After a cold-blooded shooting at a school in Broward County, Florida, left 17 dead on Valentine’s Day, the collective shock we felt was so great that we could hardly absorb all the related stories that tumbled out afterwards: that for years, the shooter had set off every alarm bell imaginable and still had not been stopped, even by a background check; that four armed sheriff’s deputies had completely failed to act when they heard the shots; that it appears they’d been ordered not to go in without body cameras turned on (which they weren’t wearing at the time); that they allegedly stopped first responders from treating the wounded at the scene; and that after all this, Sheriff Scott Israel demonstrated he cares much more about protecting his own backside than about protecting the school kids. He has refused to resign or even to take any responsibility at all, going so far as to praise himself for his “amazing” leadership.
He’s amazing, all right. Everyone is amazed at what a piece of work this guy is.
And now, there’s more. Thanks to the ace reporting typical of Sara A. Carter, we now know that the Broward County State Attorney’s Office opened over 66 investigations into deputies and employees of the Broward County Sheriff’s Department, just in the period around 2012-2013. (We don’t even know how many there have been since then.) Forty of these investigations occurred during Sheriff Scott Israel’s amazing leadership, and they include such offenses as drug trafficking and kidnapping. What in blazes is going on in Broward County, Florida?
Of course, Broward County isn’t the only place where screw-ups in this case occurred. They happened at the federal level, too, when the FBI dropped the ball more than once, most notably in “response” (not) to a detailed call making it perfectly clear that Nikolas-with-a-”k” Cruz of Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida was ready to shoot up the place at any moment.
But enough about the FBI –- Broward County looks like yet another swamp that’s badly in need of draining. One of the ongoing investigations there involves the fatal shooting by a deputy of local resident Jermaine McBean, an IT specialist who happened to be African-American and who was walking home carrying an air rifle he’d just purchased. Civil rights attorney David Schoen, who is representing the family of the deceased in a wrongful death lawsuit, compiled a long list of offenses that Broward County deputies and other employees, including supervisors, were arrested for, charged with and/or convicted of, mostly during 2012 and 2013, useful to his case because McBean was killed in 2013. They “run the gamut from Armed Kidnapping, to Battery, Assault, Falsifying records, Official Misconduct, Narcotics trafficking, and other crimes involving dishonesty and violence...” This is the SHERIFF'S OFFICE.
According to Schoen, “Often the cases against BSO (Broward Sheriff’s Office) employees are resolved by guilty pleas resulting in short or no period of incarceration and a chance for the criminal record to be cleared after a period of time.” How nice for them.
Sara Carter reports that no one at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office could be reached for comment. Really? It seems as though they’d jump at another chance to tell the world how amazing they are.