Florida Governor Suspends Broward Sheriff Scott Israel Over Parkland Shooting Response

Cheryl Sanders
January 13, 2019

The Florida sheriff whose office responded to the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland will be suspended by the state's new governor Friday, a source familiar with the process told CNN.

"I've called for Sheriff Israel to resign and he's refused to do that so I've subsequently called for his removal and I hope Governor will do that today", he said. "It is my intention to embark on this enormous task to restore the confidence of families and residents of Broward County toward the Broward Sheriff's Office, which also requires that I fix the problems that exist".

"The facts do not warrant that Sheriff Israel in any way was incompetent in connection with this horrendous shooting", he said.

"DeSantis also cited the Broward County sheriff's response to a 2017 mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale International Airport".

"This suspension is not about what occurred on February 14th", Israel said.

The Florida Senate ultimately makes the decision whether an official is suspended after the governor has given the Senate a notice of suspension. The actual power to remove the sheriff from office is in the hands of the state Senate.

"The Members of the House of Representatives are thankful that the Governor's plane landed safely after reporting mechanical difficulties", Oliva, a Miami Lakes Republican, said in a statement.

A report issued by the panel investigating the response found that several BSO deputies failed to run into the building to try to stop the gunman - or were slow and inadequately trained to confront the killer and stop him.

"We put in the executive over that as climate changes, as our environment changes, as water rises in places like South Florida and there's increased flooding, we want to make sure that we're taking the steps that we can to combat that", he said. Rick Scott asking him to suspend the sheriff for what they called his "incompetence and neglect of duty".

"I do believe we've got the right guy", Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the shooting, said.

"His expertise are in things like active shooters, defending schools", DeSantis said. There, an exhausted Israel told anchor Jake Tapper: "I have given awesome leadership to this agency".

"Sheriff Israel has received no official word from the governor or his office of the goal of this visit".

Since the Parkland shooting, in which 14 students and three staff members were killed, Israel and his office have been criticized for their response to the shooting. "These incidents demonstrate Sheriff Israel's repeated incompetence and neglect of duty". Tony, a Democrat like Israel, will fill the remainder of Israel's term, unless the ousted sheriff is successful in fighting his suspension.

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