Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel Facing Possible Punishment for Parkland Response


Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel reportedly told his top commanders he will be removed from office by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, though the newly sworn-in chief executive declined to confirm it on Wednesday.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office union chief Jeff Bell said that Israel, 62, told his staff on Monday “that his ouster was inevitable,” according to the Miami Herald.

“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.

Calls for Israel to resign began shortly after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last February, which left 17 people dead, Fox News reported.

It was determined that one of his deputies, school resource officer Scot Peterson, failed to enter the school to confront the shooter, while three other sheriff’s deputies who arrived at the scene took cover behind their vehicles, according to CNN.

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In April, the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association, by an overwhelming majority, voted “no confidence” in Israel.

The Herald reported that a state panel investigating the shooting released its findings last week, which blamed security breakdowns at the school and a lack of training among Broward sheriff’s deputies as contributing factors to the tragedy.

Stuart N. Kaplan, one of Israel’s lawyers, said his client is still at work and no word has been communicated about any impending removal.

“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.’’

DeSantis declined to confirm on Wednesday whether he will remove Israel, the Sun Sentinel reported.

“We will let you know when we’re back — and it’s not going to take forever,” the governor told reporters in Miami.

During the campaign, DeSantis said if he had been governor during the shooting, he would have suspended Israel.

Following the February shooting, Israel came out in support of gun control measures in Florida. During a CNN town hall days after Parkland, he accused National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch of not “standing up for the students” by opposing the changes.

“You just told this group of people that you are standing up for them,” Israel told Loesch. “You’re not standing up for them, until you say I want less weapons.”

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The NRA tweeted in response, “No Sheriff Israel you were the one that didn’t PROTECT these children and that is your job. You run the largest fully accredited sheriff’s office in the United States, yet your office failed this community.”

Loesch responded to the news of Israel’s potential ouster on Facebook, writing, “If true, it would be FANTASTIC news.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith