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Broward sheriff grilled on red flags during lengthy CNN interview

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Sunday he would not resign in the face of criticism about his agency's respo...

Posted: Feb 26, 2018 11:30 AM
Updated: Feb 26, 2018 11:30 AM

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Sunday he would not resign in the face of criticism about his agency's response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

"Of course I won't resign," Israel said when pressed on the issue by CNN anchor Jake Tapper in a lengthy interview on "State of the Union."

Israel also said he was "disgusted" an armed school resource officer did not enter the school as shots rang out and vowed to investigate any other allegation of inaction.

"I was disgusted. I was just demoralized with the performance of former deputy (Scot) Peterson," Israel said Sunday.

RELATED: Read the full transcript of the interview with Sheriff Israel

CNN reported earlier this weekend that Coral Springs sources said police officers from Coral Springs arrived at the site of the shooting and were dismayed to find three other Broward County Sheriff's deputies, in addition to Peterson, had not entered the school.

Israel said the actions of the deputies are under investigation.

"We're going to be taking statements from those Coral Springs police officers," Israel said. "If any of the deputies are alleged to have dereliction of duty, we'll look into that."

Israel said that, as of now, Peterson was the only officer that he was certain had been derelict. He added that Peterson resigned after being suspended without pay.

"Our investigation to this point shows that during this horrific attack, while this killer was inside the school, there was only one law enforcement person, period," Israel said. "And that was former deputy Scot Peterson. Coral Springs arrived -- a group of Coral Springs officers went in within, I think, about four minutes, we're projecting, after the killer left the campus."

Israel did not dispute that more Broward County deputies might not have entered the school after the killer left but before Coral Springs officers arrived, but he said that, at this point in the investigation, he had no reason to believe anyone else had acted incorrectly.

Alongside his repeated pledges to continue to investigate his agency's actions around the shooting, Israel stood by his own leadership of the department.

"I can only take responsibility for what I knew about," Israel said. "I exercise my due diligence. I've given amazing leadership to this agency."

The Broward County sheriff has taken on increased criticism as more details of law enforcement's actions around the shooting have emerged. On Sunday, Florida Republican lawmakers sent a letter to Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott, calling on the governor to suspend Israel "for incompetence and dereliction of duty."

Scott's office sent out a news release saying he asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to "immediately investigate the law enforcement response" to the shooting, and in a statement later Sunday, Israel welcomed the probe and pledged full cooperation.

"This independent, outside review will ensure public confidence in the findings," Israel said.

Law enforcement received repeated warnings about the alleged shooter before the attack, including a caller saying the eventual gunman could be a "school shooter in the making."

Asked in Sunday's CNN interview about the repeated warnings and his office not initiating a report after the "school shooter in the making" tip, Israel said they were continuing to investigate their handling of the threat warnings and that the officer who handled that call "is on restrictive duty."

He said of 18 calls they received, he was unsure whether deputies handled two of them correctly.

"That's not to say they didn't. That's not to say they did," Israel said.

He argued that police do not have the authorities they need to respond to warnings about potential killers making nonspecific threats by arresting, giving them medical attention and restraining their access to firearms.

Israel repeatedly vowed to get to the bottom of the situation and said they would release their results when they are certain they have all the facts.

"There's no timeline on it other than to work as fast as we can, but we want to get it right," Israel said. "We want to get it accurate."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 142311

Reported Deaths: 2472
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin35484995
Ramsey14726372
Dakota10271139
Anoka9344155
Washington636273
Stearns625550
Scott360436
Olmsted340230
St. Louis325874
Wright273116
Clay252944
Nobles234318
Blue Earth21147
Carver18887
Sherburne183122
Kandiyohi18215
Rice170210
Mower154518
Winona133619
Chisago11562
Crow Wing114322
Benton103311
Lyon10306
Beltrami9618
Otter Tail9508
Waseca94510
Todd8967
Polk8364
Morrison8259
Steele8013
Itasca78817
Douglas7744
Nicollet77118
Freeborn7185
Le Sueur6646
Goodhue65111
Martin62618
Becker6214
McLeod6214
Isanti5995
Watonwan5824
Pine5770
Carlton5092
Chippewa4733
Mille Lacs44918
Hubbard4344
Cass4225
Wabasha4141
Dodge4130
Pipestone36617
Meeker3593
Rock3595
Brown3483
Roseau3300
Redwood29912
Yellow Medicine2986
Murray2973
Cottonwood2950
Fillmore2770
Renville27213
Sibley2663
Wadena2643
Faribault2520
Houston2381
Unassigned23853
Kanabec23710
Swift2252
Jackson2211
Pennington2181
Aitkin1982
Stevens1941
Lincoln1930
Koochiching1755
Pope1680
Big Stone1591
Marshall1511
Lac qui Parle1453
Wilkin1454
Clearwater1381
Norman1340
Lake1330
Mahnomen1292
Grant1054
Red Lake822
Traverse590
Kittson530
Lake of the Woods441
Cook190

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 122218

Reported Deaths: 1691
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk19732289
Woodbury743799
Linn6038133
Johnson602431
Black Hawk5974102
Dubuque550658
Scott487343
Story411118
Dallas357347
Pottawattamie337845
Sioux254417
Buena Vista230212
Marshall212236
Webster196015
Plymouth172831
Wapello158962
Clinton156228
Muscatine153958
Des Moines151611
Cerro Gordo150227
Crawford138714
Warren13137
Carroll120413
Jasper119734
Henry11245
Marion106811
Lee101312
Tama100538
Delaware82713
Dickinson7939
Wright7591
Boone7509
Mahaska73824
Bremer7199
Harrison69716
Washington69311
Jackson6853
Benton6482
Lyon5688
Clay5574
Louisa54415
Winnebago52119
Cedar5087
Winneshiek5079
Hardin5017
Jones5004
Kossuth4970
Clayton4923
Buchanan4875
Hamilton4825
Poweshiek47611
Floyd46211
Emmet45321
Iowa4429
Cass4233
Mills4233
Guthrie42015
Page4200
Cherokee4122
Sac4114
Butler4083
Fayette4064
Shelby4022
Allamakee3999
Franklin39518
Madison3743
Chickasaw3731
Hancock3676
Humboldt3593
Clarke3573
Grundy3406
Palo Alto3292
Calhoun3264
Osceola3020
Mitchell2961
Howard2879
Monroe27212
Union2645
Taylor2602
Jefferson2591
Appanoose2503
Monona2492
Pocahontas2442
Fremont2152
Lucas2136
Ida2122
Adair1971
Greene1930
Montgomery1907
Davis1884
Van Buren1882
Keokuk1731
Decatur1620
Audubon1601
Worth1470
Wayne1373
Ringgold992
Adams841
Unassigned60
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