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Thread: Florida deputy charged for inaction during Parkland shooting

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    Florida deputy charged for inaction during Parkland shooting


    Florida deputy charged for inaction during Parkland shooting
    By CURT ANDERSON and TERRY SPENCER
    53 minutes ago

    MIAMI (AP) — The former Florida deputy who stood outside instead of confronting the gunman during last year’s Parkland school massacre was arrested Tuesday on 11 criminal charges related to his inaction.

    Broward State Attorney Mike Satz said in a statement that 56-year-old Scot Peterson faces child neglect, culpable negligence and perjury charges that carry a combined potential maximum prison sentence of nearly 100 years.

    Peterson, then a Broward County deputy, was on duty as the school resource officer during the February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School but never went inside while bullets were flying. Seventeen people died and 17 others were wounded in the attack, many on the building’s third floor after Peterson arrived, investigators said.

    One of the victims was 14-year-old Gina Montalto, whose father Tony Montalto said families wanted justice to be done.

    “We are happy to see some accountability for this tragedy that took the life of my daughter Gina and 16 other wonderful individuals as well as terribly injured 17 others,” said Montalto, president of the Stand With Parkland victim families’ group.

    Peterson’s bail was set at $102,000, Satz said. Once released, Peterson will be required to wear a GPS monitor and surrender his passport, and will be prohibited from possessing a firearm, the prosecutor said.

    Peterson lawyer Joseph DiRuzzo III didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. In the past, he has defended Peterson’s conduct as justified under the circumstances. It also wasn’t immediately clear when Peterson would make his initial court appearance, but typically that occurs the day after an arrest.

    The charges follow a 14-month investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, according to that agency. The lengthy investigation involved interviews with 184 witnesses, reviewing numerous hours of surveillance videos and compiling 212 investigative reports, FDLE said.

    “The FDLE investigation shows former deputy Peterson did absolutely nothing to mitigate the MSD shooting that killed 17 children, teachers and staff and injured 17 others,” FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen in an email statement said. “There can be no excuse for his complete inaction and no question that his inaction cost lives.”

    U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, a Republican who was Florida governor when the shooting happened, initiated the FDLE probe and said Tuesday in a statement that he was glad the investigation was finished.

    “Now it’s time for justice to be served,” Scott said.

    Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said Peterson has been formally terminated, although he announced his retirement shortly after the shooting. Another deputy, former Sgt. Brian Miller, was also fired, although he faces no criminal charges for his actions that day.

    “It’s never too late for accountability and justice,” Tony said.

    David S. Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor now in private practice, said key to the case will be the culpable negligence charge, which essentially means an “utter disregard for the safety of others.”

    “They are focusing on the care he was required to give to the students as a caregiver who was responsible for their welfare,” Weinstein added.

    The perjury charge stems from a statement Peterson gave under oath to investigators contending that he did not hear any shots fired after taking up his position outside the school, according to an arrest warrant. Investigators determined through video, witnesses and other evidence that was not true.

    The Peterson arrest is the latest fallout from the Valentine’s Day 2018 shooting. Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended then-Sheriff Scott Israel for “neglect of duty and incompetence” over the department’s actions that day. Israel is appealing that decision to the state Senate and said he intends to run again next year.

    The case also spawned a state commission that issued a 458-page report detailing a litany of errors before and during the shooting, including unaggressive Broward deputies who stayed outside the school building and the policies that led to that — such as Israel’s decision to change guidelines so that deputies “may” confront an active shooter rather than “shall” do so.

    The commission also recommended voluntary arming of teachers, which state lawmakers approved this year.
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  3. #2
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    Good.

    His job was to protect those kids, not hide and protect his own fat ass.
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    What would be the difference between a sworn deputy and an enlisted soldier? If a soldier did what Peterson did he would be charged with cowardice. Does a cop have a duty to run towards the fire?
    I'm thinking that once, in 1953, a group of interesting people just happened to be in a coffee shop at the same time and a great discussion of issues, ideas, and the meaning of life occurred. Since then we have been waiting at Starbucks for Lawrence Ferlinghetti to say something heavy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Novaheart View Post
    What would be the difference between a sworn deputy and an enlisted soldier? If a soldier did what Peterson did he would be charged with cowardice. Does a cop have a duty to run towards the fire?
    I believe the supreme court has ruled that cops are not obligated to protect anyone. This should be easy to beat.

    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by 80zephyr View Post
    I believe the supreme court has ruled that cops are not obligated to protect anyone. This should be easy to beat.

    Mark
    I believe any jury in Florida would convict the sonovabitch in a heartbeat. More important, I'm guessing the charges are fashioned in a way to get around your concern.

    In my experience the ground floor workers often get dumped on while their supervisors skate, when as often as not the supervisors are at least partly if not wholly responsible.

    In this case I think Sheriff Israel should be accountable, too.
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    I confess to being a little conflicted about this.

    He did not have (as far as I know) any legal duty to charge into unknown gunfire. "Protect and serve" is a nice slogan on the sides of patrol cars but it isn't a legally-binding statement. Nashville's newest patrol cars say "Nashville's guardians" on the side, but clearly if they were truly that, then my car would not have been stolen because my "guardians" would have prevented that.

    So I don't think that he had a legal duty to rush into that building. He sure as shit had a moral duty to do so, though: there were kids being murdered in there, so he had a moral obligation to try to stop that, plus he had the weaponry and armor to actually do something about the situation. But now he's being charged in the legal world, not the world of morals, and I don't really think that's correct. He should have been fired immediately, to be sure (as should have his idiot boss), but I have trepidation about sending the guy to prison for his cowardice.
    Leftists have unquestionably demonstrated their hatred for due process, and Democrats have undeniably obstructed justice for, and thoroughly victim-shamed and smeared, Karen Monahan.

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