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New Florida governor suspends sheriff over school massacre

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New Florida governor suspends sheriff over school massacre

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — New Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel on Friday over his handling of February’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, saying he “repeatedly failed and has demonstrated a pattern of poor leadership.”

The Republican governor flew to Fort Lauderdale three days after taking office to remove the Democratic sheriff, appointing a former police sergeant to serve as acting sheriff. Gregory Tony, 40, worked for Coral Springs police for 12 years before leaving in 2016 to start a company specializing in active-shooter training. He is the first African-American to serve as Broward’s sheriff.

DeSantis said during a news conference outside the sheriff’s office headquarters that Israel failed to keep families and children safe before and during the Feb. 14 shooting that left 14 students and three staff members dead inside the three-story freshman building.

“The neglect of duty and incompetence that was connected to the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has been well documented, and I have no interest in dancing on Scott Israel’s political grave,” DeSantis said. “Suffice it to say, the massacre might never have happened had Broward had better leadership in the sheriff’s department.”

During the shooting, then-Broward Deputy Scot Peterson, who was assigned to the school, drew his gun but took cover instead of charging inside. Seven other deputies who arrived within minutes also failed to enter, even as officers from neighboring Coral Springs went into the building.

Israel earlier changed the office’s policy from saying deputies “shall” confront active shooters to “may.” He said he didn’t want to deputies to undertake suicide missions. Deputies also received two calls about suspect Nikolas Cruz in the months before the massacre saying he had amassed an arsenal and was a potential school shooter, but took no action.

Minutes after DeSantis’ announcement, Israel said he “wholeheartedly” rejected the governor’s order and would fight it in court, arguing that DeSantis was making a “power grab” against the will of the county’s people who elected him. He said DeSantis was acting on behalf of the National Rifle Association, which quickly blamed the sheriff’s office after the shooting.

“There was no wrongdoing on my part. I served the county honorably,” he said. “False narratives may continue, but not in a court of law. In a court of law, only the facts matter.”

Under Florida law, the governor can suspend elected officials for criminal activity, misfeasance, incompetence or neglect of duty. If Israel challenges the suspension, the state Senate would hold a trial and could either fire or reinstate him. DeSantis’ Republican predecessor, now-U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, refused to suspend Israel, saying he wanted to wait until investigations were completed.

Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter Jaime was fatally shot as she ran down a third-floor hallway, inches from the safety of the stairwell, said she and other third-floor victims could have been saved if Peterson or other deputies had gone inside immediately.

“One more second and she makes it,” Guttenberg said. “If anybody wants to know what failure means and lack of response (means), my daughter would have lived if someone had given her one more second.”

Andrew Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter Meadow died on the third floor trying to protect a younger student who also died, said “when eight BSO deputies listened to shots fired in a school and stayed outside they were following Sheriff Israel’s policies.”

A 15-member state commission that recently completed its initial report on the shooting said deputies also had about 20 contacts with Cruz as a juvenile — mostly over arguments with his now-deceased mother. Israel has said none of those contacts warranted an arrest. Law enforcement members of the state commission investigating the shooting have agreed with that conclusion.

But commissioners also concluded that the department’s active shooter training had not been effective. Still, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, the commission’s chairman, and other law enforcement officials on the panel have said they didn’t think Israel should be suspended.

Israel, 62, was elected sheriff in 2012 after a long career in law enforcement. After taking office, Israel, a Republican until changing parties shortly before running in 2008, received criticism over his friendship with notorious GOP operative Roger Stone, for promoting Stone’s inexperienced stepson to detective and for accepting gifts from a wealthy benefactor.

However, community leaders praised his work with the homeless, minority and gay communities. Violent crime went down, and he easily won re-election in 2016 to oversee the county’s 2,800 deputies.

