FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — New Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel on Friday over his handling of February’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The Republican governor flew to Fort Lauderdale three days after taking office to remove the Democratic sheriff, appointing a former police sergeant to serve as acting sheriff. Gregory Tony, 40, worked for Coral Springs police for 12 years before leaving in 2016 to start a company specializing in active-shooter training. He is the first African-American to serve as Broward’s sheriff.
DeSantis’ office issued a statement saying, “Sheriff Israel has repeatedly failed and has demonstrated a pattern of poor leadership. He failed to protect Floridians and visitors during the tragic Fort Lauderdale International Airport shooting in 2017. He failed in his duties to keep our families and children safe during the devastating shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018. These incidents demonstrate Sheriff’s Israel’s repeated incompetence and neglect of duty.”
The statement added, “The families of the victims deserve accountability.”
Minutes after DeSantis’ announcement, Israel said he would fight the suspension.
“There was no wrongdoing on my part. I served the county honorably,” he said.
Under Florida law, the governor can suspend elected officials for criminal activity, misfeasance, incompetence or neglect of duty. Israel intends to challenge the suspension to the state Senate, which will conduct a trial and then remove or reinstate him. Israel’s lawyer, Stuart Kaplan, said this week the sheriff did nothing warranting removal and his future should be left to Broward voters in the 2020 election. Israel had been sheriff six years.
Editor’s Note: South Florida-based independent researcher Tony Mead completed this research on the shadowy Nexus Services Inc. last spring, shortly after the entity came forward to provide legal representation to the brother of alleged Parkland shooting gunman Nikolas Cruz.
This week Nexus Services was again in the news as the group sponsoring a lawsuit against the Trump administration filed by several non-US citizen members of the Central American “migrant caravan” making its way to the US southern border on cue with the 2018 midterm election season.
While it has been difficult to ascertain exactly what parties are behind Nexus, at this point and especially after its action on behalf of the migrant caravan participants we believe that one can safely conclude it to be the usual far-left philanthropic suspects, including George Soros, who is now moving to openly finance the migrant caravan with cash subsidies.
By Tony Mead
One day after Nikolas Cruz allegedly opened fire on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland FL, his brother Zachary was taken into custody due to a report filed by Rocxanne DeChamps who had been charged with caring for Zachary after the death of his mother in November 2017. She reported that he was showing signs of depression and could be a danger to himself or others. The Baker Act of Florida allows for the detention of anyone who meets that criteria for a period of 72 hours where they can undergo a mental health evaluation before being released.
On that very same day, Rocxanne filed to re-open the estate of the late Roger Cruz, who had died in 2005, reportedly leaving a large inheritance. As the “caretaker” of the boys, she felt she was entitled to the money.
Several weeks after Zachary’s release he was arrested once again. This time for “skateboarding” on school property. Reportedly he decided to skateboard at the school so that he could kind of “Just wanted to take it all in”, despite being warned that he needed to stay away from the school.
Many people who had been following the case with a skeptical mind were aghast at this latest development. Surely this kid wouldn’t be so stupid as to put himself at risk. The school was guarded by police officers at every entrance and included a Broward Sheriff’s Office “crow’s nest” in the parking lot that could observe every activity for hundreds of yards! It would be difficult, if not IMPOSSIBLE for this kid to be on school property!
In fact, this police dash cam video clearly shows that at the time of his arrest, he isn’t anywhere near school property. But this time Zachary was to be dealt with more harshly, with the Judge reportedly set his bond at $500,000. This made no sense to me and of course I investigated further.
It appears (according to the court documents) that Zachary was bonded out for $25.
So why were we told that he had a $500,000 bond? I mean, everyone knows that whether or not you’re the brother of a mass murderer or not, a $500,000 bond for trespassing is not only preposterous, but also in violation of one’s Civil Rights.
Then, on April 28, Zachary was arrested again for driving near a school without a license. So, not only did he commit a crime, but he had also violated his terms of probation by being near a school that he did not attend. Police had been tipped off about his actions once again by Rocxanne DeChamps. It still remains a mystery as to how she became the caretaker of the two boys.
