by Duane Norman, Free Market Shooter
There has been a great deal of information (and misinformation) that has emerged in the aftermath of the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School in Florida. A majority of it has been focused on the conduct of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BSO) and Sheriff Scott Israel, who is an elected official in Broward County.
This conduct is hardly limited to the BSO’s conduct during the shooting – in fact, a majority of it stems from what the department already knew about the shooter:
These call for service details on the Florida shooter are extremely troubling pic.twitter.com/YKwX2Qlli8
— Rob O'Donnell (@odonnell_r) February 23, 2018
Caller advised subject Nikolas Cruz is collecting guns and knives. Cruz wants to join the Army. Concerned he will kill himself one day and believes he could be a school shooter in the making. Caller advised Cruz was no longer living at the listed Parkland address and is now living at Lake Worth, FL. Believes the weapons are kept at a friends house at an unknown location.
Deputy contacted caller (located in Massachusetts) via telephone. No report was initiated. Post MSD incident interview: Deputy advised he referred caller to the Palm Beach Sheriff’s office.
Allowing the shooter’s violent conduct to go unpunished appears to be just the tip of the iceberg in a disturbing scheme of purposely downplaying crime at MSD High by the BSO:
1. Watch this video. People don't understand how Broward County School Sheriff Officers operate. I'll explain. t.co/SF4LDv1amf
— TheLastRefuge (@TheLastRefuge2) February 23, 2018
7. As soon as Miami-Dade began to receive the benefits (political and financial) from the scheme, Broward County joined on. The approach in Broward was identical as the approach in Miami-Dade. t.co/kyIO9Ud7lV
— TheLastRefuge (@TheLastRefuge2) February 23, 2018
9. The primary problem was the policy conflicted with laws; and over time the policy began to create outcomes where illegal behavior by students was essentially unchecked by law enforcement. t.co/gh9fKdThyV
— TheLastRefuge (@TheLastRefuge2) February 23, 2018
The conduct of the BSO is eerily similar to the Kids for Cash scandal in Pennsylvania. However, instead of imprisoning children in a for-profit scheme, BSO was deliberately underreporting and hiding “severe criminal conduct” at public schools to secure lucrative financial grants and score political points. The Last Refuge covered the entire affair in a widely-shared and lengthy Twitter threadthat will leave any reader wondering if BSO officers at MSD High were there for anyone but themselves.
After reading about the BSO’s mitigation of crimes, it should come as no surprise to hear that “do nothing” Deputy Scot Peterson received an “Officer of the Year” award – likely for doing nothing:
The “do nothing” Florida deputy who stayed outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS as a killer stalked its halls was lauded in 2014 for his work.
Scot Peterson, who resigned his post as a school resource officer last week, was hailed by the Broward County Crime Commission as a School Resource Officer of the Year for handling issues “with tact and judgment.”
Israel has publicly slandered Peterson, stating “I am devastated. Sick to my stomach. He never went in.” This appears to follow a disturbing pattern of Israel shifting the blame onto others – for instance, when it was reported that BSO had received 39 calls regarding the Florida shooter, Israel wanted the public to know that it was “only” 23 incidents (as if it made that much of a difference):
Israel himself has a long and checkered history prior to the MSD High shooting. He was accused of taking donations from a convicted felon…
Israel was criticized in 2014 after a political action committee supporting his re-election campaign for sheriff accepted thousands of dollars in donations from a convicted felon.
The donor, Yoram Izhak, was indicted for allegedly being part of an organized crime ring known as the “Cuban Mafia” that “was allegedly involved in cocaine trafficking, arson, gambling and murder,” according to Local10.
…and for abusing his office…
The sheriff has also faced corruption accusations: department employees routinely attended campaign events while on the clock for their taxpayer-funded positions, a Local10 investigation found in 2016.
A Sun-Sentinal investigation the same year found that the sheriff had routinely handed out taxpayer-funded jobs to political supporters. The sheriff’s response at the time: “lions don’t care about the opinions of sheep.”
…and even for allegedly having an extramarital affair with a 17-year-old who he “forced into” having an abortion:
“You know about the illegitimate child of Broward County Sheriff’s candidate Scott Israel. The happily married father of triplets, also had a girlfriend who had an abortion. Scott’s family and friends know nothing about this ‘friend’ he kept on the side for six-months.
