Florida AG Says Sheriff's Office Wasn't Honest With Her Or Governor
Tallahasse, FL – As 74 different Florida lawmakers called for Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel to step down from his position in the wake of his department’s bungled response to the active shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Middle School on Valentine’s Day, the Florida state attorney general told FOX News that not everyone in Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) was telling the truth.
“I don’t think some people were honest, and we’re going to investigate this situation in Florida and the right thing will be done,” Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said an interview on Monday morning.
Bondi said that Florida Governor Rick Scott was not one of the lawmakers calling for Sheriff Israel to resign, but that he wanted a full investigation into what happened when a former student murdered 17 students and faculty, and wounded 14 more, in a rampage on Feb. 14.
She said that some members of BCSO “weren’t honest with me, nor were they honest with the governor.”
“I know a lot more than you all do now, so all I’m going to say is, yes, I believe there needs to be a full investigation,” Bondi said.
The attorney general was asked why anyone would have lied to those investigating the incident.
“If they were there and didn’t want people to know they were there, then that would be it,” Bondi said.
On Thursday, Sheriff Israel announced that the school resource officer who had been present at the high school when the massacre began had stayed outside, and taken cover, rather than running into the school to confront the shooter.
BCSO Deputy Scot Peterson, a 26-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, resigned the next day.
But it turned out he was not the only Broward County deputy who hadn’t run to help students upon arrival at the high school.
CNN reported Friday that sources in the Coral Springs police department said that three other Broward County deputies were present and hiding behind their cars outside when they arrived on the scene.
Coral Springs deputies, along with a Sunrise police officer, and some BCSO deputies who arrived after Coral Springs police, raced into the building to try and stop any more carnage, while the four deputies who were already there remained outside, behind cover, CNN reported.
Bondi wouldn’t comment on rumors that there had been a stand-down order issues to BCSO deputies that kept them outside the school.
“Let me put it this way, when you have a school full of students, and your duty is to protect your students … your job is to protect those students. That’s what you sign up for,” Bondi said.
Former Deputy Peterson released a statement through his attorney on Friday in which he defended his actions on the day of the shooting, and said he’d followed department policy during the incident because he believed the shooter was outside the school building.