The Sheriff Doth Protest Too Much

Sheriff Scott Israel with Barack Obama

By Dickey Saunders Jr.

In the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, the national discussions around mental health, school safety, FBI incompetence, law-enforcement inaction, and gun-control have reached a fever pitch. CNN has gone to questionable lengths to host town hall programs that featured NRA Spokeswoman Dana Loesch and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) being confronted by the school shooting survivors, and in a more curious twist, verbal lashings from Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, whose deputies arrived first at the scene of the mass shooting.

It is not often that a Sheriff injects himself into such a national debate, especially so vocally on many news outlets, but then again, it is not often that teenage survivors of mass shootings are paraded on these same outlets to advocate for gun-control and call for boycotts. The times are certainly evolving. Much has been made about the students, and now calls for Sheriff Scott Israel’s resignation are also picking up steam.

Sheriff Scott Israel with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz

Sheriff Scott Israel with Debbie-Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)

From: Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel Facebook

 

The calls for the Sheriff’s resignation come on the heels of CNN’s Jake Tapper breaking the news that Broward County deputies were standing outside behind their cars as Coral Springs police had arrived at the scene AND while the shooter had attempted to leave the school before eventually being apprehended by law enforcement. When Sheriff Israel was pressed in a tough interview by Jake Tapper aired by CNN about a possible “stand down” order being given, the Sheriff had deflected and refused to answer the question. The lack of words is peculiar for someone who had picked up a microphone and placed blame for the shooting incident squarely on the NRA.

Sheriff Scott Israel with Bernie Sanders

Sheriff Scott Israel with Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT)

From: Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel Facebook

 

If Sheriff Israel’s actions seem odd or out of place, you are not alone in these suspicions. The Sheriff has been under scrutiny for a long time, with allegations of corruption around political favors, accepting donations from a convicted felon, and having ties to a rather shady businessman who has been accused of being part of police corruption in Rhode Island. The corruption allegations are the most recent, with Israel’s opponents saying he’s built a publicly funded political machine, paying back supporters with jobs and using them to keep him in office, as reported by the Sun Sentinel.

Sheriff Scott Israel with Hillary Clinton

Sheriff Scott Israel with Hillary Clinton

From: Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel Facebook

 

With allegations of questionable ties and political behavior, it is quite fair to ponder whether the Sheriff’s actions as of late can be theorized as covering up for massive systemic incompetence, questionable law enforcement programs, gross negligence, or even dereliction of duty. As noted by former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik in an interview with Newsmax, when asked about reports that the Broward County Sheriff’s deputies possibly failed to enter the school during the shooting, he responded, “If these reports are true, these deputies are constitutionally bound to engage the shooter and protect the students”, and proceeded to state that the Florida attorney general’s office, not an inter-agency probe, should do an investigation into possible “criminally negligent homicide” and even stated the Sheriff should resign.

Whatever the reasons may be for Sheriff Israel’s strange behavior, one thing is clear: the man in charge of this Sheriff’s department has overseen one of the biggest systemic failures of law enforcement in recent memory. Whether the Sheriff knew himself about the shooter’s dangerous tendencies or whether he was aware of the structural failures of his department is up for debate, but we can be certain that the Sheriff had put together the staff and officers who were involved in this horrific tragedy and had ultimate authority over who was fit to serve the needs of this community and their children. Sheriff Israel had stated that the school resource officer Scot Peterson ‘s inaction during the shooting had made him “sick to his stomach”, which ultimately led to Peterson’s resignation. Peterson was honored in 2014 by the Broward County Crime commission as School Resource Officer of the Year. That commission’s motto? “Evil triumphs when good people stand idly by”. In the context of tragedy, it is the irony of this systemic farce that is truly nauseating.

Sheriff Scott Israel with Barack Obamateam | Saunders Report

Sheriff Scott Israel with Former President Barack Obama

From: Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel Facebook

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