scot peterson broward coward parkland
Scot Peterson (Broward County Public Schools via AP, File)
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As anyone who has followed this story for the last 14 months should know, the Parkland shooting was a failure of biblical proportions. A failure on the part of school administration, a failure on the part of local law enforcement in the years before the shooting, and an even worse failure by the Broward County Sheriff’s department responding that day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

If you have some time on your hands and don’t mind raising your blood pressure, read the full report of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission here.

As the Miami Herald described it . . .

The exhaustive report offers a second-by-second account of the mass shooting, spreading blame for security breakdowns, systemic school security failures and law enforcement blunders across a wide spectrum of people and agencies, from assistant principals and sheriff’s deputies to social service providers and the FBI — some of whom were warned that Cruz was a potential security threat but took no action, the report said.

Speaking as a non-lawyer, it would seem that if ever there were a cause for civil action for dereliction of duty and failure to protect, the Parkland shooting is that case.

And yet a civil rights suit filed last year was dismissed by a federal judge. That action was . . .

…brought by 15 survivors of this year’s shooting massacre at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, rejecting their argument that authorities’ failure to prevent the shooting violated their 14th Amendment rights to due process. …

…US District Judge Beth Bloom wrote that the school and sheriff’s department had no duty under the 14th Amendment itself to protect students from Cruz, contrary to what the lawsuit contended.

Her ruling acknowledges the state has a 14th Amendment duty to protect people in its custody, such as prisoners. But courts have rejected the notion that students are in custody in this way, even with laws compelling attendance, she wrote.

Now a second group of survivors is filing suit against the district, the sheriff’s department and disgraced school resource officer Scot Peterson. You’d have to expect that this effort, filed in state court this time, would take a different legal tack, but we’ll see when it’s available.

Here’s the AP’s report

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Survivors and family members of the slain victims of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, had plans Wednesday to sue the school district, the sheriff’s office, a deputy and a school monitor, claiming their negligence allowed the massacre to happen.

Lawyers for the victims planned to file the lawsuits in state court in South Florida on Wednesday morning, following a news conference.

Nikolas Cruz is accused of fatally shooting 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day in 2018.

The 20 lawsuits name as defendants the School Board of Broward County; the Broward Sheriff’s Office; former deputy Scott Peterson, who was a school resource officer; Andrew Medina, who was a school security monitor; and Henderson Behavioral Health Clinic, a mental health facility where Cruz was treated.

The school board and the sheriff’s office didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Cruz, 20, a former Stoneman Douglas student, remains jailed, charged with 17 counts of first-degree murder. He has offered to plead guilty if prosecutors take the death penalty off the table. Prosecutors have refused.

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  1. We’ve been indoctrinated with this false notion that the police are there to protect us. We even see “protect & serve” on their patrol cars (which should be removed entirely or changed to “you’re on your own”). They only protect and serve in the most general understanding of the phrase.
    The sooner people fully realize and accept they are solely responsible for their safety (and the safety of their dependents) the sooner we can progress as a society.

    I can already hear the leftist cries: “But but if the police aren’t there to protect us and guns are banned how can we protect ourselves?”
    Well, now you see our point and why we’re so pissed.

      • @ Fully Involved says “…The sooner people fully realize and accept they are solely responsible for their safety the sooner we can progress as a society…”

        Recently on the news they held a segment titled “Security Moms”, in one segment one of the “security moms” made the following statement; “…I think we (because she obviously speaks for all moms) would gladly give up those personal freedoms to FEEL safer….because I want to FEEL safe…”

        This is what the nation is up against, and they vote, not to be safe, but to FEEL safe. This has unfortunately become a war of the sexes. The Dems know it, because they created it. Generally R’s don’t want to admit that.

        • “This has unfortunately become a war of the sexes.”

          No it’s become a war of ignorant brainwashed zombies against the rest of us.

    • Fully Involved, you just nailed it better than even I could have. Every safeguard that was set up to prevent this kind of thing failed, either through incompetence, stupidity or ignorance. I have NEVER seen a better example of why government should NEVER be trusted to safeguard our children’s lives. A disgrace that should have brought down the entire sheriff’s department and had the county sheriff placed in prison for at least 25 years.