If the Broward County School District and State Attorney’s Office have their way the public will never know exactly what took place on Valentine’s Day 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida. The release of such information will jeopardize the school’s security system and thus student safety, attorneys for the entities argued before the Fourth District Court of Appeals this week.
In April a lower court judge ruled that the additional video of the school’s exteriors be released after suit was brought by ten media companies. The Broward Sheriff’s Office has not joined in the appeal.
Releasing the footage could jeopardize the “integrity” of the video surveillance system at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, putting students at risk, a school board attorney told a three-judge panel at the Fourth District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach. A lawyer representing the Broward state attorney said the footage constituted “criminal investigative information” that should not be disclosed under Florida’s broad public records law.
Some Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies are said to have taken cover during the Feb. 14 attack by former student Nikolas Cruz that killed 17 people. The exterior camera footage — sought by nearly a dozen media outlets, including the Miami Herald — may show what actions deputies took during and shortly after a six-minute shooting spree that left students and staff bleeding to death from grievous wounds.
“The footage is the only objective evidence of what occurred and when,” said Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation, which joined the media in suing for the footage. “The whole purpose of our open government laws is oversight and accountability. Access to the video footage allows us to hold those accountable who may not have done their jobs.”
In April Broward County Sheriff and Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Resource Officer Scot Peterson began receiving monthly pension payments of $8,702, after resigning from his position less than two weeks after the February 14 school shooting.
Peterson was publicly chastised by Sheriff Scott Israel and President Donald Trump for allegedly failing to confront purported Parkland gunman Nikolas Cruz.
Peterson and his attorney later defended the actions, arguing that Peterson was being “unfairly attacked” and pointing out that Israel “omitted” important information while scapegoating the deputy in the event’s aftermath.
The 55-year-old Peterson, a Broward deputy for 32 years, was paid $101,879.03 last year — $75,673.72 in base salary plus overtime and other compensation, according to sheriff’s office records. Until the shooting, he was considered a trusted school resource officer at Stoneman Douglas, according to annual reviews of his performance.
He was eligible to retire from the agency in July 2010 when he had 25 years of service, a sheriff’s office spokeswoman said Wednesday.
A “chilling animation” produced by the Broward Sheriff’s Office was presented at an April 2018 meeting of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission.
The video, which resembles a 1970s era video game, claims to “recreate shooter Nikolas Cruz’s actions inside the school on February 14, 2018.”
The main problem with the attempt to portray the alleged mass shooting’s details in this way is that the Parkland High School is a state-of-the-art facility located in an affluent community. Therefore, the building was equipped with closed-circuit television monitoring wherein a verifiable record of the actual event is readily available.
If the authorities seek to allay concern and skepticism toward the shooting the entirety of that footage should be first subjected to independent forensic verification, then released to the public.
A sample of the 2,100 remarks from the YouTube video’s comments section suggests the heightened public skepticism such events are met with today. Local law enforcement and their federal handlers only exacerbate this skepticism with such poorly-conceived public relations stunts. (Click image to enlarge.)
A union has paid for a huge billboard expressing ‘no confidence’ in the embattled Broward County Sheriff months after he was heavily criticized over the Parkland massacre.
The yellow sign on Interstate 95 just north of Sunset Boulevard tells Florida Governor Rick Scott ‘there is no confidence in Sheriff Israel‘.
It was funded by the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association, which in April passed a vote of no confidence in the Democrat supported by 534 of the 628 of voting members.
The Association wants Governor Scott to suspend or fire Israel. However Scott, a candidate for the US Senate, said he is waiting for the outcome of an investigation into the sheriff’s handling of Parkland, the Sun Sentinel reported.
The sheriff’s office failed to act on 18 warning calls about shooter Nikolas Cruz before he killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14.
The tips were among a series of what authorities now describe as the clearest missed signals that Cruz, who had a history of disturbing behavior, posed a serious threat.