On Monday’s "Morning Joe," prominent Florida school shooting survivor and gun control advocate David Hogg talked with co-host Joe Scarborough about emerging evidence that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office repeatedly failed to act to protect students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School both before and during the massacre on February 14th.
Instead of placing responsibility on Sheriff Scott Israel and his deputies for failing to identify Nicholas Cruz as a threat despite dozens of reports about his disturbing behavior or refusing to confront Cruz as he was murdering students, Hogg found a way to blame Republican Gov. Rick Scott [emphasis mine]:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: David, are you, your family, the community, are you starting to hear a rising concern about how the Broward Sheriffs operated, staying outside while the shooting was going on?
DAVID HOGG: So, I’m glad you bring that up, and it definitely is raising concern that the fact that they didn’t go in, but that also brings up two things. One—how can we expect our teachers to step in and take action if trained security guards that are part of the sheriff’s department wouldn’t take action? And two—why are these elected officials trying to blame this on the bureaucracy? They’re in charge of them. This is their fault. They should have been regulating them. I’m not going to allow them to pressure these people because, at the end of the day, it’s their fault. These elected officials are the boss of these sheriff personnel.
HOGG: And just like the president is the boss of the FBI,-
HOGG: -Governor Rick Scott is essentially the boss of Scott Israel, the sheriff, and as such, he should be held accountable. He can’t just blame this on the bureaucracy and expect to get re-elected.
No Joe, that’s not right. Sheriff Israel is not some lowly paper-pushing bureaucrat without any power or authority. He is the elected chief law enforcement officer in Broward County. He and his deputies, who reportedly failed to adequately respond to more than forty calls about Cruz and his violent behavior, were directly in a position to do something to stop him, not Rick Scott. Governors can’t possibly micromanage every county law enforcement agency in their states to make sure that each individual case is being followed up on properly. That’s insane.
Perhaps even more ridiculous was Hogg’s first point questioning the courage of teachers to protect their students, even knowing about the example of football coach Aaron Feis, who died while shielding Stoneman Douglas students from Cruz’s bullets. Scarborough did follow up Hogg’s comments by bringing up the football coach and Hogg appeared to recall the story, but it was odd to see Feis’s actions being so blithely discounted to make a cheap political point.
Scarborough also criticized the sheriff’s deputies who stood outside the high school while the mass shooting was taking place. Hogg agreed with Joe's point, describing the sheriff’s deputies as “cowardly,” but then he went right back to attacking Gov. Scott and insisting that he shouldn’t blame the shooting on the “bureaucracy” just to get re-elected.