Let's call a spade a spade here. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel looked like an absolute jerk today on CNN's State of the Union.
On the show, Sheriff Israel averted questions, made excuses, and touted his self-proclaimed amazing leadership regarding the tragic school shooting that left 17 innocent Americans dead. Since the shooting occurred, it is clear the Broward County police missed dozens of opportunities that could have prevented this ordeal.
But, on the final question, Sheriff Israel showed his true character by giving a glib response that trivialized this entire tragedy. Jake Tapper, true to his character and professionalism, was having none of it.
Tapper asked Sheriff Israel, "Do you think that, if the Broward Sheriff's office had done things differently, this shooting might not have happened?"
Astonishingly, Sheriff Israel responded, "Yeah, listen, if ifs and butts were candy and nuts, OJ Simpson would still be in the record books."
Tapper quickly cut him off in a stern yet reasoned tone, saying, "I don't know what that means. There are 17 dead people and there's a whole long list of things your department could've done differently."
"How could- Listen, that's what after action-reports are. That's what lessons learned reports are for. I have entered into conversation with Chuck Wexler, of the Police Executive Research Forum. They will be coming to town to do an independent after-action, lessons-learned report. We understand everything wasn't done perfectly," the sheriff shot back.
Then, Sheriff Israel brought up an entirely irrelevant remark and compared his department to other cities.
"And if it happened in Los Angeles or Chicago, or any other city, every person wouldn't preform perfectly. That's not what happens," as if that somehow excuses the malpractice.
At this point, one might think that if Sheriff Israel spent less time worrying about what people do in other cities and instead focused on training his own personnel for near perfection, then this shooting could have been prevented.
But, the "public servant" continued in indignation, saying, "Do I believe that if Scot Peterson went into that building there was a chance he could have neutralized the killer and saved lives. Yes, I believe that. As far as anything else done at this point, I can't say that."
"Well, we hope you get the bottom of it. There are a lot of people wondering all about a lot of questions," Tapper interjected.
"We will. We will. We will. There's no timeline on it other than to work as fast as we can. But we want to get it right. We want to get it accurate. When we come to the public, we want accurate information. And we're not gonna push forward to meet the time line of a show or a news cast," the sheriff said.
That last statement is truly peculiar. Sheriff Israel wasted no time in giving out inaccurate information regarding the NRA, other aspects of this case, and attacking Dana Loesch on last week's CNN's townhall. Then today, he sat down for a newscast with Jake Tapper while making excuses for his failures.
It must be infuriating to have lost a friend or a loved one in this tragic incident and witness this preposterous performance by the sheriff.
At one point, Sheriff Israel may have entered the police force to serve a higher calling and to defend his fellow man from threats to our social contract and his community at large. No doubt he has sacrificed his personal well being and put his life at risk by wearing the uniform. He surely has served honorably at some points in his career. But today, he simply looks like a jerk.
The exchange can be be watched here.
.@JakeTapper asks Broward sheriff if he thinks the Parkland shooting might not have happened if his office had done things differently.— Ellison Barber (@ellisonbarber) February 25, 2018
Sheriff responds: "If ifs and butts were candy and nuts OJ Simpson would still be in the record books." pic.twitter.com/D3aTk8RIsC