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Guns and Crime

Scot Peterson lawyers up, Sheriff Israel doubles down



In case the name was unfamiliar, Scot Peterson was the deputy who avoided confronting Cruz during his rampage. The previous article advised caution in assessing the situation and for good reason. Since the article on Scot Peterson’s cowardice, three more officers were revealed to have been positioned outside the school. So Scot Peterson was not alone. To make matters dramatically worse, an off-duty police officer did go in. It was this story that prompted notoriety about the three additional officers.

This is problematic for Sheriff Scott Israel who forced Peterson to resign, a favorable deal for him, while, so far, leaving the other three officers unscathed for their inaction during the incident. With this revelation, the likelihood of a stand down order increases, as police are generally trained to engage active shooters.


I’m no coward, says deputy who didn’t go inside Parkland school during massacre – Miami Herald

On Monday, Peterson pushed back against the critics in his first public statement, essentially arguing he did the right things in an uncertain, chaotic situation. “Allegations that Mr. Peterson was a coward and that his performance, under the circumstances, failed to meet the standards of police officers are patently untrue,” according to the statement sent from Fort Lauderdale attorney Joseph DiRuzzo.

Peterson said he did not storm the halls looking for the shooter because he initially “heard gunshots but believed those gunshots were originating from outside of the buildings on the school campus,” according to the statement. “BSO trains its officers that in the event of outdoor gunfire one is to seek cover and assess the situation in order to communicate what one observes with other law enforcement.”

He “took up a tactical position” between two other buildings next to Building 12, where Cruz spent six minutes unleashing gunfire with an AR-15 assault-style rifle.

“Let there be no mistake,’’ DiRuzzo’s statement continued, “Mr. Peterson wishes that he could have prevented the untimely passing of the 17 victims on that day.”

“The case is an active internal affairs investigation. In accordance with Florida law, we are prohibited from discussing any details until the case has concluded,” according to a statement released by BSO.

BSO’s policy states that an officer “may” — not “must” — enter a building when an active shooter is attacking, meaning Peterson might not have violated any technical rules. Still, police tactical experts say, most active-shooter training calls for cops to identify the location of a gunman, whether inside or outside.

Fox News: Sheriff Scott Israel battling calls to resign as blame shifts in wake of Florida high school shooting

“Listen, if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, O.J. Simpson would still be in the record books,” was Israel’s bizarre defense Sunday after being asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper if the shooting might not have happened if his department handled things differently.

The comment came following disputed reports that three of Israel’s officers refused to enter Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School as Nikolas Cruz was killing 17 people in the Valentine’s Day rampage.

“Deputies make mistakes. Police officers make mistakes. We all make mistakes,” Israel told CNN. “But it’s not the responsibility of the general or the president if you have a deserter. You look into this. We’re looking into this aggressively. And we’ll take care of it and justice will be served.”

Israel said during the contentious interview that he has offered “amazing leadership to this agency,” adding “you don’t measure a person’s leadership by a deputy not going in to — these deputies received the training they needed.”

Israel also appeared to contradict his own department regarding the reports of Broward deputies not entering the school.

In the CNN interview, Israel slammed a letter from State Rep. Bill Hager to Gov. Scott, which called for his removal on the basis of inaction after at least 23 — and perhaps almost 50 — police visits to the shooter’s home and the reports of his officers standing idle. Israel said the demand was a “shameful, politically motivated letter that had no facts.” He also said in a letter to Scott on Saturday that Hager’s claim that “three Broward Sheriff Deputies were on campus at the time of the attack and chose to take cover themselves rather than stepping up to protect students” is “patently false.”

My Take

I do believe that Scot Peterson is a coward, but he was mistreated by the Broward Sheriff’s Office. The other three officers should have received the same treatment. What’s I’m interested seeing moving forward is whether an officer, such as Scot Peterson will whistle blow about a stand down order. Seeing as he lawyered up, if such event happened, Peterson and his lawyer will be in discussion on how to prove and reveal it. Instead, Sheriff Israel was trying to hide their presence. We have truly come across a vile man in power. The history of his department patching up their crime stats provides a clear explanation for their inaction towards Cruz in the events leading up to Valentine’s Day.