Sheriff Touts His 'Amazing Leadership,' Blames His Deputy

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel Is Under Pressure To Resign For His Department's Response to School Shooting

Fort Lauderdale, FL – A Republican lawmaker has asked the Florida Governor to remove the county sheriff in Broward County in response to growing criticism of how the sheriff’s office responded to the Feb. 14 Parkland school shooting.

Rep. Bill Hager, a Republican and chairman of the Florida House of Justice Appropriations, asked Gov. Rick Scott to remove Sheriff Scott Israel, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Under Florida law, the governor has the power to remove a sheriff.

In a letter to the governor, Hager said that Sheriff Israel should be removed due to negligence and incompetence.

The letter cites reports that a school resource officer under Sheriff Israel’s command failed to enter Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when shooter Nikolas Jacob Cruz killed 17 people.

Another report from CNN cited an anonymous Coral Springs officer who claimed three more deputies stayed outside during the shooting.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the police response to the Parkland shooting, as ordered by Gov. Rick Scott on Sunday, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Sheriff Israel angered some gun owners when he said to the NRA on CNN, “You are not standing up for these students.” The Broward Sheriff’s Twitter account tweeted that quote on Feb. 21.

Sheriff Israel said he would not resign in a CNN interview and said he has provided “amazing leadership,” according to the Sun-Sentinel.

The sheriff placed the blame primarily on a single school sheriff’s deputy who failed to enter the school and confront Cruz.

“Deputies make mistakes, police officers make mistakes, we all make mistakes,” Israel said on CNN to Jake Tapper. “But it’s not the responsibility of the general or the president if you have a deserter. We’ll look into this. We’re looking into this aggressively, and we’ll take care of it, and justice will be served.”

According to the Sun-Sentinel, Tapper then asked him, “Are you really not taking any responsibility for multiple red flags that were brought to the attention of the Broward Sheriff’s Office about this shooter before this incident, whether it was people near him, close to him?”

“Jake, I can only take responsibility for what I knew about,” Israel said. “I exercised my due diligence. I provided amazing leadership to this agency.”

“Amazing leadership?” Tapper asked, according to a CNN transcript.

“Yes, Jake,” he said. “There’s a lot of things we’ve done throughout this. You don’t measure a person’s leadership by a deputy not going into a … these deputies received the training —.”

Tapper responded, “You measure somebody’s leadership by the way they protect the community. In this case, you listed 23 incidents before the shooting involving the shooter, and still nothing was done to keep guns out of his hands, to make sure the school was protected, to make sure you were keeping an eye on him. I don’t see how you can sit there and claim amazing leadership.”

Do you think that the sheriff has done a good job? We'd like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.

Comments (17)
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CommonSensei
CommonSensei

Here's more "amazing leadership".

Marybeth1959
Marybeth1959

Amazingly ignorant

WoodMagnolia
WoodMagnolia

I didn’t like this guy from the second he opened his mouth. Blames everyone but doesn’t take any responsibility himself. Then of all things he blames the NRA for what happened! This guy is pathetic and he needs to get fired!

kcmnyc
kcmnyc

Sheriff Israel will either or be fired, whether he continues to believe he provided "amazing leadership", or faces the fact that he failed miserably in leading his department. His deputies now know that he will throw any one of them under a bus, under any circumstance, to protect himself. No one can lead effectively without the trust of one's command.

Stitcher59
Stitcher59

He already is in a way... instead of taking unpaid leave, he chose to retire - he had sufficient time in to do so. So yeah, he’s just sitting at home drawing a paycheck for his cowardice.

