In the wake of the Parkland, Florida shooting earlier this month, numerous students and lawmakers have called on Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel to resign over his inaction as leader of the law enforcement department.
According to The Daily Caller, Israel has a history of failure when it comes to responding to crisis situations, including a 2017 shooting at the Fort Lauderdale Airport.
A 99-page report drafted by department officials admitted the agency mishandled that shooting, adding that the department failed to take control of the shooting area, where chaos ensued and the suspect killed five people and injured six others.
“During the events, the absence of a clearly defined (incident command) created unnecessary entanglements and unclear responsibilities,” the report stated, though Israel said during an interview that “everything was done excellently.”
And now, his alleged failure in handling this latest shooting has both students and lawmakers outraged. Many are calling on Florida Governor Rick Scott to remove Israel from his position.
Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran went so far as to send a letter to Scott urging Israel’s suspension, with State Rep. Bill Hager echoing those sentiments just a day earlier when he cited “neglect of duty and incompetence” from Israel.
In addition, some survivors of the fatal shooting that left 17 dead told Fox News that the sheriff’s time in the department must come to an end.
“He failed to act on so many different levels and him himself, he is responsible for this massive failure,” student Kyle Kashuv said. “It could have been easily stopped both by the FBI and the sheriff’s department had they acted.”
The accusation comes amid reports that the sheriff’s office knew suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz was unstable and had been called to his home on multiple different occasions, yet did nothing.
“The Sheriff was fully aware of the threat this individual presented to his community and chose to ignore it,” Hager stated.
Further reports have also claimed Broward sheriff’s deputies waited outside the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School building during the shooting, instead of rushing in as Cruz allegedly went on his rampage.
The allegations came out not long after Deputy Scot Peterson — who was assigned to protect the school — resigned due to his particular failure to confront the gunman.
Though Scott could immediately remove Israel from his position, he stated that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement would instead launch an investigation into the matter.
Israel said he would “fully cooperate” with the investigation.
“There must be an independent investigation,” Scott said. “And that is why I asked the FDLE Commissioner to immediately start this process.”
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