Integrity? That’s Scott Israel. Illegitimate children? That’s Scott Israel. A much younger girlfriend on the side? That’s Scott Israel. A former girlfriend who had to have an abortion? That’s Scott Israel.
While we are loath to fall into a #MeToo trap and merely take this accuser at her word, her accusations fit into a disturbing trend of Israel abusing his authority and abusing BSO, often for political purposes.
Indeed, that was the first thing Israel did in the wake of the MSD shooting – he went to CNN’s “town hall” to take on NRA Spokeswoman Dana Loesch, wasting no time whatsoever in politicizing the tragedy:
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel jumped in, too. “You just told this group of people that you’re standing up for them,” he said. “You are not standing up for them until you say, ‘I want less weapons.’”
“How many more innocent lives must perish before our legislators pass meaningful and common sense gun legislation?” he wrote in 2017. “How many more tragic attacks like those at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Sandy Hook Elementary and the Pulse nightclub need to occur before rational thought prevails?”
Sheriff Scott Israel in October 2017 on mass shootings: “If you have a lone wolf assassin that’s committed to commit great carnage and killing people, there’s really nothing you can do about it.”
That of course did not stop Israel or the BSO from going to CNN’s town hall and blaming the NRA and gun owners for the massacre…
…even though Israel already knew his deputies stood by and did nothing to engage the shooter:
Perhaps the mainstream media should have chosen their anti-gun cheerleaders more closely… but in the case of Israel at least, they were probably unlikely to help themselves when it came to propping him up:
Have you noticed how the Broward Sheriff’s Office has been spewing Democrat gun control talking points?
Well, turns out the Sheriff has some interesting friends.
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) February 18, 2018
At this point, even mainstream media appears to have acknowledged their mistake, launching an aggressive turn against Israel and the BSO. CNN has even released a report disputing the department’s claims that there were “only” 23 calls against the Florida shooter…
As critics have taken aim at law enforcement for missing warning signs about South Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz, public records have emerged that conflict with Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel’s statements about the number of times deputies were dispatched to the shooter’s home.
Records obtained from the sheriff’s office by CNN show the law enforcement agency received at least 45 calls for service relating to Cruz or his brother from 2008 to 2017, before the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14. The sheriff’s office has insisted it received no more than 23 calls for service regarding Cruz or his family.
…and CBS has released extensive commentary which referred to Israel as “the GOP’s new favorite Democrat”:
Nancy Pelosi should watch out. The minority leader has a challenger for the GOP’s role of favorite Democrat to vilify, and his name is Scott Israel, sheriff of Broward Country. Following the shooting in Parkland, Florida, evidence has been mounting that he and his department likely blew more than one opportunity to stop the shooter from carrying out a rampage that cost the lives of 17 people.
By now, most Americans know that at least one—and perhaps as many as three—of Sheriff Israel’s officers remained outside Parkland High School while a mentally unstable 19-year-old killed 17 students and injured at least 14 others. And most people also know Israel’s department had several previous encounters (at least 23) with the shooter, ranging from complaints by neighbors to officer interviews. The record clearly shows that some of these incidents were actionable and, if reported through proper channels, could have prevented the killer from legally buying guns.
And Fox News has released a report stating that medical teams were “denied entry” to treat the wounded by the BSO:
Two separate sources told Fox News some of the EMS teams who requested to enter the school were told they could not. One source said it was the Broward County Sheriff’s Office – which was the commanding office – that ordered some of the EMS crews not to go into the school when they requested to enter.
“What’s going to come out is, in the communications on several circumstances, there was the request to enter… the request was denied from Broward County,” a Florida official told Fox News.
Even though the calls for Israel’s resignation have begun to escalate from all around the nation…
…it likely won’t make a difference if he resigns or not – according to Fox News, Florida Governor Rick Scott can remove Israel from his duties for “malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect or duty (or) incompetence.”
However, it will take far more than the removal of Israel to repair a broken culture of policing – not just at Broward County, but at many departments all over the nation. We can only hope that this horrible incident will serve as a wake-up call to Americans to engage with our youth and look more closely at any potential problems, instead of blaming the gun and the NRA.
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