    • IMHO, the logic of the situation is very simple:

      The government claimed sole authority to defend the children by disallowing all other means of defense. Therefore, government has the responsibility to defend the children. They did not even attempt to fulfill that responsibility, therefore they are liable.

      It makes sense to not hold government (or anyone, for that matter) liable when they are unable to fulfill a duty or fail in spite of a good faith effort. But allowing willful negligence to go unpunished is wildly immoral. The “no duty to protect” is pure BS.

    • …I can already hear the leftist cries: “…if… …guns are banned…”. At that point the loony left will say, “…we won’t need the police because no one will have guns.”

  2. The ONLY “winners” in this entire deal, are the attorney’s…they keep pushing, giving false hope at a win, all the while lining their pockets…shameless…

      • An ethical attorney would tell these plaintiffs that he won’t represent them because they have no chance of winning and would be wasting their money.

        • I once took on a case against a school board with immunity. Should I have turned down the case?

          According to you, yes. But I won.

          Maybe the Parkland attorneys are better lawyers than you are.

        • Sometimes there’s more to a case than just prevailing. Provided it wasn’t frivolous and the retainer was sufficient, I’d take most any case I was competent to handle.

  3. It seems that “officer safety” trumps “courage under fire” almost all of the time, but especially with “school resource officers” and police officers in general. It seems that for almost every police officer, making it to a cushy retirement is the ultimate goal, the protection of the public be damned. Add to that, observe the many unjustified shootings by police that get “covered up” by police-friendly prosecutors and grand juries.
    All one has to do is look at the (in)action of the police officers during the last number of mass school shootings, where these “trained professionals” SAT ON THEIR HANDS while the carnage was going on.
    You can bet that us military veterans in such a case would be drawn TOWARD the sound of gunfire. If I had my way, I would arm teachers who wish to be armed, and would hire military veterans as school support personnel such as janitors and maintenance personnel. Janitorial and maintenance personnel have the run of the school buildings and would make an effective “reactionary force”. Us veterans would be much more effective than police, (who are only concerned about their own “safety”), as us veterans are trained to go towards the sound of gunfire and “solve the problem”.
    Today’s human nature dictates that the person with all of the “training” (especially) law enforcement DOES cower in fear, while a 90 lb. armed teacher would reluctantly, but successfully take out the shooter. Being forced into a situation also forces one to act.
    There are many examples of persons, who one would normally think, would not be capable of acting in an extremely high-stress situation, but DO come out on top-stopping the threat, and saving lives.
    Sad to say, today’s police practices dictate that the cop’s life is MORE IMPORTANT than that of those he has sworn to protect despite the cops having statutory protections that do not apply to us ordinary civilians.
    All one has to do is look at Medal of Honor recipients, who are almost always mild-mannered, initially reluctant to act, but DO act, and perform feats who most would think are normally beyond their capacity and capabilities TRUE bravery in the heat of battle. The same applies to those civilians who act during school shootings.
    Human nature has a habit of propelling (actually forcing) the normal, average person into a true hero and life saver, while showing the true (cowardly behavior) nature of those we assign to protect us. A good example of our protectors cowering in fear is the deputies who FAILED TO ACT despite having all of the equipment necessary and the preferential laws on their side (that protect them from lawsuits and liability).
    TRUE heroes ACT, while our so-called protectors (failed to) REACT.
    As an aside, maybe a lawsuit could succeed if it was based on the fact that LAWS that disarm civilians contributed to the slaughter as those who COULD HAVE DEFENDED the students and themselves were prohibited from doing so by law. Go after the legislators on this one…

    • If I had my way, I would arm teachers who wish to be armed, If I were a teacher, I would simply carry my concealed firearm (that I have a CCW for) and keep my mouth shut. My mantra is, ‘if it’s concealed, how will they know?’ When TSHTF I would be prepared to defend my class, and let the ‘clips fall where they may’.

    • Honestly, I don’t think a lot of these cops are cowards. I used to.

      Then a friend of mine, who was in the Navy first, went to the police academy and told me what happened there. This was about three years ago.