Shortly after Israel’s second term began, a man retrieved a handgun from his luggage at Fort Lauderdale’s airport and opened fire, killing five. While Israel’s deputies apprehended him within 72 seconds, the draft of a county report said Israel and others didn’t control the chaos, leaving passengers huddled in fear for hours. He criticized the draft, and the final version was less harsh — but many of the same communications problems that plagued the airport response were repeated at Stoneman Douglas.

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Guns and Crime

Illegal alien crimes are getting more frequent, more heinous, and the media’s ignoring it

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Several communities have been shocked by slayings attributed to illegal immigrants

If you’re watching any mainstream media channels other than occasionally Fox News, you’ll notice the rash of slayings allegedly committed by illegal immigrants that we’ve been covering aren’t making national news the way they should. It goes against their narrative to report that there are people who aren’t supposed to be in this country who are killing American citizens.

Nevertheless, we’ll continue to report on them. Fox News occasionally does. Other conservative media outlets have been trying to keep up as well, but there have been so many it’s actually getting difficult to keep track. Here are the three mentioned in the Fox News video above, duly reported by NOQ Report. We rely on the generosity of our readers to allow us to keep reporting this important news.

But it doesn’t end with the three Fox News reported on. There have been so many heinous crimes allegedly committed by illegal immigrants in the past couple of months, we could fill our pages with stories about them alone and still have a full-blown news outlet.

Yes, it’s that bad. Here’s a sample:

Keep in mind, this is just over the past two months.

It isn’t just reporting the news that’s important. We are clear and bold in the way we report it. You won’t find flower language like “undocumented migrant” or “asylum-seeking snowflake” when we describe these criminal illegal immigrants or the crimes they allegedly commit. We use the proper terminology warranted by the White House. Those who enter the country illegally or stay longer than they’re supposed to stay are illegal aliens. Period.

Another important note is that we’re very much in favor of legal immigration. In fact, as a legal immigrant myself, I’m all in favor of increasing the number of legal immigrants who can enter the country just as soon as we stop the flow of illegal immigrants. We must deport those who are a risk to citizens, every last one of them. Then, we must fund ICE and border patrol to be able to detain those who are captured. Catch-and-release must be a thing of the past.

On top of that, we have to secure the borders with a strong combination of a wall, advanced LiDAR technology, much more border patrol agents, and more detention centers to accommodate the overflow we’re currently experiencing.

Visa overstays are arguably a bigger problem. There must be accountability for those who enter the country and either fail to extend their stay legally or ignore their visa expiration altogether. If that means weekly check-ins via mobile devices and instant warrants the moment their visas expire without record of them leaving or extending, so be it.

When all of these things are done, THEN let’s talk about immigration reform. Until then, we have too big of a problem with illegal immigration to even remotely consider expanding legal immigration in this country.

There is nothing wrong with having compassion. That means requiring they enter legally. It means those who deny our sovereignty by coming or staying illegally must be dealt with properly. The safety of American citizens must come first.

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Guns and Crime

Meth mules arrested in desert near Tucson

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Meth mules arrested in desert near Tucson

Drugs are smuggled into the United States through multiple means. Some comes through ports of entry by land or see, which gives border patrol the easiest opportunity to thwart their efforts. But much of the drugs are brought over by foot or boat, entering the United States where there is no wall or protection against foreign incursion.

Border patrol announced a bust this week of just such a type of incursion. The smugglers were carrying bags of methamphetamine across the desert, far from a part of entry and from areas where there is no border wall separating the United States from Mexico.

Agents from the Tucson Sector Mobile Response Team (MRT) aboard a National Guard helicopter responded to a report of six men walking in a desert area frequently utilized by drug smugglers. MRT agents found and arrested six Mexican nationals illegally present in the United States, after a tracking operation with a K-9 team.

One of the men was carrying four packages of methamphetamine concealed in a cardboard box inside his backpack. A search of the immediate area resulted in the discovery of a two-way radio, a communication method commonly used by smuggling organizations.