NomonK
NomonK

School Safety Ideas Nobody Wants to Talk About
Fatherlessness needs to be addressed. Kids need dads- most shooters don't have an involved dad. Can we connect boys without fathers to father-figure mentors? This is also a theme in the inner-city, less-publicized, yet more-frequent gun crimes in minority communities.
Adults need to be held accountable. The Parkland shooting last week is 'Exhibit A' on that. Dozens of adults at the school, local law enforcement agencies, and even the FBI knew about this kid and what he said he was going to do. Another adult, the SRO on duty, could have stopped it while it was happening but never went in. How many adults around this situation will be charged with crimes like negligence or manslaughter for their blatant failures? My guess is zero. How many will lose their jobs? My guess is zero. Nobody does anything because you risk nothing by doing nothing and get in trouble if you take a proactive approach and try to do address things before the blood is spilled. This is up and down our education and law enforcement systems.
Boys need safe environments to fight and let out their physical aggression. Young men involved in physically violent sports like football, wrestling, karate, etc. typically do not become mass murderers. I feel like our present culture is trying to take the fight out of our boys, but it's still hard-wired into them. Where no healthy outlets for this natural aggression exist, unhealthy ones will take their place. We need to stop shaming our boys and applying negative labels to boys that have a strong urge to fight. We need to guide and encourage them to find a healthy outlet, not tell them they're broken or bad.
The role of pharmaceutical drugs in mass shootings needs to be thoroughly investigated. It's too common of a theme to be ignored as a potential factor. Too many of our kids are getting drugged up instead of getting the care they really need. Right on the labels of these mood-altering drugs are side effects like "Hallucinations- loss of contact with reality." and "Suicidal thoughts." Yet we don't immediately ask about the prescriptions these kids are on, instead focusing on what kind of gun they used.
Training kids to huddle together as stationary targets on the ground, HAS TO STOP. It's stupid and getting our kids killed in greater numbers during these events. If they can't get in a secured room separated from the shooter, they need to run or fight, period. Get out the window or tackle the shooter etc are all way better things to teach. There are great programs to better train our kids on how to react to this threat.
Empower and encourage teachers and school administrators to have a plan, have the support of the district, and secure their classrooms the way they're comfortable with. Too many wonderful teachers with hearts of lions for protecting their kids are fearful bringing up their desires to their bosses whom will point to policy and liability concerns over common-sense solutions the teacher needs and wants. Teachers, if you don't get the support you need, do what you need to do anyways quietly. Damn the system. Keep our kids safe. There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer here, but all kinds of things could help like: ways to block/harden doors, weapons (gun or non-gun) to have a fighting chance if a shooter makes it through the door, and additional escape options like rope ladders for 2nd story windows teachers can deploy, etc. We can't have a cop everywhere and even if we do, there's no guarantee they won't be taking their sweet time outside like the Parkland SRO did while your class is in the crosshairs. Teachers are right there and the first line of defense and they need to think about it and take it seriously and not get in trouble if they do.
Finally, and most importantly, we need to improve the culture of our nation and our schools. We need to value human life highly. We need love. We need kindness. We need compassion. We need to look for the kids that are becoming isolated and need help and go help them. We need more than just anger at what's wrong, we need to celebrate the good stories and champions of kindness. Kids that care for one another don't kill each other. We need to touch the hearts of kids and train them up in morality and virtue- not just pack their heads full of information. This is exactly what we focused on when I worked for Rachel's Challenge, one of the top anti-violence programs in the country, and we saw tons of lives saved by changing the culture of schools from the inside out. (would-be-shooters with kill lists turning themselves in, gang members laying down their colors, suicides planned for that night canceled, etc.) Invite them to your school as a great way to start this cultural transformation.

Ratsmama
Ratsmama

They are only as good as their leader. They need a better leader.