      After that I can’t really blame the individuals. I would summarize what he said as this: The police academy was run by a bunch of wanna-be military folks who were told at MEPS that the military wouldn’t take them. They invented in their heads what they thought military service was like and modeled the police training after that. His instructors were more concerned with what color his running shoes were than they were with anything else in the opening week of “training”. They berated him and one of them said “Do you have any idea what would happen to you in basic if you did this!?” to which he replied “Yes, because I was actually in the Navy, were you?”.

      The whole thing, from his point of view, was military LARPing. The training was shit, mostly it was paperwork. When it wasn’t paperwork they actively encouraged students to actually hurt, and I mean hospitalize, each other in their “hand to hand” training which was all of three days. The rest of the time was spent with lingo that suspects are “tangos”, other officers are “friendlies” and everyone else is a “civvie” or “potential tango”. Instruction on the law was minimal and their “combat training” (what the instructors called it according to this guy) was a complete joke that if actually implemented with real bullets would likely result in the officers shooting each other rather than any criminal. Most of the instructors couldn’t even pass the shooting qual they demanded their students take.

      His father had been a cop and when he was told what his son went through he was completely disgusted.

      Now, I wasn’t there so I can’t speak to the absolute veracity of every detail but this guy isn’t the kind of person who would make that whole thing up. He’s a quiet person who really doesn’t talk much but he was PISSED about what he went through there. The only trash I’ve ever heard him talk about another person was directed at his instructors who he referred to as “dumbfuck wanna-be special forces retards who watched Blackhawk Down and thought they could do that but were told by a recruiter that the military didn’t want their dumbass”.

  4. If the Law is not there to protect us then why are we paying them to do that But I guess that is why so many people are carrying guns now days. I do know one thing the shearf here I do not trust in the last election he was supporting One person so I made sure not to vote for him .he is sort of like the one that was in broward co. The parents of these children should be able to sue these because they did everything not to help the Kids

  5. Waste of time.
    You are property of the state.
    You exist to serve the state.
    Just ask their flunkies.

  6. the failures were so massive and so unbelievable
    the government is so dispicably untrustworthy
    that an argument can be made the mistakes werent mistakes at all
    remember when obama told the kids afterward:
    “weve been waiting for you”
    that was a tell
    somehow a massive grass roots effort miraculously sprang up out of nowhere
    almost overnight
    and who ends up being the phoenix
    rising out of the ashes of it all
    no less than an fbi agents kid
    i dont buy it
    not for a minute
    it was basically the same group of people responsible for the blatently illegal and traitorous and treasonous on its face russian collusion coup junta conspiracy operation that were still largely at the helm during the parkland thing
    and the las vegas thing
    they want our guns
    all of them
    and to that extent
    i dont put anything past them
    not anymore

    • Same with Fast and Furious. Just before it was exposed Obama had told the Brady Bunch not to worry, they were working on something “under the radar”. Yea, like Obama knew nothing about Fast and Furious.

  7. This is the first Ive heard of a level of immunity even though the students are compelled to attend school.
    School districts throughout the country are regularly sued for negligence that occurs on school grounds and in/on school bus transport.
    I think we have some Plaintiff’s attorneys trying to make too big a splash, sue in negligence, K.I.S.S.

  8. That action was . . .

    …brought by 15 survivors of this year’s shooting massacre at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, rejecting their argument that authorities’ failure to prevent the shooting violated their 14th Amendment rights to due process.

    Anybody else think that was totally stupid?
    Cruz violated our right to a fair trial before execution, and it’s all Sheriff Isreal’s fault.

  9. Let’s not beat around the bush. This was a direct failure of liberal ideology. Period.

    Anyone with a sense of history and human nature could foresee a repeat of Sandy Hook coming because schools, parents, activists, and politicians did nothing that actually would prevent another shooting.

    Put the ignorant and delusional in charge is this is actually what you get.

  10. The first step in fixing these problems is the elimination of 80% of all lawyers/judges in this country along with any politician who will not follow the Constitution. Once enough examples are made. The rest of the herd will fall in line. While this may seem harsh. Desperate times call for Desperate measures. We have allowed The System to take control with total disregard of it’s intended purpose. This has occurred because the populous has ceded their responsibility. Taking back that responsibility is the only cure for this disease. As with any disease. destroying it sometimes requires the lose of healthy parts of the host. In the end The Whole is more important than the lose of some parts.Keep Your Powder dry.

