Media Orgs Sue To Get Access To Broward County Surveillance Video

Media Orgs Sue To Get Access To Broward County Surveillance Video
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, foreground, speaks along with Sheriff Scott Israel, center, of Broward County, and Pam Bondi, Florida Attorney General, during a news conference near Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where a former student is suspected of killing at least 17 people Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. The shooting at a South Florida high school sent students rushing into the streets as SWAT team members swarmed in and locked down the building. Police were warning that the shooter was still at large even as ambulances converged on the scene and emergency workers appeared to be treating those possibly wounded. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Reports over what happened outside the school during the Parkland shooting vary. We know for a fact that one deputy, the school resource officer of all people, refused to enter the school as the incident unfolded. Reports also claim that three other deputies pulled a similar stunt and waited outside.


But we don’t know what really happened.

Thanks to the magic of surveillance cameras, we have the possibility of at least finding out. However, it seems that Sheriff Scott Israel isn’t too keen on releasing that footage.

Now, a lawsuit has been filed by several media organizations who want answers.

Three media companies filed a lawsuit Monday to try to force authorities to release security video footage from the exterior of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High Schoolto shed light on the actions — or inaction — of law enforcement during the mass shooting.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel, The Miami Herald and CNN filed the civil lawsuit in Broward Circuit Court, citing Florida’s public records law. The lawsuit names the Broward Sheriff’s Office and the School Board of Broward County, as well as Sheriff Scott Israel and Superintendent Robert Runcie, in their official roles, as defendants.

The lawsuit seeks access to video from cameras outside the Parkland school on the day of the shooting and cites the “extreme public interest” in figuring out precisely what happened.

Attorneys wrote that the shocking nature of the crime, which left 17 people dead and 16 injured, has sparked “fervent discussion about school safety, gun violence, and gun safety.”

“Specifically, the response of law enforcement officers during the shooting and immediately thereafter is of extreme public interest. Moreover, the details of actions by law enforcement officers — in particular the armed school resource officer at the school — have been publicly disclosed by Sheriff Scott Israel,” attorneys Dana McElroy and James McGuire wrote in the lawsuit.

“Witnesses and other law enforcement agencies additionally have described the events shown on the video. The public, therefore, should be given the first-hand opportunity to review and evaluate the video and the actions of its government officials.”


And let’s be clear here. Israel has used this incident to beat the gun control drum for his Democrat overlords, claiming that gun control could have mitigated the carnage. However, many gun rights advocates argue that swift action from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office would have also helped limit the horrors that took place that day.

Further, the sacred and constitutionally protected rights of the average citizen wouldn’t have to be infringed upon.

As the gun control debate seems to hinge on just what happened at the school on that fateful day, the public has a right to know all the facts and see them for themselves. In particular, was cowardice the deciding factor in just how bad this atrocity was?

People have a right to judge for themselves. We can’t do that without all the information.

While Sheriff Scott Israel has revealed some of the requested information, he’s an incredibly biased source, someone who stands to lose a great deal if it turns out that his deputies stayed outside while children were dying within the school. As such, there’s no reason to take his word as gospel for what transpired that day.

The truth of the matter is that I, and I’m sure I’m not alone, won’t even entertain the possibility of discussing legislative solutions to what happened until we’ve seen everything that took place at that school on that day. If we find out what I suspect we’ll find out, that the failures of the sheriff’s office led to the vast majority of the blood spilled, then there’s no need to discuss anything anyway.


Not that I’m planning to give an inch anyway, mind you, but I’d still have the discussion. But why discuss anything when we don’t actually know all that much?


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