join them as they entered the school, Coral Springs sources tell CNN. It’s unclear whether the shooter was still in the building when they arrived.
At a Wednesday night townhall discussion moderated by CNN, Israel gave no indication that he was aware that one or more of his deputies did not act swiftly to stop the carnage. Face-to-face with NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, Israel voiced his support for a ban on bump stocks and “automatic rifles” while telling Loesch she was “wrong” to contend that his office could have done more to prevent the tragedy. Israel also expressed support for Stoneman Douglas student survivors-turned-gun-control-advocates, some of whom declared politicians who have accepted donations from the NRA to be at fault.
Israel’s position at the forum was generally cheered by left-leaning media on Thursday.
Since the massacre, many Americans have turned to blaming the NRA, with a boycott of the organization generating a loss of endorsements and business arrangements on Friday.
An article dated January 13, 2017 at FrontPageMag details a shooting carried out by Esteban Santiago at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport one week before which killed five people. The airport is located in Broward County.
The article reported that Santiago appeared, based on reports of his posts on his MySpace page, to have converted to Islam at some point, was an Iraq War veteran, and served in the Alaska Army National Guard.
Following the attack, which was described as one of terrorism, the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reported that a 99-page report issued by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office revealed that in the wake of the airport attack, “the agency erred from the very beginning in controlling the shooting scene in the baggage claim area of Terminal 2, where five people died and six others were wounded. The initial failures were compounded as false reports of more gunshots 90 minutes later sent travelers stampeding to the exits and onto the tarmac.”
In an article reporting then-Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief’s refutation of the report, the Sun Sentinel wrote, in part:
The highly critical, 99-page draft report, written by Sheriff’s Office officials, showed top-to-bottom failures within its own ranks, including how it contained the crime scene. It also faults itself for failing to take command over the more than 2,000 law enforcement officials that responded from state, local and federal agencies, which added confusion to an already panicked scene.
But it also points blame at the Broward County Aviation Department, which runs the airport, for multiple issues during the day. The review suggests that aviation officials maintained operations in Terminal 2 too long after the shooting.
On Friday’s “The Ingraham Angle,” Fox News contributor Allen West, who is also an NRA Board member, called for Israel to resign after host Laura Ingraham’s other guest, Michelle Malkin, observed that Israel gave no indication during Wednesday’s townhall meeting of the information he would release the next day about Peterson.
Ingraham reported on her Friday show that two students invited to participate in the townhall discussion claimed that CNN had sought a particular viewpoint beforehand. Ingraham faulted townhall moderator Jake Tapper as having abandoned his journalistic standards; Tapper is also the author of the article sourced to the Coral Springs Police Department.
As of press time, #ResignSheriffIsrael remains in fourth place on Twitter.
Editor’s Note: Just after publication at 11:16 p.m. EST, the writer noted that the Sheriff Israel hashtag has fallen to seventh place on Twitter.