DeSantis Officially Suspends Broward Sheriff over Response to Parkland Shooting

Nellie Chapman
January 13, 2019

He failed to protect Floridians and visitors during the tragic Fort Lauderdale International Airport shooting in 2017.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office would not comment on the report.

The attorney declined to say whether Israel can collect a pension for his years as sheriff.

A state commission investigating the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School recently concluded Israel's changes to the department's active shooter policy may have contributed to some deputies' inaction during the shooting. These incidents demonstrate Sheriff's Israel's repeated incompetence and neglect of duty.

Just three days after taking the oath of office, Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended the embattled two-term sheriff Friday and appointed former Coral Springs police Sgt. Gregory Tony to fill the role.

Israel responded by saying the governor's decision was a political one and "not about Parkland". "There was no wrongdoing on my part".

With a background in active-shooter training, he's the first black sheriff in Broward County's history. Israel said he served for six years.

DeSantis, a Republican elected to the office in November and sworn in earlier this week, criticized the sheriff during his campaign and had signaled that he would have likely removed Israel from office. "This was about politics, not about Parkland".

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"Now, there certainly were some shortcomings and there were some mistakes made", Kaplan said, adding that none of them "rise to the level to single out Sheriff Israel and hold him accountable for what happened".

"We have an event that we're doing tomorrow", the governor's press office said Thursday night.

"We're here because of failures from the past., but today is a new day", said Ryan Petty, the father of MSD victim Alaina Petty.

Addressing the cameras, Israel said he is eager to get his job back to build upon his accomplishments and "complete the mission". And furthermore, when Scott Israel had said that they had no legal means to go and arrest this murderer, actually that was a lie too. DeSantis' executive order says that Israel inserted into the department's active shooter policy that deputies "may" enter a building to confront a shooter in order to preserve life. Still, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, the commission's chairman, and other law enforcement officials on the panel have said they didn't think Israel should be suspended. "The governor promised as a candidate - well before he had any facts about the investigation, well before the commission even began their work - that he would remove me from office". The attack, which also left dozens injured, is one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history.

A state airplane carrying Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had a mechanical problem and was forced to make an emergency landing in St. Petersburg this afternoon.

Israel said then he would not resign.

While Israel's deputies apprehended him within 72 seconds, the draft of a county report said Israel and others didn't control the chaos, leaving passengers huddled in fear for hours.

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