Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told his department that he will likely be removed from office for his failed response to the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Sheriff Israel became one of the most controversial law enforcement agents in the country after the Parkland shooting. After the shooting, he quickly galvanized behind the March for Our Lives students and placed the blame for the shooting at the feet of gun owners and the National Rifle Association.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel to NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch: “You just told this group of people that you are standing up for them. You're not standing up for them until you say, 'I want less weapons'” https://t.co/Z1Yni5mWFU #StudentsStandUp https://t.co/OcM90XPz7a
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) February 22, 2018
While Israel was hopping between his television appearances, an investigation into the shooting was underway. Reports began to roll out that the Broward County Sheriff’s Department missed several red flags and failed to properly respond to the active shooter.
According to a detailed report by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Israel had many areas of “failed leadership.” Those failures included:
- School Resource Officer Scot Peterson waited 45 minutes to enter the school after the shooting started.
- Several officers hid outside of the school instead of confronting the shooter.
- The 911 calling system was out of date and required calls to be transferred, wasting valuable minutes during the shooting.
- The department lacked proper training and had not had an active shooter training in “10 or 20 years.”
- He lied several times about when his officers knew there was an active shooter situation.
Because of these failures, 85 percent of his officers supported a vote of no confidence in Israel’s leadership. Although his department voted against him, he didn’t have to leave office because it is an elected position. The only person who can force the removal of a sheriff is the governor.
During the shooting, Rick Scott was the governor. However, after the 2018 elections, Scott was elected to the Senate and Congressman Ron DeSantis won the election for governor.
DeSantis, who was sworn in on Wednesday morning, is not a fan of Sheriff Israel. However, his team has not made any decisions to remove Israel from office.
Despite DeSantis’ team claiming that they haven’t contacted Israel or decided to remove him, Israel already told his team that he would likely be removed. According to the Miami Herald, Israel said his termination was “inevitable.”
With DeSantis having been in office for less than 24 hours, it isn’t clear how he will handle Sheriff Israel. Beyond that, Israel isn’t the only Broward County Official DeSantis has to deal with. As IJR previously reported, DeSantis will have to address the botched election leadership of Brenda Snipes, too.