JohnPollastro
JohnPollastro

The Coward from Broward
He needs to take a seat, the times have changed! Criminals have changed! They are smarter and have more access to materials on the internet that can be detrimental to a old uninformed sheriff. Time to upscale the department with a new younger ambitious sheriff that is more informed.

gfc1963
gfc1963

Being a cop is a dangerous job we all know that. BUT you are ther ones most peole look to to go towards the danger, NOT wait outside while people are getting killed! Those four officers could have ended that shooting quickly if they had went in and encountered Cruz.

b1rd
b1rd
NomonK
NomonK said: School Safety Ideas Nobody Wants to Talk About Fatherlessness needs to be addressed. Kids need dads- most shooters don't have an involved dad. Can we connect boys without fathers to father-figure mentors? This is also a theme in the inner-city, less-publicized, yet more-frequent gun crimes in minority communities. Adults need to be held accountable. The Parkland shooting last week is 'Exhibit A' on that. Dozens of adults at the school, local law enforcement agencies, and even the FBI knew about this kid and what he said he was going to do. Another adult, the SRO on duty, could have stopped it while it was happening but never went in. How many adults around this situation will be charged with crimes like negligence or manslaughter for their blatant failures? My guess is zero. How many will lose their jobs? My guess is zero. Nobody does anything because you risk nothing by doing nothing and get in trouble if you take a proactive approach and try to do address things before the blood is spilled. This is up and down our education and law enforcement systems. Boys need safe environments to fight and let out their physical aggression. Young men involved in physically violent sports like football, wrestling, karate, etc. typically do not become mass murderers. I feel like our present culture is trying to take the fight out of our boys, but it's still hard-wired into them. Where no healthy outlets for this natural aggression exist, unhealthy ones will take their place. We need to stop shaming our boys and applying negative labels to boys that have a strong urge to fight. We need to guide and encourage them to find a healthy outlet, not tell them they're broken or bad. The role of pharmaceutical drugs in mass shootings needs to be thoroughly investigated. It's too common of a theme to be ignored as a potential factor. Too many of our kids are getting drugged up instead of getting the care they really need. Right on the labels of these mood-altering drugs are side effects like "Hallucinations- loss of contact with reality." and "Suicidal thoughts." Yet we don't immediately ask about the prescriptions these kids are on, instead focusing on what kind of gun they used. Training kids to huddle together as stationary targets on the ground, HAS TO STOP. It's stupid and getting our kids killed in greater numbers during these events. If they can't get in a secured room separated from the shooter, they need to run or fight, period. Get out the window or tackle the shooter etc are all way better things to teach. There are great programs to better train our kids on how to react to this threat. Empower and encourage teachers and school administrators to have a plan, have the support of the district, and secure their classrooms the way they're comfortable with. Too many wonderful teachers with hearts of lions for protecting their kids are fearful bringing up their desires to their bosses whom will point to policy and liability concerns over common-sense solutions the teacher needs and wants. Teachers, if you don't get the support you need, do what you need to do anyways quietly. Damn the system. Keep our kids safe. There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer here, but all kinds of things could help like: ways to block/harden doors, weapons (gun or non-gun) to have a fighting chance if a shooter makes it through the door, and additional escape options like rope ladders for 2nd story windows teachers can deploy, etc. We can't have a cop everywhere and even if we do, there's no guarantee they won't be taking their sweet time outside like the Parkland SRO did while your class is in the crosshairs. Teachers are right there and the first line of defense and they need to think about it and take it seriously and not get in trouble if they do. Finally, and most importantly, we need to improve the culture of our nation and our schools. We need to value human life highly. We need love. We need kindness. We need compassion. We need to look for the kids that are becoming isolated and need help and go help them. We need more than just anger at what's wrong, we need to celebrate the good stories and champions of kindness. Kids that care for one another don't kill each other. We need to touch the hearts of kids and train them up in morality and virtue- not just pack their heads full of information. This is exactly what we focused on when I worked for Rachel's Challenge, one of the top anti-violence programs in the country, and we saw tons of lives saved by changing the culture of schools from the inside out. (would-be-shooters with kill lists turning themselves in, gang members laying down their colors, suicides planned for that night canceled, etc.) Invite them to your school as a great way to start this cultural transformation.

Well said.