Broward Sheriff faces mounting criticism over Florida school massacre

FILE PHOTO: Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel speaks before the start of a CNN town hall meeting at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool/File Photo

A Florida sheriff came under mounting criticism on Sunday for his deputies’ response to this month’s deadly high school shooting and potential warning signs as dozens of state lawmakers called for his ouster and the governor ordered an independent inquiry.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel insisted that only one of his armed deputies is so far known to have been at fault for staying outside the school while it was under attack rather than entering to confront the gunman who shot 17 people to death.

That deputy, identified as the school’s assigned resource officer, Scot Petersen, has resigned rather than face suspension and possible dismissal after his actions were caught on video during the massacre, the sheriff acknowledged last week.

News outlets including CNN and NBC have since reported that at least three more armed Broward County sheriff’s deputies were present on the scene, taking cover behind their vehicles instead of immediately going into the school.

Israel sought to dismiss those reports, based on unnamed sources from the neighboring Coral Springs Police Department, which also responded to the shooting.

Reuters, excerpt posted on  SouthFloridaReporter.com, Feb. 26, 2018

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