By: Teresa Mull
Scott Israel, the Broward County (Florida) Sheriff whose incompetent handling of two shootings, including the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, led him to be nicknamed “the Coward of Broward,” could be headed back to work.
“[Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R)] charged Israel with neglect of duty and incompetence in his response to the mass shooting in Parkland and another shooting, a year earlier. In January 2017, a gunman opened fire in the baggage claim area at Fort Lauderdale's airport, killing five people. The governor said the shooting and ensuing chaos could have been avoided with better training and preparation. In his report to the Florida Senate, Special Master Dudley Goodlette says no evidence supported that claim.
In the second incident, last year's shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Israel was charged with neglecting his duty or being incompetent in failing to detect the threat and preventing the shooting. He was also cited for not having a policy in place requiring deputies to engage an active shooter.
Goodlette, said, "I cannot agree … that [the Broward Sheriff Office’s] Active Shooter Policy was so deficient that it evidences neglect of duty or incompetence on the part of Sheriff Israel.”
DeSantis reacted in a written statement:
"The victims with families impacted by the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School deserve justice and accountability. Floridians were appalled by Scott Israel's repeated failures and expect their senators will provide the accountability that the Parkland families have sought for the past year and a half."
Following the Parkland shooting, The Washington Post reported:
On Wednesday evening, as the country picked through the wreckage of another mass shooting, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, flanked by a Republican governor with an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association, made a pitch for gun control.
“I’ve said this time and time again,” Israel began. “While the people who are victims of mental health illnesses in this country are being treated, in the opinion of this sheriff, they should not be able to buy, surround themselves with, purchase or carry a handgun. Those two things don’t mix.”
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.