Disgusting: Broward County Sheriff Starts Cracking Jokes While Discussing Dead Kids


Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel is not the most popular person in America at the moment.

That’s not just because numerous reports have raised serious questions about how his department acted before and during the Parkland school shooting, or because the implications of those reports are that the teenager who allegedly killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School could have been stopped.

It’s mostly because, as these questions have been raised, Sheriff Israel has adopted an imperious attitude toward anyone who deigns to query him about how his department handled both the incident and the suspect himself.

If you needed an object lesson in what’s made Sheriff Israel so controversial, you could do worse than his Sunday appearance on CNN, where the sheriff cracked jokes as anchor Jake Tapper grilled him regarding his office’s actions.

Israel had been asked “if the Broward sheriff’s office had done things differently, this shooting might not have happened.”

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“Listen, if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, O.J. Simpson would still be in the record books,” Israel said.

Tapper was decidedly unimpressed with Israel’s attempt at folksy humor.

“I don’t know what that means,” Tapper responded. “There’s 17 dead people and a whole long list of things your department could have done differently.”

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“How could — listen, that’s what after action reports are, that’s for lessons learned reports are for,” a visibly thrown Sheriff Israel responded. He then noted that the Police Executive Resource Forum would be “coming to town” to conduct a survey of what the department could have done differently.

And thus did the sheriff go viral again, in all the wrong ways:

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You may notice that I said “again.” This isn’t the first time Israel has made a pithy comment that has rubbed people the wrong way. In 2016, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel ran an investigation of the Broward County sheriff’s appointment of close political allies to taxpayer-funded positions.

Do you think Sheriff Israel should apologize for this remark?

After saying that criticizing his appointments is like criticizing “a team that won the Super Bowl,” the Sun-Sentinel reported that Israel, “(u)sing one of his well-worn sayings … said ‘lions don’t care about the opinions of sheep,’ and maintained that he doesn’t spend ‘more than 10 seconds’ listening to his opponents’ criticisms.”

Of course, that joke didn’t involve 17 dead teenagers and a pile of evidence that indicates his department — formerly “a team that won the Super Bowl” — could have done something to prevent or mitigate the shooting at Stoneman Douglas.

Israel cracking jokes over dead bodies is one thing to be outraged about, but there are a few more things that become infuriatingly clear watching the sheriff’s indelicate tap dance on CNN Sunday: Sheriff Israel doesn’t have answers, isn’t close to answers, doesn’t seem particularly interested in answers and thinks that the same old shopworn wisecracks will get him out of this.

The problem is, it won’t. Too many red flags were missed, too many people are dead, too many questions remain. It’s time for Sheriff Israel to step up and provide some clarification. If not, it’s time for him to resign. This is an issue too serious to joke about.

Please like and share this story on Facebook and Twitter if you agree that Sheriff Israel should be providing answers, not cracking jokes.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture