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Broward County Sheriff Reportedly Expects to be Suspended for Response to Parkland School Shooting

Broward County Sheriff Reportedly Expects to be Suspended for Response to Parkland School Shooting

Israel reportedly told his staff that Governor DeSantis plans to remove him from office

Almost a year after the Parkland school shooting massacre Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told staff he will be suspended for the response to the shooting.

The Miami Herald has more:

The two-term sheriff, the object of fierce criticism over BSO’s handling of the Parkland massacre, told his top commanders that he will be removed from office by Gov. Ron DeSantis, sources have told the Miami Herald.

DeSantis, who was sworn in Tuesday morning, had not made a formal announcement of a possible suspension. Israel’s discussions with staff about his ouster was first reported by Miami New Times.

Stuart N. Kaplan, one of Israel’s lawyers, said Israel was in his office at the public safety building in Fort Lauderdale working on Tuesday.

“The governor has not said anything to us, directly or indirectly, as to whether or not the sheriff is going to be suspended,’’ Kaplan said. “He is working and continues to serve the citizens of Broward County.’’

But Jeff Bell, BSO’s union chief, said Israel told his staff on Monday that his ouster was inevitable.

“We know that he is telling everyone at the public safety building that he is going to be gone,’’ said Bell, who was at DeSantis’ swearing-in ceremony in Tallahassee on Tuesday.

Several candidates have been mentioned as possible replacements, including former Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti, a Republican like DeSantis. But Bell would not indicate whether the union was backing anyone.

Israel has long said he will not bow out quietly. A recent report issued by the state commission investigating the shooting was highly critical of Israel and his department. Miami Herald ctd:

Israel, 61, has vowed to fight any effort to strip him of his office. He maintains that while mistakes were made in responding to the shootings, they were not serious enough to warrant his suspension or removal from office.

Israel has long defended his agency’s actions on Feb. 14, 2018, when 17 people — 14 of them students — were slain by a gunman in what is considered the worst mass high school shooting in U.S. history.

A state panel investigating the massacre released a 458-page report last week that detailed how the killer, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, was able to shoot so many victims inside the freshman building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.

The committee blamed security breakdowns and a lack of training on the part of Broward sheriff’s deputies, some of whom took cover outside the building instead of promptly charging inside to confront the shooter, as officers from neighboring Coral Springs did. The report listed a number of other failures by BSO and the Broward school district. Those other BSO problems included outdated, malfunctioning radios, which prevented rescuers from responding more quickly and possibly saving lives, the report said.

For our previous coverage, see:

Commission Investigating Parkland School Shooting Recommends Arming Teachers

Broward County Sheriff Gets “No Confidence” Vote From County Deputies Union

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel Facing No-Confidence Vote From Deputy Union

Broward County Deputies Told to Form Perimeter Around School Instead of Confronting Shooter

What in the world is going on with the Broward County Sheriff’s Department?


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Though many were public figures, what is the chance to file libel / slander cases against him – since so much should been knowingly false in the town hall?

Good riddance – regardless. Now time to go after Peterson’s retirement.

Justice delayed is justice denied.

Go away you cowardly, gun-grabbing Marxist little bitch.

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer putz!

If he had 1/1024 of an ounce of decency, who would have resigned long time ago.

Way too little, way too late.

Field Marshall SissyBoy. The Broward Coward’s little general stars are degrading to those who have actually held high office and served America. Scott Israel is a disgusting disgrace to municipal governments, everywhere, even in California.

What I don’t understand is why Gov Scott couldn’t have done this a freaking year ago when he refused to resign or admit any wrongdoing.

    CaptTee in reply to Sian. | January 9, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    Governor Scott did not want to do anything that might lose him votes in his planned race for the Senate.

    While Governor Scott was better than his predecessors, Governor DeSantis will be so much better!

We’ll see if Governor DeSantis suspends Sheriff Israel or not.

