‘Mechanical issues’ with DeSantis plane delay Sheriff Israel suspension announcement

Geraldine Edwards
January 14, 2019

Andrew Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter Meadow died on the third floor trying to protect a younger student who also died, said "when eight BSO deputies listened to shots fired in a school and stayed outside they were following Sheriff Israel's policies".

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to suspend Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, following criticism over his handling of last year's Parkland school shooting. The governor replaced Israel with former Coral Springs Police Sgt. Gregory Tony, 40, who has a background in active-shooter training and becomes the first black sheriff in Broward County's history.

New Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) blamed Israel's "repeated failures, incompetence and neglect of duty".

While campaigning past year, DeSantis said on multiple occasions that Israel should be suspended for how he and his office handled the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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"Sheriff Israel has repeatedly failed and has demonstrated a pattern of poor leadership", the governor said, citing shootings at Fort Lauderdale International Airport in 2017 and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018.

Israel expressed sympathy for the families but blasted DeSantis, a Republican, for carrying out what he considered to be a political hit job. Rick Scott, had refused to suspend the sheriff, saying he wanted to wait until investigations were complete before deciding.

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel refused to resign for almost a year but on Friday, he was suspended and replaced by former Coral Springs Police Department Lt. Gregory Tony.

"These incidents demonstrate Sheriff Israel's repeated incompetence and neglect of duty".

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Fitzgerald said investigators believe the girl was "the only target" and don't believe Patterson had any contact with the family. During the 20 minutes Jayme was in their home, Peter and Kristin Kasinskas said they tried to make her feel more comfortable.

Israel had created the department's active-shooter policy which obviously let the community down.

"I do believe we've got the right guy", Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the shooting, said.

His lawyer, Stuart Kaplan, said that not only would Israel fight the governor's order, but he would run for re-election when his term ends in 2020.

"True leaders like Governor DeSantis are willing to make the tough decisions that may not always be the most popular choices", Bell said. Israel also came under fire for his public statements after the shooting, in which he said he had provided "amazing leadership" and downplayed reports that his deputies had disregarded multiple tips that the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was a potential threat.

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You know the Stoneman Douglas Commission when they were talking to deputies they learned from these deputies that the deputies could not remember the last time that they had active shooter training or what kind of training it was. For these reasons, I am suspending Sheriff Israel from office effective immediately.

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