Speaker of the Florida House Richard Corcoran sent a letter to Governor Rick Scott on Sunday afternoon, asking him to suspend Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel for “incompetence and dereliction of duty” in the months before and days following the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Corcoran, along with the 73 other Republican lawmakers in the state who signed the letter, argues that Israel and his deputies “ignored repeated warning signs about the erratic, threatening, and antisocial behavior of Nikolas Jacob Cruz,” and that, by Israel’s own acknowledgement, his department received “at least 23 calls regarding [Cruz], including reports that he ‘planned to shoot up the school.’”
The letter comes after Israel admitted last week that the armed school resource officer on duty at Stoneman Douglas “did nothing” to attempt to neutralize Cruz during the shooting, and that he waited outside the building where the shooting took place for “upwards of four minutes.” That deputy, Scot Peterson, has since resigned.
These and other failures, Corcoran said, are “unacceptable and unforgivable,” and amount to Israel “failing to maintain a culture of alertness, vigilance, and thoroughness among his deputies.”
He wrote that as a result of Israel’s failures, “students and teachers died.”