45 Calls: Broward County Sheriff's Dept. Visited FL Shooter's Home 22 Other Times, Which Weren't Disclosed

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Posted: Feb 26, 2018 12:40 PM
45 Calls: Broward County Sheriff's Dept. Visited FL Shooter's Home 22 Other Times, Which Weren't Disclosed

UPDATE: Be sure to read Guy’s post on Sheriff Israel. He touched on this earlier this morning as well.

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On Saturday, The Broward County Sheriff’s Department released this statement around 10 P.M. It was a counterattack. Stop reporting we visited Nikolas Cruz 39 times; it was actually 23. Also, stop saying three other deputies stood by—that’s not confirmed it said. Yeah, on both counts, it doesn’t absolve the department for totally failing to act upon any of the red flags about Cruz, who shot and killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School On February 14, nor does it lessen the embarrassment inflicted upon the department by Scot Peterson, the officer who failed to confront Cruz as the shooting began.

As for the three deputies who also did nothing, that report was based on that of a neighboring police department, so it’s not like this is some conspiracy theory. If anything, Broward County Sheriff’s Department remains in hot water, as we now have 22 other responses to Cruz’s home that were not disclosed. So, yeah—the sheriff’s department is right. It wasn’t 39 times; it was 45 (via BuzzFeed):

The increased pressure against Israel's department comes amid an internal investigation into how deputies responded to two calls, one in 2016 and another in 2017, where the caller reported Cruz was collecting weapons and could potentially become a school shooter.

Dispatch records obtained by BuzzFeed News show that, since 2008, there were 22 calls to send deputies to Cruz's home that have not been publicly disclosed by the department.

Like many of the calls revealed by the Broward County Sheriff's Office, several of them involved domestic disturbance issues involving Cruz, his brother Zachary, and their adoptive mother.

Most of the calls involved their adoptive parents reporting that Zachary had not come home after curfew, or that he'd left the house without telling them or despite their objections. Others appear to be calls from neighbors, including one who reported the two brothers were throwing water balloons.

Others are unclear who is being referring to, though the call was made by a parent at the same home, reporting that their 12-year-old son was throwing things and cursing at a computer.

BuzzFeed News obtained the records from the sheriff's office after a request for information about all calls that were made to the Cruz's home.

So, why are we struggling with transparency here? Of the 23 calls that were originally disclosed, there were some that involved concerns about Cruz buying weapons, shooting up the school, and self-inflicted cutting. As we noted before, state, local, and federal authorities either dropped the ball or punted on handling the problems troubling this disturbed individual down the road until he committed this heinous act. 

We’re moving away from the gun control issue, and more towards school safety and government failing to follow protocol to protect its citizens. That’s not fitting the with the anti-gun Left’s shoddy defense of the police officer who never confronted Cruz for four minutes; the shooting lasted six.  Some of the students and faculty who survived the shooting are now pretty much excusing the officer’s dithering and say he’s is being used as a scapegoat. Officer Peterson, upon being informed that his actions were being reviewed, decided to resign  (via NBC News):


David Hogg, a Stoneman Douglas senior and survivor of the shooting, said he's met Peterson and he thinks the fact that the officer didn't take action, even though he was armed, illustrates that simply having a gun won't stop a shooting.

"He, just like every other officer out there, at heart, is a good person," Hogg said. "Who wants to go down the barrel of an AR-15, even with a Glock? And I know that's what these police officers are supposed to do, but they're people too."

[…]

Douglas High teacher Felicia Burgin, who was inside the building while the shooting occurred, said she believes Peterson is being used as a "scapegoat."

"People are angry right now. They're angry, they're hurting and now all their hurt is being directed in, to me, the wrong direction," she said. "You want to be angry? Be angry at the gunman who killed all these people. Be angry at the gun laws that allow these guns to be purchased by 18 year olds."

As for Sheriff Scott Israel, well, he’s refusing to resign. His department could have done something, and they didn’t. 

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This shooting was preventable. So, before we go down the road of trying to chip away at the Second Amendment, how about focusing on fixing the system. The system could have stopped Cruz. If mental health professionals had acted upon his cutting incident, which should have triggered a Baker Act commitment. That would have been included in his background check, which very well could have prevented him from buying that AR-15 three days after he was expelled in February of 2017. Maybe we don’t need new gun laws. Maybe what we need, and it’s been a problem for awhile now, is a better mental health system, better laws to strengthen the NICS system with regards to mental health, and having competent people run the checks and investigate tips. Don’t forget, the FBI received a tip on January 5 and did nothing. They didn’t even forward it to their Miami office.