He’s the man known as the “Coward of Broward” — former Broward County, Florida, Deputy Scot Peterson, the armed law enforcement official at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School who refused to engage the gunman who killed 17 students and teachers at the school last year.
On Tuesday, the former school resource officer was hit with a litany of charges for his dereliction of duty.
Peterson, who is now a resident of North Carolina, was released from the Broward County jail Thursday on $39,500 bail, according to the Washington Examiner.
He faces “seven counts of child neglect, three counts of culpable negligence, and a count of perjury for allegedly hearing gunshots and running to safety instead of confronting the shooter, who ended up killing 17 students and staff and injuring 17 others.”
And yet, CNN’s Chris Cuomo has no idea why this guy should have been charged.
Cuomo discussed the case Tuesday with fellow CNN talking head Don Lemon, who admitted he “couldn’t tell you if it was the right move or not.”
Cuomo was more convinced it wasn’t.
“It messes with my head from a policy perspective,” Cuomo said.
CNN’s @ChrisCuomo: “Only in America” do we respond to a mass shooting by arresting the officer who failed to respond.
“This is the best we can do? Like I say, it’s often misunderstood but it’s true. Only in America do you respond to something like this this way.” pic.twitter.com/rtPeZ4I0Zf
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 5, 2019
“What are we saying? Our first responders are extraordinary men and women on a regular basis … So prosecuting would reinforce a policy. Why? There is no need to reinforce the policy. They are amazingly heroic almost all the time. He was not, arguably.
“I guess what really gets me is: This is what we decide to act on?” Cuomo continued.
“This is the move that makes the most sense after a shooting? This is the best we can do? Like I say, it’s often misunderstood, but it’s true. Only in America do you respond to something like this this way.”
I don’t think that we have much misunderstanding here: If a response to a mass shooting doesn’t involve passing yet another anti-gun gun law, Chris Cuomo doesn’t want to hear it.
Forget the fact that this was a law enforcement officer with a gun at the scene who refused to do his job. Let’s pass more gun control laws.
A statement from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement makes it clear that bringing charges against Peterson wasn’t just the best thing we could do in the situation, it was the only thing we could do.
“The investigation shows Peterson refused to investigate the source of the gunshots, retreated during the active shooting while victims were being shot and directed other law enforcement who arrived on scene to remain 500 feet away from the building,” the statement read, according to The Daily Wire.
“During the investigation, FDLE agents interviewed 184 witnesses, reviewed countless hours of video surveillance, and wrote 212 investigative reports, totaling more than 800 hours of investigation on the case to determine the actions of law enforcement as they responded to the February 14, 2018 school shooting.
“The investigation received the full cooperation and assistance from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Coral Springs Police Department and all other agencies that responded to the school shooting.”
Hunter Pollack, whose sister was killed in the shooting, put it somewhat more succinctly.
Former Broward Deputy Scot Peterson has been arrested on felony charges.
He cowered in Parkland while my sister died defenseless and lied about his failure to confront the shooter.
I hope he spends the rest of his life in prison.
— Hunter Pollack (@PollackHunter) June 4, 2019
“He cowered in Parkland while my sister died defenseless and lied about his failure to confront the shooter.
“I hope he spends the rest of his life in prison,” he said.
If convicted on all counts, the 56-year-old Peterson could face a maximum of more than 96 years in prison, according to WPTV. But even if that doesn’t happen, Pollack’s tweet makes clear just what’s at stake here.
Scot Peterson needs to be held accountable, no matter what Chris Cuomo might think.
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