Image via Broward County Sheriff’s Office
The courts may have ruled that police have no duty to protect citizens, but that doesn’t mean departments–particularly sheriff’s departments where the boss is elected and thus answers to the public–can’t feel a good bit different about that. After all, I’ve known a lot of police officers in my day and it’s always been rare to find one who didn’t want to protect others. Most recognize that there are a lot of instances when you can’t.
Where the line tends to get drawn is when an officer can but fails to act in accordance with policy and people get killed.
Former Broward County Deputy Scot Peterson was fired, thus ending his cushy retirement pension, for his failure to act and is now facing criminal charges.
He was far from the only one to find their head on the chopping block, it seems.
South Florida investigators said Wednesday two more deputies have lost their jobs over the response to the 2018 shooting attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
In briefing reporters on an internal report, Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said deputies Edward Eason and Josh Stambaugh were fired Tuesday for “neglect of duty.” He did not detail their actions or why they were dismissed, however. Their terminations raised the total number of officers fired over the shooting to four.
Tony said three other deputies who were also investigated were not disciplined.
“As we conclude this final chapter … in terms of this internal affairs investigation, we are now going to continue to move forward with fixing the issues that exist herein the agency in relation to training,” he said.
Interestingly, this failure is largely missing from the discussion of Parkland that has taken up so much of the media’s time over the last year and three months. Instead, we’ve been regaled with tails of how guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens don’t do any good and how allowing teachers to be armed would be a disaster.
Some have even tried to point to Parkland as proof that guns in schools won’t stop mass shootings.
However, the media has spent little time noting that at least some of the responding officers failed to act according to Broward County Sheriff’s Office policy regarding active shooter events, nor did they comply with the overall recommendations for officers responding to such events. Kids died because at least some officers failed to enter the building and engage the shooter.
Such a thing was horrible, but then to use that as justification for inhibiting the Second Amendment rights of ordinary Americans who played no role in those events is downright insulting. Not just to us but to those who lost their lives that horrific day.
Disgraced Sheriff Scott Israel pointed the finger at guns and the National Rifle Association early in the aftermath of Parkland, but that was to deflect from his failures as a leader. The media, however, bought it, and even now they’re still not directing a critical eye on just how much of a role that failure may have played on that day’s events.
But hey, it advances the narrative, so what do they care about things like the truth, anyway?