Scot Peterson, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school resource officer who hid behind a stairwell as gunman Nickolas Cruz committed a massacre inside the school, has been lambasted for his extreme cowardice and failure to fulfill his sworn duty to protect the school’s students.
And rightly so. While the left has used this shooting as an opportunity to blast the NRA and call for more gun control, conservatives have rightly pointed to the inaction by law enforcement — rather than the inanimate guns — which were used by Cruz as a force for evil, but should have been employed by Peterson to save lives.
As reported by the Miami Herald, “Peterson — named school resource officer of the year for Parkland in 2014 — was in another building, dealing with a student issue when the shots sounded. Armed with his sidearm, Peterson ran to the west side of Building 12 and set up in a defensive position, then did nothing for four minutes until the gunfire stopped.”
President Donald Trump called the handling of the situation by the sheriff’s office “disgusting,” as there were reportedly at least three additional officers from the Broward County Sheriff’s department who failed to go inside the school as gunshots rang out, CNN reported.
Trump called out now-resigned sheriff deputy Scot Peterson in particular. He slammed Peterson for hiding while children died, calling him a “coward” who “certainly did a poor job.”
On Monday, the president criticized Peterson further, suggesting that he personally would’ve had the courage to go into the school — even without a gun, CNBC reported.
“I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon. And I think most of the people in this room would have done that too,” Trump said during a meeting of U.S. governors at the White House.
Trump isn’t the only one who expressed disgust at the failure of Peterson and the other officers.
Former Tucson, Arizona police officer Brandon Tatum said he believes the horrible behavior of the officers stems from a problem in the leadership at the sheriff’s department.
“I don’t understand how any police officer in any department would not risk their lives in a situation like this — you have an active shooter, you have kids screaming, getting mowed down,” Tatum told Conservative Tribune.
He continued, “Since I joined the police academy, I never imagined a police officer would cower. It starts from leadership — the sheriff is the problem. When you have multiple officers cowering, you obviously have a leadership problem. One officer is a coward, four officers is a culture.”
Tatum clearly isn’t alone in that sentiment. There is now a push for Sheriff Scott Israel, who heads the department, to resign.
So far, he’s refused.
Sheriff Scott Israel refuses to resign: "I gave [Scot Peterson] a gun. I gave him a badge. I gave him the training. If he didn’t have the heart to go in, that’s not my responsibility!"#ResignSheriffIsrael pic.twitter.com/cdEwoUQv3T
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) February 25, 2018
Multiple Stoneman Douglas student survivors have also come out against Peterson.
“It’s absolutely disgusting. He knew his job. He knew what he had to do,” student Ariana Klein told Fox News Channel’s Neil Cavuto. “Their needs to be accountability and right now there is none. It’s despicable, it should never happen.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 24, 2018
Another student witnessed Peterson’s cowardice first hand. “He was pointing his gun at nothing,” Brandon Huff explained.
“You’re despicable,” he continued, directing his comments at Peterson. “You didn’t do your job. You were trained for this. You were armed. You had a bulletproof vest. You did nothing. You froze. You got scared. You did nothing at all, and you could’ve saved a lot of lives.”
Watch Brandon explain what happened in the clip below:
Stoneman Douglas High School student reveals Broward Sheriff resource officer Scot Peterson hid behind a staircase during the shooting, pointed his gun at "nothing." #ResignSheriffIsrael pic.twitter.com/wnBNe3I9S5
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) February 24, 2018
Almost every day since the massacre at Stoneman Douglas high school, new revelations have come out regarding the failure of law enforcement at almost every level — federal, state and local — not only to prevent this horrific killing, but to stop the killer in his tracks once he entered the school.
We need to hold the real culprits accountable, and stop the chipping away of the constitutional rights of law abiding Americans – who were and are in no way responsible for what happened on that tragic day.
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