In a move that has been long anticipated, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has removed Broward County’s Scott Israel from his duties as Broward County sheriff. This move stems from a series of failures by the Democratic sheriff leading up to the deadly Parkland massacre and then followed by his instance that all blame for the atrocity fell upon the National Rifle Association.
Gov. Ron DeSantis removed Broward Sheriff Scott Israel from office Friday, replacing him after 10 months of turmoil spawned by the slaughter of 17 staff and students in Parkland.
The new 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.
DeSantis announced the suspension at the Broward Sheriff’s Office headquarters while the displaced former sheriff prepared his response from a church in northwest Fort Lauderdale.
“I have no interest in dancing on Scott Israel’s political grave,” DeSantis said of the Democratic former sheriff, “but suffice it to say the massacre might never have happened had Broward had better leadership in the sheriff’s department.”
In his executive order, the governor cited Israel for incompetence and neglect of duty. DeSantis said Israel “egregiously failed in his duties” by not properly training deputies and not maintaining “a culture of vigilance and thoroughness,” among other weaknesses.
The suspension caps a nearly year-long series of revelations that exposed the failure of Broward sheriff’s deputies to run in to save children at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as a former student marched through the halls with an assault rifle.
However, now, just as he did last February, Israel has decided that he did nothing wrong and this is nothing more than an evil plot by the nefarious National Rifle Association.
NEW: Suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel responds to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' Executive Order: "This suspension is not about what occurred on February 14th… this was about politics, not about Parkland." https://t.co/U7vcZIgAW8 pic.twitter.com/ka1XYd0vZ8
— ABC News (@ABC) January 11, 2019
Israel is arguing the typical liberal talking point of pro-gun politicians being “bought” by the NRA and thus doing their bidding. He can’t accept that any of this falls on him.
The thing is, he’s pretty much the only one who feels that way.
His deputies passed a vote of no confidence in his leadership last year. Even the Sun-Sentinel agreed that it was time for Israel’s removal from office. The only one who seems to think Scott Israel was doing a good job was Scott Israel.
The truth is that his department failed to make an arrested on the Parkland shooter at any point during the numerous interactions they had with him, even on reports of violent encounters. One arrest might have made all the difference in the world to those kids who were shot on February 14, 2018.
In the immediate aftermath, Israel immediately pointed to the NRA is the culprit. He did everything he could to paint the nation’s oldest civil rights organization as responsible for the slaughter. A compliant and complacent media latched onto the narrative and ran with it. Israel wanted to hurt the gun rights movement.
But right now, we still have our guns. We still have our ability to keep and bear arms.
And Israel is going to need to start looking for a job.