My Take

One of the main narratives being pushed by the left against building a border wall is their claim that nearly all arrests of drug smugglers are made at ports of entry. While this is true, it’s not a very good way to support their case. Drug smugglers who do not use ports of entry are simply not captured as often because… wait for it… there’s no wall in so many areas and border patrol can’t comb the entire desert looking for them.

Drugs are being smuggled into the United States, and not only through ports of entry. Those who use vehicles to try to smuggle drugs in do so because the loads may be too big to carry on foot, but whether it comes in on truck full of hundreds of pounds of drugs through ports of entry or by foot with hundreds of mules crossing the border illegally where there’s no wall, it’s getting here nonetheless.

It’s ignorant to believe our success in sniffing out drugs in vehicles means the smugglers are going to give up, especially when transit across our porous borders is so easy. Walls aren’t just to prevent illegal immigrants. They’ll help stop crime.

Don’t let the left use the “port of entry drug bust” claim to confuse the issue. Not all smugglers are dumb enough to drive their drugs through ports of entry. Most of it’s coming through places where there’s no wall. Build the wall.

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Guns and Crime

Immortalising terrorism with gun confiscation will only result in more terrorism

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Immortalising terrorism with gun confiscation will only result in more terrorism

Is it fair to punish the innocent for the crimes of the guilty?

Word has it that Jacinda Ardern the Prime Minister of New Zealand will immediately punish millions of innocent people with the taking of their property – at effective gunpoint no less. The plan is to grab the guns first and legislate later. Being that this is exactly what the terrorist wanted, it is the wrong thing to do from a practical and moral standpoint.

Practical because as the miscreant stated, it could have used any number of means to kill people. It is immoral because millions of innocent people will have to pay the price for its insane actions. They will not only be deprived of their property, but they will be left helpless in the face of criminals and terrorists who by definition do not comply with the law.

Why is tyranny quick to exploit a tragedy?

The Prime Minister had stated that previous attempts at depriving the people of their human rights failed to gain any traction. This time in the midst of the raw emotions of the moment the government took quick action to avoid any thoughtful deliberation on this extremely important civil rights question.

If they had contemplated this oppressive action over time, they would have realized that it won’t have the intended result. This will only embolden those who use terrorism to further their goals. This misguided action will only serve to encourage others to attain their own bit of ‘fame’ with these kinds of horrific acts.

As reported in USA Today, In her announcement of the ban and confiscation edict, the Prime Minister of New Zealand forwarded the bizarre presumption that somehow the government was the original owner of these weapons with the line: “We just want the guns back”.

Later on, in the same article, they reported on the statement she had made last Tuesday that

she would deny the man responsible for the nation’s worst terror attack in modern history the one thing he likely craved: fame.

This misguided action by the Prime Minister will have the opposite effect. What better way to gain infamy that to be the reason why millions of people will be deprived of their property and civil rights. This confiscation action will now enshrine the perpetrator of this crime in the history books. This is what happens when someone acts first and thinks later.

Immortalizing a criminal

The miscreant who perpetrated this crime will now be rewarded with exactly what it desired – being immortalized in the history books as the one who caused millions to lose their civil rights.  New Zealand already had strict limitations on Liberty and yet this did nothing to stop this crime from taking place. What will they do the next time around? Take away any remaining firearms in the country? Make no mistake, this will only cause more terrorism and division.

Socialists Bernie Sanders acted quickly to exploit on this serious crisis for political gain with a call for a ‘ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States.’ While Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez applauded this major denigration of Liberty.

The Takeaway

Leftist often parrot lines about ‘fairness’, ’equality’ and democracy, but this action shows that those are but mere window dressing. They will quickly jettison those precepts when the opportunity to exploit a serious crisis presents itself.

There should be no doubt that more of the Liberty grabber Left in the states will see this ‘progress’ as inspiration to call for gun confiscation as they have far too many times in the past. It will also ‘inspire’ would be terrorists to try to obtain this kind of result in other places. Instead of doing something about terrorism, it will encourage it while endangering the innocent.

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