It's no secret that the shooting that took place on Valentine's Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida has had a profound impact on the country. The issue of gun control and law enforcement intervention in school shootings has been at the forefront of this discussion.
Since the tragic shooting took place, gun rights advocates, including National Rifle Association (NRA) spokeswoman Dana Loesch have said that the Parkland shooting took place, not because of lax gun laws, but because of the failed leadership under Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.
Remember this discussion that took place during the CNN Townhall? Loesch reminded Israel that law enforcement officials were called 39 times on Nikolas Cruz. And guess what? Absolutely nothing was done.
"They [Parkland students] were threatened with death. They were threatened that they were going to bleed. They were threatened that they were going to be killed," Loesch told Israel. "And [Nikolas Cruz] had already taken bullets and knives to school. He'd already assaulted people. He assaulted his parent. His assaulted other students. 39 visits and this was known to the intelligence and law enforcement community. Look, I'm not saying you can be everywhere at once, but this is what I'm talking about. We have to follow up on these red flags. Doesn't that meet the standard?"
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission dug deeper into what occurred on that tragic February day. And guess what they discovered? That the Broward County Sheriff's Office failed to protect students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School...and that was a direct result of Sheriff Scott Israel's leadership.
Failures by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and school district cost children their lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Through audio, video and maps from the school, the Sun Sentinel investigates the critical failures of Feb. 14, 2018. pic.twitter.com/H312GaW9ey— South Florida Sun Sentinel (@SunSentinel) December 29, 2018
And that's the South Florida Sun Sentinel wrote an editorial rescinding their support of the Sheriff. Instead, they're now calling for Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis to remove Israel from his position.
It’s a big deal for a governor to remove an elected sheriff, especially if the governor is a Republican and the sheriff is the most powerful Democrat in Florida’s most Democratic county.
We stood up for the sheriff in late February, when Republican lawmakers called for Gov. Rick Scott to suspend him “for incompetence and dereliction.” We did so again in April after the deputies’ union staged a vote of no confidence in him, largely because of pay raises. We’ve suggested all along that people hold their fire until more details are known.
But after seeing the damning details in the commission’s draft report — and Israel’s troubling testimony — we cannot encourage the governor-elect to wait and let voters decide the sheriff’s fate in 2020. We can only encourage DeSantis to replace Israel with a seasoned law enforcement professional with local familiarity, not a Tallahassee partisan who lacks relevant qualifications, as Gov. Rick Scott did in replacing Broward’s incompetent elections supervisor this month.
Even though Parkland survivors and their families have been at odds over the issue of gun control, they all seem to be in agreement on this: Sheriff Scott Israel needs to go. And it should have been done a long time ago.
Sheriff Scott Israel needs to resign.— Cameron Kasky (@cameron_kasky) December 29, 2018
Sheriff Scott Israel needs to resign.
Sheriff Scott Israel needs to resign.
You get the point. https://t.co/ZR7OuO1mi1
Kasky and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of things. But on this we do. The Cowards of Broward need to be held accountable. Sheriff Scott Israel needs to resign. https://t.co/9DmZFe9JTd— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) December 29, 2018
Even the Sun Sentinel’s liberal editorial board is calling ?@browardsheriff? leadership a failure and asking for his removal. After the failed Airport and MSD responses Israel has repeatedly blamed everyone else and accepted no responsibility. #fixit https://t.co/cJ2gl2yhEA— Andrew Pollack (@AndrewPollackFL) December 26, 2018
Sheriff Israel, you should be ashamed to call yourself a law enforcement officer. You took an oath to serve and protect. You have nothing but serve yourself, not your constituents. And it's now time for you to go...for good.
Editor's note: an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the Sun Sentinel conducted an investigation. It was actually the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Safety Commission that investigated.