74 GOP Lawmakers Call for Suspension of Florida Sheriff

They say his failures led to deaths of students, teachers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2018 4:17 AM CST
Florida Lawmakers Demand Suspension of 'Incompetent' Sheriff
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel speaks before a CNN town hall broadcast, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Fla.   (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

Scores of Republican lawmakers in Florida are calling for a suspension of the sheriff who oversaw the response to the Parkland school shooter. Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran and 73 other Republicans, most of the caucus, have signed a letter accusing Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, a Democrat, of "incompetence and neglect of duty" in the months before the shooting, when police received multiple warnings about alleged gunman Nikolas Cruz, the Washington Post reports. "Sheriff Israel failed to maintain a culture of alertness, vigilance, and thoroughness amongst his deputies," the letter states. "As a result of Sheriff Israel’s failures, students and teachers died."

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he has called for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the response for the shooting but will not be suspending Israel at this time, the Sun Sentinel reports. Scott says he has spoken to Corcoran and "like me, he wants the families to have answers and for there to be full accountability." In a CNN interview Sunday, Israel said he had provided "amazing leadership" and it wasn't his fault that deputy Scot Peterson had failed to enter Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the shooting. Politico reports that the sheriff's office's active shooter protocol does not require a deputy to engage the shooter. A sheriff's office spokeswoman declined to explain why. (More Parkland school shooting stories.)

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