Israel is an elected Sheriff, a State Constitutional officer. He does not work for the Governor. He can not be legally suspended from office except for certain crimes or deficiencies. And, those actions have to be taken by the Sheriff, not by his deputies. And, if the Sheriff contests his suspension, the State Senate has to agree that he has committed a crime of deficient action for which he may be removed from office. We will have to wait and see what justification the Governor uses if he decides to suspend Israel.

I am not a fan of Sheriff Israel. But, I’m unclear as to exactly what actions he has taken which rise to the level which would justify suspension.

    Sian in reply to Mac45. | January 8, 2019 at 10:59 pm

    Incompetence, Dereliction of duty, Malfeasance and Corruption.

      Mac45 in reply to Sian. | January 9, 2019 at 11:34 am

      What incompetence did Israel exhibit? And, if such incompetence existed, was it enough to legally support suspension? What dereliction of duty? What malfeasance? And, finally, what corruption? It is always tempting to throw out terms, but it is a good idea to actually present some evidence to support them. Suspension of a constitutional officer requires that certain actions actually constitute specific infractions. As I said, it will be interesting to see what DeSantis cites as grounds for lawful suspension of Sheriff Israel.

        CaptTee in reply to Mac45. | January 9, 2019 at 1:35 pm

        I don’t think Governor DeSantis will do it unless he is confident it will stick.

        The Broward County Supervisor of Elections was investigated by the FDLE and was removed in a matter of weeks.

        I don’t even recall an announcement that there has been an FDLE investigation of Sheriff Israel, yet. Maybe his staff knows something that we don’t know!

        Sian in reply to Mac45. | January 9, 2019 at 9:02 pm

        Have you read the commission’s full report? It gives plenty of ammunition for an incompetence hearing. On top of this, his corruption, placing cronies in his department, his deal with the school district to massage numbers, and when accused of corruption, he brazenly replied “Lions Don’t Care About the Opinions of Sheep.” This is not the attitude that we should expect from anyone in public service.

          Mac45 in reply to Sian. | January 9, 2019 at 9:21 pm

          Sorry, but the Sheriff has the constitutional authority to place anyone in his agency whom he wants. All employees of a Florida sheriff are political appointees of a constitutional officer. As to incompetence, as the sheriff was not directly involved in the MSDHS incident, it is going to be very difficult to prove that he was incompetent in his handling of that incident. His attitude is irrelevant as far as suspending him goes. The only area where he is vulnerable, is in his department’s handling of criminal acts occurring inside schools, under the provisions of the Promise Program. And, as almost every Democrat politician in Broward County signed off on that program, it is going to be difficult to hang anything on him for the actions of his deputies under that program. The same thing happened for years in Miami-Dade county. This was revealed during the Zimmerman case, with regards to Trevon Martin. And no one was suspended or removed from office.

buckeyeminuteman | January 8, 2019 at 9:30 pm

He did a terrible job as sheriff, but can the governor remove him? If he’s an elected official, wouldn’t he have to be recalled or impeached?

Didn’t this fool send a REMF to command the response? The on-site commander who had the officers hide and refuse to accompany EMTs into the school?

The commander was obviously a diversity hire.

Israel was a big Hillary supporter.

. . . a lack of training on the part of Broward sheriff’s deputies, some of whom took cover outside the building instead of promptly charging inside to confront the shooter

That doesn’t really sound like a “training issue.”

KakarotWasTaken | January 9, 2019 at 12:22 am

Broward County Sheriff Reportedly Expects to be Suspended for Response to Parkland School Shooting

WHAT response? Near as I can tell, his reaction was to hide under his desk and wait for the shooting to stop.

The “Cowards” of the County should have resigned long, long ago. They have less integrity than conscience. Show no shame.

“Mistakes were made”. Him using the weak responsibility dodging passive voice is enough reason for a firing on its own.

The local newspaper the Sun Sentinel has produced a front page article on this story nearly every day. They almost never mention Scott Israel. They don’t mention the shooter except when he is in Court. To read the Sun Sentinel you would think that the responsible party is former Deputy Scott Peterson. With the cooperation of the Sun Sentinel Sheriff Israel has deflected responsibility to his subordinates.

