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.”
“Connecting the Dots”
Coincidence … or Something More?
(Notes from a reader who requests anonymity)
Editor’s Note: Some observers argue that deep state forces enmeshed in US federal and state governance are sending a message to President Donald Trump through a series of seemingly unrelated occurrences over the past several months beginning in earnest with the mass shooting event at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida, which took place just 30 miles from Trump’s “White House South” at the Mara Lago resort. The Parkland high school’s namesake was known for a staunch opposition to “draining the Florida Everglades (swamp),” and thus as a pioneer of environmental activism.
Following this non-coincidence theory line of reasoning, there is also the veiled threat of “Parkland,” the well-known hospital where President Kennedy was taken following his 1963 assassination If this is even partially the case, consider the hubris behind the message. The theory of course also assumes that Trump is in fact concertedly seeking to “draw the swamp,” since many of his cabinet appointments and approaches toward Israel and other foreign policy concerns suggest otherwise. Yet as the preposterous Mueller investigation and corporate news treatment suggest, Trump is generally regarded as persona non grata among Washington’s parasitic bureaucracy.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas (April 7, 1890 – May 14, 1998) was an American journalist, author, women’s suffrage advocate, and conservationist known for her staunch defense of theEvergladesagainst efforts to drain it and reclaim land for development. Moving to Miami as a young woman to work for The Miami Herald, she became a freelance writer, producing over a hundred short stories that were published in popular magazines. Her most influential work was the book The Everglades: River of Grass (1947), which redefined the popular conception of the Everglades as a treasured river instead of a worthless swamp. Its impact has been compared to that of Rachel Carson‘s influential book Silent Spring (1962). Her books, stories, and journalism career brought her influence in Miami, enabling her to advance her causes.
After he was shot on November 22, 1963, President Kennedy was rushed to Parkland, where he was pronounced dead at 1 p.m. in Trauma Room 1. At the same time, Texas Governor John Connally, wounded in the same shooting, was treated in Trauma Room 2, and survived.
Military Helicopter Drops Ammo over School, Busts Hole in Roof
18 May 2018
By Benjamin Brown
A military helicopter accidentally dropped a box full of ammunition over a Texas elementary school Thursday mid-afternoon, leaving a gaping hole in the roof, according to officials.
The incident caused a portion of Parkland Elementary School to be without power, the Ysleta Independent School District said in a statement.
A fire tore through a school bus garage early Friday, destroying more than two dozen buses as tires exploded off their rims, and forcing an Eastern Pennsylvania school district to cancel classes.
Fire destroys 25 school buses; Parkland School District in Eastern Pa. cancels classes
The fast-moving blaze at a Parkland School District garage in South Whitehall near Allentown, Pa. in Lehigh County was reported around 3 a.m. by neighbors who said they also heard explosions.
When firefighters showed up a few minutes later, “there were flames coming out of all four sides plus the roof,” said Jeff Johnson, chief of the Tri-Clover Fire Co.
Firefighters had to retreat as tires exploded off their rims and flew through the walls of the building, taking metal siding with them, Johnson said. It took about an hour to put out the fire.
Johnson said 16 buses inside the building were destroyed, and a dozen outside the building received damage that ranged from blistered paint to broken windshields.
The 25 destroyed or damaged buses represent about 25 percent of the district’s fleet. No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire remained under investigation.
Some of the burned-out buses were still smoking hours later as firefighters dragged away metal siding.
As firefighters worked to bring the fire under control, Parkland School District Superintendent Rich Sniscak sent email and text alerts to parents and students saying classes were canceled for the day.
Sniscak said the fire destroyed approximately 16 buses parked in the east garage, which was a total loss. He said 9 or 10 buses adjacent to the garage were also heavily damaged.
“I’m hopeful that we’ll have school Monday. We talked to our vendor already and a lot of my colleagues and superintendents in other districts have offered to check their fleet to see what buses they can come up with,” Sniscak said. “I’m hopeful that we can patch something together for Monday.”
North Whitehall resident Chrissi Kent, who lives on Route 309 told The Morning Call she heard “popping” from the scene for at least 45 minutes.
“Around 3 a.m. or a few minutes after, I heard a loud bang,” Kent said. “Then it was quiet for a few minutes. Then I heard another bang. Shortly afterwards, I heard sirens. Then repeatedly bangs or popping sounds.”
“I went outside around 3:30 a.m. to see what was happening and could see the heavy smoke and orange glow from my driveway,” Kent continued. “My daughter sent me a text from inside the house and asked me what was going on. I told her she had to come out and see this. When we walked to the bottom of our driveway we could see high flames above the trees.”
It wasn’t clear Friday if district schools would reopen Monday.
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.
“Already on Scene”, “Hid Behind Cars and a Tree”, Knew Where Shooter Was
Numerous Broward County Sheriff’s Deputies under the command of Scott Israel stood down for several minutes as 17 students and educators at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were shot to death and numerous others were injured by Nikolas Cruz, according to police reports released by the Coral Springs Police Department.
The documents released earlier this week came at a time when deputies delivered a resounding vote of “no confidence” to Sheriff Israel, who took office in 2013. The reports contradict Israel’s assertions days after the shooting that blamed at Parkland School Safety Officer Scot Peterson who allegedly failed to engage Cruz.
Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies were taking cover behind cars and a tree as they responded to the worst school shooting in Florida history — even though one deputy said he knew where the shooter was, according to an officer report released Tuesday by the Coral Springs Police Department.
“I was advised by an unknown BSO Deputy taking cover behind a tree, ‘he is on the third floor,’ ” wrote Coral Springs officer Bryan Wilkins in a report recounting his arrival at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 and his subsequent actions to try to find the shooter and save lives.
Another Coral Springs cop who arrived at Stoneman Douglas within minutes of the shooting, Sgt. Nick Mazzei, confirmed that he saw BSO deputies “taking positions” outside the school and rushed past them, according to a report he filed that was also released Tuesday.
Editor’s Note/Update: It appears that the untimely and curious death of Deputy Jason Fitzsimons may have played a role in Broward deputies’ clear discontent with Scott Israel, something the story below does not delve into. The Deputies’ union association president, Deputy Jeff Bell, stated prior to the vote that the union is accusing Sheriff Israel of
“many instances of suspected malfeasance, misfeasance, failure to maintain fiduciary responsibility by the sheriff, failure to properly investigate possible criminal conduct by members of his senior command staff and the lack of leadership that has crushed morale throughout the agency.” (Emphasis added.]
As many MHB readers know, there has been a complete corporate media blackout of Fitzsimons’ death and the unusual circumstances surrounding it.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel’s image-rebuilding effort took a major hit Thursday when 85 percent of the deputies who voted in the International Union of Police Associations, Local IUPA 6020, electronic balloting used their votes to say they want Israel gone.
Israel’s only ray of light in the union count is the no-show total: The number of deputies who didn’t vote outnumbered the ones who did. Of a 1,300-member roster, the union received back ballots from 628 deputies — 534 of them expressing their dissatisfaction.
On Friday, April 20, the union local sent out electronic ballots. Members were asked to lodge their collective opinion on Israel’s future following tempestuous months within their ranks as a result of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Israel had become a lightning rod in the weeks after the tragedy, at first appearing as a media fixture, later becoming the focus of negative speculation. As evidence emerged of inaction taken by his deputies during the shooting, and his department failing to intervene with the shooter after numerous visits to his home, Israel was eventually viewed as the sheriff whose inadequate leadership had let his troops down.