Proudly incompetent Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel has delayed, deflected and stonewalled ever since it became apparent that his deputies bungled the response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre on Valentine’s Day. He made sure to wait until after the choreographed, circus-like CNN “town hall” to release the information that his school resource officer, Scot Peterson, chose to remain outside the school, listening to the sound of gunfire and screaming victims.
It eventually came out that not one, but a total of four of Broward County’s finest took up positions outside the school while Nikolas Cruz murdered un-armed innocents inside. And that detail only came to light when responding officers from other departments complained about the bumbling Broward deputies’ tactics.
Sheriff Israel’s latest outrage: refusing to release security video from outside the school…video that would reveal exactly what his men did that day and when they did (or didn’t) do it.
But Israel’s refusal to release the video was challenged in court by the Miami Herald, Florida Sun-Sentinel and other media outlets. Today, a county judge ordered Sheriff Israel to cough up the footage.
The media should be allowed to obtain the security video from outside last month’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Broward Circuit Judge Jeffrey R. Levenson ruled Monday.
He signed an order Monday afternoon authorizing the video’s release, but immediately placed a stay on the order until Thursday to give the Broward Sheriff’s Office and the School Board a chance to appeal.
Israel hung his refusal to release the video on the fact that it was part of an ongoing investigation.
Dana McElroy, attorney for the media organizations who want access to the video, argued that its release is crucial for a thorough and transparent analysis of the law enforcement response to the shooting.
For his part, Sheriff Israel has been claiming reports of those other three officers refusing to enter the school is just so much #fakenews.
Israel has denied allegations that other deputies refused to go into the school to confront the shooter.
If that were the case, you’d expect him to be anxious to release any evidence, particularly video of the scene, that might back up his claim. We’ll be watching to see if either the school district or the sheriff appeals the ruling.