    • Yeah, that decision has already been made. a lot of these people are going to be shocked to find out they are responsible for their own protection….

  11. I have participated with active shooter drills in as an Emergency Management Coordinator at my daughters HS. The police responded very decisively. And in the drill performed admirably. However, response tome is still 5-7 minutes. Fortunately the two armed RSO’s were on scene an also responded, and this minimized “fatalities”. So some municipalities and school districts take is very seriously. Oh, and the rule is first officer on the scene does not wait…they confront.

  12. Why isn’t the head of school security, Mr. Greenleaf, named in the suit? He was cowering right there with Peterson IIRC, armed & everything, but somehow managed to stay employed when the school re-opened, to harass students who failed to behave sufficiently anti-gun afterward. Besides the student tossing his name up to social media for inappropriately questioning him about his firearms extracurricular activities without a legal guardian present, the scumbag completely disappeared…well, except that he still works there as the head of school security (at least as of last year when I previously looked into it)

  13. There have been 2 actual Supreme Court Decisions that specifically state that Federal, State, and local law enforcement are NOT responsible to keep us ‘safe’ EVEN AFTER things like Restraining Orders and other protective orders are issued by courts.

    To my knowledge this has not been applied to schools, public or private.

    The Parkland incident was a ‘False Flag’ allowed to or made to happen similarly as the Sandy Hook and Las Vegas mass shootings. The CIA and FBI have done these kinds of things in foreign countries for decades before beginning to do it domestically for political effect.

    • The CIA wasn’t needed for this crap to go down in Parkland; pull your head from your ass. Was Trayvon Martin also a CIA spook? Because he was out walking that night in the first place, only because school LEOs had decided not to arrest him for burglary, since it would “ruin his life” and make their crime stats look bad. His school went from having an extremely high reported crime rate to one of the lowest in the area, simply through non-reporting of crimes, and the administrators & local cops took credit for “solving” the problem. Money & political cred lavished upon them.

      Thanks to the idiocy of leftist politics –and Parkland is Location B for the DNC party-people, remember;
      1) The School ROs & prinicipal get rewarded (money & accolades) when they don’t punish problem-children
      2) The Sheriff & local LEO get rewarded (money & accolades) when they don’t report juvenile crime
      3) Students are strongly discouraged from reporting behavior that points to dangerous instability
      4) Students are encouraged to bully “politically incorrect” students (activism) and are rewarded with internships at news orgs and the DNC political machine. And not bullying with the justifiable purpose of sussing out dangerously unstable individuals, but bullying with the purpose of unrelenting control over their agency…which is guaranteed to make such unstable persons eventually retaliate.

      Is it really surprising that such suicidally self-destructive people finally had such a disaster visited upon them? Parkland was a case of (mostly) innocent children getting what should have been their parents’ just deserts. That entire community was complicit in one way or another, the more I learn about the situation on the ground there. A bunch of clueless rubes allowing themselves to be led down a path of insanity by corrupt figures entrusted with their children.

  14. There’s no way they’ll let it go through. Imagine if the government could be held responsible for the safety of students it compels to undergo education? They’d have to actually DO stuff. And people would be held responsible!

    Can’t have that.

  15. Here is a common sense law Congress can pass.

    Pass a law making police departments, and all of their employees, jointly and severally liable for wrongful death for every murder committed in their jurisdiction.

    How complicated is that?

  16. I know I’m preaching to the choir but the epic failure of all involved here leads me to one conclusion, I am responsible for my own safety at all times. Any faith in the system and law enforcement protecting me was completely eroded long before this debacle. It could have happened anywhere and it will happen again.

  17. If the parents were smart which they are not they would organize protests in front of the homes as well as the offices of where the school board members work and sleep at night.

    You should be posting pamphlets with a pictures of their murdered children along with the statement it basically states that the school board members are enablers of a murderer.

    And finally they should organize against these people and run someone against them for the positions they currently hold. Is amazing to me that these people voted for these individuals in these districts for the school board positions again.

    The problem is they’re running to lawyers when they should be organizing themselves and running to The Ballot Box and voting these people out of office.

    Florida voters???

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