    Mac45 in reply to dystopia. | January 9, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    The initial responsibility for this shooting rests with the shooter, Cruz. However, the next party with responsibility is the Broward County School Board and Superintendent. Those entities were directly responsible for the security of the school, not the Sheriff. And, they chose to limit the security measures to a single deputy. Though Deputy Peterson was obviously not a poster child for an effective LE response to an active shooter in a school, he was only one person. If he had run into the school and was incapacitated before he could stop the shooter, the result might well have been the same. That he did not enter and attempt to engage the shooter, which has been accepted LE practice in an active shooter situation since 2000, can reasonably be viewed as cowardous and a violation of the department’s P&P. The captain has been scapegoated here as well. She was off-site. This makes it very difficult to control the scene. And, she did not become involved until the shooting was over. Much has been made of the fact that she ordered some responding units to secure a perimeter. This was not wrong. It was designed to stop the shooter, who no one was in contact with, from escaping into the community and presenting a further threat. As it turned out, the shooter escaped before an effective perimeter could be established. LE’s responsibility to the community was not limited to the school. The Sheriff’s participation in the Promise Program might well represent misfeasance in office, as it not only involved discretion which LE simply does not have but also may have involved falsification of official documents [police reports] to justify the discretionary action.

    However, the one entity, the school system, which had the direct responsibility for the security of MSDHS, as well as every other public school in the county, was derelict in that duty. And, no one seems to care about that. Where was the entry control? Where was the communication with the office when teachers saw Cruz, whom they knew was no longer a student there, was observed on campus? Why didn’t the school employees confront Cruz when they saw him?

    This was a total breakdown of the system, because no one either considered the possibility of this happening in the schools in Broward County or did not want to address the possibility. And now, rather than fix the problem, people are actively looking for a scapegoat to hang the responsibility on in order to avoid addressing the problem. No additional, effective security measures have been taken by the School Board. A person with a gun can still walk into a school virtually unopposed. Rather than fix the problem, the local politicians simply worked very hard to cover their a**es. And, that is what people should be upset about.

      CaptTee in reply to Mac45. | January 9, 2019 at 1:41 pm

      {Posting deserves more than 1 thumbs-up!}

      TheSouthernNationalist in reply to Mac45. | January 9, 2019 at 5:11 pm

      The security at that school and many across this land sucks big time. Just something as simple as all staff members carry two way radios and could have talked to the SRO and told him where Cruz was at so he could have responded to his location and shot him on the spot would have saved a bunch of lives. Of course, if you have a deputy that is a chicken sh^t to begin with then it doesnt matter.

        While radios for contact with the office would have been nice, having one would not have stopped the shooting. And, there is nothing guarantees that a single LEO would have stopped a shooter. A simple bullet resistant vest would have probably allowed Cruz to return Peterson’s fire, wounding or killing him, which would have allowed Cruz to continue targeting unarmed students and teachers. A SRO engaged the shooters at Columbine, before they entered the school, but was driven off by their superior firepower. Once the shooter enters the school, there is a good chance that an innocent will be injured or killed.

        The only way to keep innocents from being injured or killed is to have sufficient force to deny the shooter entry into the facility. School systems routinely fail to harden their facilities, to any effective degree, because school invasion shootings are extremely rare, in comparison to the number of schools in the country. They do not want to spend the money. The real reason why many schools have a LEO on site, from an outside LEA, is to limit the liability to the school system by transferring the liability for enforcement activities to the LEA from the school system. So, when a shooting situation occurs, the school system frantically looks for someone else to blame for their failure to protect their students and employees.

Suspended? Like with a tree and rope? If anyone deserves that, he does.

regulus arcturus | January 9, 2019 at 8:42 am

Now prosecute him for multiple crimes.

There was a response?

TheSouthernNationalist | January 9, 2019 at 5:05 pm

Hope to see this idiot gone from office.
Not sure how Florida laws are set up, but with him being an elected official, doesnt he have to be removed by the Florida legislators or does Florida’s governor have that much authority?