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.)
Second Amendment Proponent, Criticized
Marjory Stoneman’s Gun Control Cavalcade
By James F. Tracy
Sometime on or around April 1, 2018 Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Fitzsimon, 42 years old and in excellent state of mind and health, called in sick to his job. Shortly thereafter Fitzsimons was found dead on his sofa. There has been a complete “news blackout” of this curious and untimely death.
Deputy Fitzsimons wasn’t just any law enforcement officer. Unlike many of his peers, he took to social media to question the potential agenda behind the February 14 Marjory Stoneman High School mass shooting, suggesting that the event was being used to promote the Democratic Party’s gun control platform in anticipation of the 2018 midterm elections. And recent personnel decisions involving public officials indicate (e.g. here and here), an unwritten law of taxpayer-funded institutions is that employees disavow and steer clear of “conspiracy theories” that may call their superiors motives into question.
One post found on Fitzsimon’s Facebook page depicts the Parkland massacre’s main spokesperson, David Hogg, in National Socialist regalia, with the caption, “We will March Until We Disarm Every American.”
Fitzsimons Facebook page has since been “scrubbed” of any 2018 posts, which would of course include those that may be calling the the Parkland shooting or its aftermath into question.
Following the February 14, 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman High School a seemingly spontaneous student movement against gun control emerged from Broward County Florida. The students involved in this movement received widespread coverage via major US media outlets. A March 14 “National School Walkout” received national news coverage as school districts across the US effectively compelled their student constituencies to demonstrate for gun control. None of the overwhelmingly positive reportage hinted at the fact that this “movement” has been cultivated and steered by the highest ranking Democratic Party operatives.
On March 21 independent journalist Laura Loomer obtained further confirmation of the astro-turf roots of “Parkland Strong” when leaked audio of a meeting emerged where Broward public school teacher Laura Miller can be heard jovially coaching MarchForOurLives student participants on Democratic Party gun control “talking points”, planned secret meetings with Democratic Party leaders Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, encouraging the students to “raise hell” with President Donald Trump, and suggesting that “Jews” control the nation’s capitol.
As this author noted weeks ago, from the start the allegedly spontaneous student movement that arose shortly after the tragic Parkland shooting appeared to be influenced by powerful Democratic Party operatives, including Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, in addition to lower-ranking Dems like Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who advocated for gun control in a February 22 “Town Hall” event televised by CNN.